Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book


Dyamonde really wants red high-top sneakers. Too bad they're so expensive! A classmate tells her it's her mom's job to give her what she needs, but when Dyamonde tries that argument, her mom teaches her a lesson by literally only giving her what she needs. Now Dyamonde is down to almost zero outfits! But then she finds out one of her friends has it much worse, and she's determined to do what she can to help.

Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes' third book starring the ...

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Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

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Dyamonde really wants red high-top sneakers. Too bad they're so expensive! A classmate tells her it's her mom's job to give her what she needs, but when Dyamonde tries that argument, her mom teaches her a lesson by literally only giving her what she needs. Now Dyamonde is down to almost zero outfits! But then she finds out one of her friends has it much worse, and she's determined to do what she can to help.

Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes' third book starring the unstoppable Dyamonde Daniel will delight fans and new readers alike, with energetic storytelling, relatable situations and Dyamonde's spitfire personality.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
In this third book in the "Dyamonde Daniel" series, the high-spirited Dyamonde demands that her mother buy her a new pair of red high-top sneakers. A school friend has convinced her not only that she needs these shoes, but also that it is a mother's job to get her child whatever she needs. Dyamonde's wise mother ignores her request and decides instead to teach Dyamonde a lesson about the difference between want and need. As a result, Dyamonde is reduced to almost zero wardrobe options. Naturally, Dyamonde is outraged by her mother's removal of most of her clothing until she learns about another classmate who has lost her home and needs everything. How Dyamonde comes around to helping her classmate and enlisting others in the effort is clearly and realistically told with subtle touches of humor. The situation is highly relatable for the age group and readers will identify strongly with the emotions and actions of Dyamonde as she works through her problem. Authentic dialog, especially between Dyamonde and her mother, clean prose, and clearly drawn characters make this an exciting choice for chapter book readers. R. Gregory Christie's bold, energetic drawings will appeal as well. Issues of poverty and homelessness are treated in a matter-of-fact manner and ring true to the urban setting of this story. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—An enjoyable story with a good life lesson. When spunky Dyamonde makes an ill-advised attempt to boss her mother into buying her a pair of red high-top sneakers, her mother decides to provide her with only what she needs: literally the clothes on her back, spiriting away the rest of her wardrobe. Dyamonde fumes over the humiliation of wearing the same outfit, stains included, several days in a row. A classmate's tragedy shakes her out of her funk, and she rises to the occasion, asking her mother to return the rest of her clothing so she can give much of it to the girl, whose family has lost everything in a fire. Her individual effort grows into a school-wide clothing drive, and Dyamonde receives a much greater gift than a pair of high tops: the fulfillment of giving to others. The moral of the story is delivered in an endearing, accessible package. Grimes's style is easygoing and straightforward, her characters real and engaging. Christie's sketches in thick lines of black ink add to the book's appeal.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews

"Everything we have is a gift," or at least that's what Dyamonde's mom says. It takes a while for Dyamonde to appreciate this truth, but, when she does, she helps others to understand it as well. When classmate Tameeka shows up with expensive sneakers, Dyamonde takes her friend's advice and demands red sneakers for herself. Mrs. Daniel, after a moment of soft, scary speaking, decides that her daughter needs to learn a lesson about want versus need and packs away almost all of Dyamonde's clothes, forcing her to wear the same outfit to school, even when it gets dirty. When her classmate's house burns down, Dyamonde realizes the lesson her mother is trying to teach her and organizes a clothing drive for her friend. Third in a series, this chapter book continues to introduce interesting secondary characters to keep Dyamonde's young fans engaged. Christie's modern black-and-white illustrations are perfect for the urban setting. Dyamonde's readers will enjoy seeing a strong, smart African-American girl face the same challenges they do. A treasure. (Fiction. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399251771
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2010
  • Series: A Dyamonde Daniel Book Series , #3
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 429,026
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikki Grimes is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of dozens of children’s and young adult books as well as a poet and journalist.
Among the many accolades she has received are the Golden Dolphin Award (2005),the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children (2006), the Coretta Scott King Award (2003) for Bronx Masquerade, and the Horace Mann Upstanders Award (2011) for Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book. Additionally, her book Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (illustrated by Bryan Collier) was a New York Times bestseller, and she was acknowledged as an NAACP Image Award Finalist in 1993 for her book Malcolm X: a Force for Change. Her books Meet Danitra Brown (illustrated by Floyd Cooper), Jazmin's NotebookTalkin' About Bessie (illustrated by E.B. Lewis), Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings were each awarded Coretta Scott King Honors. Visit her online at

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    My Review: While hanging out with her friends at school one morning, Dyamonde saw Tameeka wearing a new pair of high-top sneakers. She asked if they came in red as it was her favorite color. When Tameeka told her yes and where she bought it, Dyamonde knew they were expensive. But Tameeka told Dyamonde to simply tell her mother that she needs the sneakers and that it is her job to buy her what she needs. Dyamonde did just that she demanded her mother buy her new sneakers.

    When she came home from school the next day she was shock to find out that her house has been robbed. Only for her mother to inform her that wasn't true that she packed up her things and took them away and since she is the mother she will provide Dyamonde what she needs. Dyamonde's mother decided to give her one pair of pajamas, a set of underwear, one pair of shippers and a pair of pajamas. That's all the clothes her mom said she needed. When her friend Isabel's house burned down Dyamonde wanted to help her by donating some of her clothes to her.

    What a great book by Award-winning author Nikki Grimes, teaching children about the difference value between wants and needs, about selfless giving and helping others in need. Well written chapter book with pencil-like illustrations. I highly recommend this book.

    FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.

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