Bronx Masquerade By Nikki Grimes A Book Talk by Ms. J. Cansdale
About the Author
Born in New York City
Began writing poetry at age six.
Prolific writer and award winner.
Also wrote Meet Danitra Brown, Hopscotch Love
Teaches and travels internationally.
Nikki Grimes's website
What It’s About
Setting: a high school in the Bronx
Characters: 18 students and Mr. Ward, their English teacher
Plot: While studying the Harlem Renaissance Poets, students become interested in writing their own poetry, which they share with the class, thereby revealing details about their lives previously unknown by others.
The story is told through narrative and poetry.
Chapters are written in the voice of each of the characters.
The poems are written by each of the characters, like this:
“El Noche ”
El Noche by Lupe Algarin
I stand out in the cold
El noche and I
Both too lonely for whispers.
Only the wind shatters this silence.
I have been here before
Choking in solitude, but this time
When all the earth is hollow as a bell,
I hold one end, ring it,
And you come – a pale-skinned surprise,
What I Think About It
The story of these young people is very timely and completely held my interest. I especially enjoyed the unique voices that Grimes created for each character through narrative and poetry.
Aspiring writers, poetry lovers,
and probably most teenagers would find themselves captivated by this book.