Menu

Featured books by Nikki Grimes

Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Nikki Grimes.

A Pocketful of Poems

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Javaka Steptoe
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Robust, textured collages combine with upbeat poems about poetry, emotions, and everyday activities.

Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

By: Nikki Grimes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The bright, lively, and one-of-a-kind girl is back, this time to find out the difference between wanting something and actually needing it. Dyamonde is caught by her own cleverness, sure to gain readers' empathy.

Danitra Brown Leaves Town

By: Nikki Grimes, Floyd Cooper
Illustrated by: Floyd Cooper
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Danitra leaves the city for a summer with her family in the country, she and best friend Zuri write to each other about their days. The free verse and softly hued, realistic illustrations convey the warmth of both summer and the girls' friendship.

Danitra Brown, Class Clown

By: Nikki Grimes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Zuri and Danitra are best friends, but have very different responses to school from first day jitters all the way to the halfway mark of the school year. Poems combine with luminous watercolors to chronicle the girls' range of experiences and concerns.

Halfway to Perfect

By: Nikki Grimes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Dyamonde Daniel is confident, perceptive and willing to figure out what is really bothering her friend Damaris. Lively language captures the angst and joys of 3rd grade, friendships, even and the feelings of a plausible character with juvenile diabetes.

It's Raining Laughter

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Myles Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Well composed photographs on pastel pages combine with playful poetry to celebrate everyday pleasures from playing games to enjoying music.

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Self confident, cheerful, and bright but friendless, Dyamond is the newest kid in Mrs. Cordell's 3rd grade. That is, until a grumpy boy named Free moves to town — and a friendship begins. Lively, believable, and likeable characters introduce this new heroine.

Meet Danitra Brown

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Floyd Cooper
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In a series of poems, Zuri extols the virtues and shortcomings of her forever friend, Danitra Brown. Set in their urban neighborhood, handsome watercolors illustrate this fresh and often poignant camaraderie.

My Man Blue

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Jerome Lagarrigue
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Impressionistic paintings and gentle verse reveal a child's concern about the new man in his mother's life and the growing affection between them.

Rich: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

By: Nikki Grimes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Dyamonde, a bright, articulate and confident 3rd grader, is entering the library's poetry contest to win the prize money. Then Dyamonde and her friend, Free, learn that their new friend, Damaris, who is also the best poet in their class, lives in a homeless shelter. The duo of friends turns into a trio — who take a different look at what wealth really means.

Shoe Magic

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Terry Widener
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Shoes of all types are used to introduce children with varied aspirations and backgrounds. Slightly abstracted illustrations echo the warmth and joy of the varied collection of poetry.

Stepping Out with Grandma Mac

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Angelo
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Grandma Mac is not like many other grandparents. And she's definitely not the stay-at-home kind. Told in verse, a girl relates how she and her independent Grandma Mac come to know and appreciate one another.

Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman

By: Nikki Grimes, E.B. Lewis
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

After aviator Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman is lost in a plane crash, those who knew her celebrate her life. Different voices come alive in small portraits and beautifully crafted full-page scenes as individuals tell stories in free verse to present Bessie's unusual and heroic story. A biographical note extends the introduction to this early aviator.

Under the Christmas Tree

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The joy of Christmas is told from a child's point of view in a series of poems, illustrated with warm and gentle illustrations. The universal pleasure in the season is set in the cozy warmth of a loving family.

Welcome Precious

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A family expresses the universal joy in the arrival of a new baby. Luminous language and illustrations introduce baby to the many small pleasures all around us, from sand between toes to sticky peanut butter. Parents and grandparents can share this story with children to recall their arrival into the family.

What Is Goodbye?

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Raul Colón
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two sisters mourn the death of their older brother. This short novel is told in alternating voices of the girls, to reveal one family's process of grieving. Sensitive illustrations augment the gentle, questioning nature of the text.

Interested in wonderful interviews with tween and teen authors? Hop on over to our sister site, AdLit.org, and browse the library.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox