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Danitra Brown, Class Clown

Overview

They may be best friends, but Zuri Jackson and Danitra Brown respond very differently to the start of school. For Zuri, there are so many things to ponder ? a new teacher who replaced the old one she liked so much, passing math, and worrying about her mother's health. But for Danitra, the only real deal is being true to herself, having fun, and supporting Zuri in any way she can.

Multiple Coretta Scott King award winners Nikki Grimes and E. B. Lewis have poured their best into ...

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Overview

They may be best friends, but Zuri Jackson and Danitra Brown respond very differently to the start of school. For Zuri, there are so many things to ponder — a new teacher who replaced the old one she liked so much, passing math, and worrying about her mother's health. But for Danitra, the only real deal is being true to herself, having fun, and supporting Zuri in any way she can.

Multiple Coretta Scott King award winners Nikki Grimes and E. B. Lewis have poured their best into Danitra Brown, Class Clown. This third book starring Zuri and Danitra speaks to everyone who has faced the trials of a new school year.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nikki Grimes's heroine returns for a third outing, this time as Danitra Brown, Class Clown. In the rhyming text, best friends Danitra and Zuri start a new school year, but with different attitudes-one full of excitement and one with trepidation. E.B. Lewis's illustrations show the range of emotions elementary school children feel. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
We have already met the delightful Danitra and her friend, Zuri, in the author's Meet Danitra Brown and Danitra Brown Leaves Town. In a series of sprightly rhymes filled with both humor and emotions, Zuri pays tribute to Danitra's charm and support as Zuri goes through the school year. A new teacher proves to be better than she at first seems, particularly when Zuri's mother is ill. Zuri manages to struggle through her troubles mastering math with the help of her "Matchless tutor/Matchless friend." Finally they look forward to another great year. Lewis's naturalistic watercolors depict the many moods and actions of the friends with an honesty that is free of sentimentality but not of feeling. His scenes supply contexts with just enough detail to make each scene complete. Emotions are clearly evident, from the contented, close-eyed smile when Zuri realizes her name means "beautiful" to the grouchy disappointment when the girls are moved to sit apart in class. Time spent with these good friends warms the heart. 2005, Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers, and Ages 6 to 9.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Best friends Danitra and Zuri are back for a new school year and a new teacher. "Miss Volchek gives us quizzes/with no warning in advance,/and still Danitra tells us/that we should give her a chance." Challenges arrive for Zuri-fears about passing math and worry about her mother's illness. Even singing solo with the glee club adds a level of anxiety to her days. Confident Danitra, the "One of a kind-Original thinker-/Matchless tutor/Matchless friend" provides support, friendship, and her own unique styles to her advice. Grimes's text, a running sequence of titled verses, neatly voices the critical self-examination of preadolescent girls. Lewis's detailed watercolor paintings create energy of their own, revealing the girls' emotions with visualization of both joyous expressions and thoughtful moments. Theirs is a friendship with the closeness of siblings, revealed for readers in a natural flow of events and Zuri's narration. A must-buy for all libraries and a must-read for all Danitra and Zuri fans.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Danitra Brown is back and so is her friend Zuri. Danitra is as feisty, loyal and adventurous as always. She clowns around and diverts attention when Zuri's note is about to be made into a class joke. Her lunchbox is always filled with unusual and daring food combinations. When Zuri is terrified of failing math, Danitra is there with help and encouragement. Zuri's voice is clear and loving as the narrator of the poems. Grimes is a master at selecting just the right word or twist of phrase to evoke the spirit of these two girls, while keeping the language simple and direct. The rhymes are clever and lively and fit just right. The poems flow neatly as they tell the continuing story of Danitra, an "original thinker" and a "matchless friend." Lewis's illustrations are spot on, capturing the girls' idiosyncrasies and bringing them to life. A charmer. (Picture book/poetry. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688172909
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/26/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 722,946
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikki Grimes began penning poetry at the age of six. Her many award-winning titles include the picture books Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Meet Danitra Brown, which won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Coretta Scott King Author Honors went to her novels The Road to Paris, Jazmin's Notebook, and Dark Sons, and her novel Bronx Masquerade won the Coretta Scott King Author Award. She lives in Corona, California.

E. B. Lewis has won several awards for his magnificent illustrations, including a Caldecott Honor for Coming On Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson and a Coretta Scott King Honor for Talkin' About Bessie by Nikki Grimes. E. B. Lewis teaches illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and lives in Folsom, New Jersey.

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