Reviewed by: Padma Venkatraman
I, for one, am immensely grateful that one last word will not be the last word by this talented author whose work has gained much well-deserved recent attention. There are few books that I treasure not just for the writing but also for the artwork, and even the quality of the writing and the layout. Nikki Grimes’s latest is one of those – a book to have and hold and bequeath to one’s grandchildren.
One last word begins and ends with poems that speak to the contemporary relevance of work from bygone eras. The first poem, Emergency Measures, gives us an insight into the author’s initial interest in the work of poets who lived during the Harlem Renaissance. It could, however, just as easily, be about a child of today or any day in the future, who is inspired to dip “into the bowl of years” and discover the wisdom of poets from the past. When, in the final poem, the author leaves “the glory days” of the Harlem Renaissance behind, her readers carry its songs in their hearts. We are left feeling “….full of something / strange and delicious: / hope.” Continue reading.
One Last Word by Nikki Grimes
Published by Bloomsbury USA on January 3rd 2017
Genres: African American, Poetry
Reading Level: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
Review Source: Pirate Tree
Publisher's Synopsis: In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance -- including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era -- by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using "The Golden Shovel" poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking.
This special book also includes original artwork in full-color from some of today's most exciting African American illustrators, who have created pieces of art based on Nikki's original poems. Featuring art by: Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, Nikki Grimes, E. B. Lewis, Frank Morrison, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon.
A foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, poet biographies, and index makes this not only a book to cherish, but a wonderful resource and reference as well.
Awards for Planet Middle School:2014 Garden State Teen Book Awards listNominated for the 2012 NCAAP Image Award - Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/TeensCCBC Choices 20122012 Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank StreetNominated for the 2012-13Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards Program