You can see the animated version of the card above at Buncee.
I recall one NCTE a few years ago when Poetry Friday friends were seated around a table enjoying the camaraderie of friends. Nikki Grimes was part of that group. We chatted about poetry and life. I was one of Nikki's fans so I listened carefully. Following this evening event, I was lucky to spot her at an author's signing for her new novel in verse, Garvey's Choice that won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.
To prepare for Day 3 of my graduate school summer institute for teachers, I reread Garvey's Choice. I knew that it would be an appropriate book to be included in a text-set for a mini-unit on adolescent bullying, self-identity, and/or family and friend relationships. As I read through the book, I grew to care about Garvey as a person and student. He, like many middle year and early high school teens, is perplexed by internal conflict emanating from his relationships with his family and lack of friends. This book is beautifully-crafted and seamlessly written in the tanka form of poetry. Nikki Grimes shares sensitivity toward her main character and visibly illustrates the growth of Garvey's identity from a boy taunted for years about his weight to one who takes pride in whom he is. You can see the Garvey's growth of self-confidence in the found poem I created with selected lines from Nikki's book.
Fill in the puzzle of me.
Fear is the flip-flop in my belly.
I take a breath.
I'm suddenly feeling brave.
Now "fat boy" insults glide
right off like raindrops.
I'm a balloon of song,
reaching the edges of space.
Somehow, music makes me full.
Listen to my dreams.
I choose what words to let in.
Set to face a new morning,
I stand Taller.
The perfect size is happy.
Designed by ©CVarsalona, 2020
with lines from Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes
I listened to Nikki read "Jabari Unmasked" from One Last Word, which she says is one of her favorite books. You can listen to her video here. I look to Nikki's work as a model for my own Golden Shovel poem writing. Below is my poem using Nikki's line, ."..still, the world needs the dreams we offer," as both the title and strike line for my poem.
Thank you Irene Latham for suggesting that we honor Nikki Grimes and her work this week at the Poetry Friday Roundup. I am heading over to the celebration at Irene's blog, Live Your Poem, where she is hosting today. I am bringing my Buncee card, this post, and grilled peaches cake because it is a Poetry Friday party for Nikki Grimes.
Poetry Friday Roundup Celebration
Note: I still have a draft of a Golden Shovel poem for Day 5 of Kat Apel's #PoetryPepUp challenge but it is still not ready for sharing. I will post the Golden Shovel poem/image poem I created above on social media noting Kat's engaging challenge last week.