Black History Month is coming to a close, and I would be remiss if I didn’t post about this phenomenal new poetry collection, One Last Word, from poet extraordinaire Nikki Grimes (who just won the 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her substantial and lasting contribution to children’s literature). I am so thankful I finished this before the end of February! One Last Word is another book I devoured in a very short time – which, with two little ones at home – is no easy feat and speaks directly to the ingenuity, brilliance, and beauty of this collection.
One Last Word pairs the voices of the Harlem Renaissance – including Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Georgia Douglas Johnson – with Grime’s unique words. Utilizing a method known as the “The Golden Shovel,” Grimes’ poems incorporate original stanzas from these master poets into new and inventive pieces. The result is astonishingly beautiful: poems that resonate deeply with the reader and touch upon issues that still plague society today – issues such as racial injustice, identity, and peer pressure.
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One Last Word is a moving meditation on the African-American experience that will leave students enthralled and amazed at how challenges that dominated society so many years ago continue to dominate our modern discourse. Interspersed with gorgeous illustrations from prominent African-American illustrators, Grimes’ poetry is a chorus of richly drawn voices that will provoke thoughtful discussion among kids and adults alike. The collection is moving and important; Grimes’ words are true art. One Last Word belongs in every home collection and school library. It is one of the most powerful books I’ve come across in a long, long time.
Want the book? Get it here! One Last Word, by Nikki Grimes. *This is an affiliate link. HEE received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.