Nikki Grimes

1950 -

(2003 Kerlan Award)


The Kerlan Award is given "in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children's literature and in appreciation for generous donation of unique resources to the Kerlan Collection for the study of children's literature." The books listed below are owned by the University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library.


Grimes, Nikki. (2010). Almost zero : a Dyamonde Daniel book. (Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie). New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons. INTR-FIC G862al

Dyamonde is angry at her mother for not buying her the shoes she wants, but when she finds out a classmate is in a worse situtation, she is determined to help.

Grimes, Nikki. (2002). Bronx masquerade. New York : Dial Books. INTR-FIC G8624br

While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they’ve written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.

Grimes, Nikki. (2005). Dark sons. New York : Hyperion Books for Children. INTR-FIC G8624da

Alternating poems parallel the conflicted feelings of Ishmael, son of the Biblical patriarch Abraham, and Sam, a teenager in New York City, as they try to come to terms with being abandoned by their fathers and with the love they feel for their younger stepbrothers.

Grimes, Nikki. (2000). Is it far to Zanzibar? : poems about Tanzania. (Illustrated by Betsy Lewin). New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. 811.54 G862i

Over a dozen poems with some aspect of the African island of Zanzibar as a theme.

Grimes, Nikki. (1998). Jazmin’s notebook. New York : Dial Books. INTR-FIC G8624ja

Jazmin, an Afro-American teenager who lives with her older sister in a small Harlem apartment in the 1960s, finds strength in writing poetry and keeping a record of the events in her sometimes difficult life.

Grimes, Nikki. (1997, c1994). Meet Danitra Brown. (Illustrated by Floyd Cooper). New York : Mulberry Books. 811.54 G862me

A portrait of best friends from the inner-city told through poems.

Grimes, Nikki. (1999). My man Blue : poems. (Pictures by Jerome Lagarrigue). New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. 811.54 G862my

A collection of poems describes a young boy's life with his working mother as he establishes his own identity and develops a close relationship with his mother's friend, Blue.

Grimes, Nikki. (2011). Planet Middle School. New York : Bloomsbury. INTR-FIC G862pl

A series of poems describes all the baffling changes at home and at school in twelve-year-old Joylin’s transition from tomboy basketball player to not-quite-girly girl.

Grimes, Nikki. (2015). Poems in the attic. (Illlustrtions by Elizabeth Zunon). New York : Lee & Low Books Inc. PRIM-FIC G862po

A young girl learns much about her mother as she reads a collection of poems written before she was born that capture her mother's memories of living around the world and growing up as a child of an Air Force serviceperson. Includes author's note, list of Air Force bases, and explanation of the free verse and tanka poetry forms used.

Grimes, Nikki. (2001). A pocketful of poems. (Illustrated by Javaka Stepte). New York : Clarion Books. 811.54 G862p

Poems and haiku verses provides glimpses of life in the city.

Grimes, Nikki. (2006). The road to Paris. New York : Putnam. INTR-FIC G8624ro

Inconsolable at being separated from her older brother, eight-year-old Paris is apprehensive about her new foster family but just as she learns to trust them, she faces a life-changing decision.

Grimes, Nikki. (2002). Talkin' about Bessie : the story of aviator Elizabeth Coleman. (Illustrated by E.B. Lewis). New York : Orchard Books.
921 C692g

A biography of the woman who became the first licensed Afro-American pilot.

Grimes, Nikki. (2006). Thanks a million : poems. (Pictures by Cozbi A. Cabrera). New York : Amistad. 811.54 G862t

Poems about being thankful.

Grimes, Nikki. (2013). Words with wings. Honesdale, Penn. : WordSong. INTR-FIC G862wo

Gabby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook "thick with daydreams," Gabby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.


Author Information

Nikki Grimes Website

Readingrockets : A video interivew with Nikki Grimes

Grimes, Nikki 1950- (Naomi MCMillan). (2011). In Something about the author (Vol. 218, pp.53-60).  Detroit: Gale. REF PN 451 .S6

Grimes, Nikki 1950- (Naomi MCMillan). (2007). In Something about the author (Vol. 174, pp.61-69).  Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Grimes, Nikki 1950- (Naomi MCMillan). (2003). In Something about the author (Vol. 136, pp.98-104).  Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Grimes, Nikki 1950- (Naomi MCMillan). (1997). In Something about the author (Vol. 93, pp.72-76).  Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

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