by Nikki Grimes
Nikki Grimes was recently named the recipient of the 2022 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. Author of over 77 books for young people, her works include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We love so many of her books, and particularly recommend One Last Word: Wisdom From the Harlem Renaissance. Interspersed with original poems by luminaries such as Langston Hughes and Clara Ann Thompson are Grimes’ “Golden Shovel” poems, inspired by their works. The Golden Shovel format takes a line from another poem, and uses the words to conclude each line in the new work. This intriguing format creates a visible and literary link between the past and present, with themes that celebrate Black lives across generations. Readers will find an additional inter-generational connection in the the dedication which reads "For Julius Lester, who, when I was a teen, told me that my words mattered. And I believed him." Nikki Grimes' legacy and body of work will surely continue to inspire future generations of writers.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.