Dyamonde Daniel is excited about the local library's poetry contest, and so is her friend Free. The prize is one hundred dollars-just think what they could buy with that much money! But when they find out that Damaris, one of their classmates, has been living in a homeless shelter, their ideas about what it means to be rich or poor start to change. And when they get to know Damaris, they realize the one who could use the prize money the most also happens to be the best poet in ...
Dyamonde Daniel is excited about the local library's poetry contest, and so is her friend Free. The prize is one hundred dollars-just think what they could buy with that much money! But when they find out that Damaris, one of their classmates, has been living in a homeless shelter, their ideas about what it means to be rich or poor start to change. And when they get to know Damaris, they realize the one who could use the prize money the most also happens to be the best poet in class.
In this fantastic follow-up to Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel, Nikki Grimes tackles big issues like homelessness in a sensitive, kid-friendly way. Dymonde's can-do attitude and lively spirit will endear her to readers.
[L]ooks at the sensitive issues of poverty and homelessness from different angles and in a reassuringly matter-of-fact way . . . [a] fine beginning chapter book.
"Dyamonde liked to know everything, and she'd made up her mind that she was going to get to know Damaris Dancer." Third graders Dyamonde and her friend Free make a new friend and discover what it really means to be rich. Free, whose father's job loss has meant unfamiliar and unwelcome belt-tightening, is challenged by ever-optimistic Dyamonde to rethink his definition of what it means to be poor. A poetry contest with a cash reward offers Free the hope of a coveted video game. When shy, enigmatic Damaris also enters the competition, the duo becomes a trio. Damaris's hidden life in a homeless shelter becomes public through her poetry, and the three friends learn together about true wealth. Fast-paced, believable urban school situations, including a memorable visit to a thrift store, make this a particularly relevant series entry for chapter-book readers. Christie's light pen-and-ink sketches bring these good-hearted characters to life. Young readers will wish they had a friend like Dyamonde. (Fiction. 6-9)
- Sylvia Firth
As a follow-up to Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel, this book is sure to be in demand. Dyamonde is a lively, spirited, and inquisitive third grader, with plenty of appeal for readers. She and best friend Free are almost inseparable and they do everything together. Dyamonde even makes Free see the pleasure of treasure hunting in a shop called Second Time Around where he buys a jar of beautiful marbles for fifty cents. When their teacher, Mrs. Cordell announces a poetry contest, Dyamonde is intrigued by the fact that a shy classmate named Damaris is eager to enter. True to her character, she begins a campaign to become friends with Damaris. She soon discovers that Damaris and her family live in a shelter because her mother lost her job. Damaris makes Dyamonde promise to keep her secret, and of course she does. After an overnight visit, Dyamonde buys a poetry book from Second Time Around for Damaris to encourage her to write her contest poem about living in the shelter. The animated and spirited black-and-white illustrations are perfectly in tune with the story. Cleverly, each chapter numeral contains a drawing of something of importance in that chapter. Add this book to the collection and watch it always be in great demand. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—When their third grade teacher encourages students to enter a local poetry contest, Dyamonde is not interested. However, her best friend Free sees it as an opportunity to win the $100 prize and purchase a new video game. Damaris, a shy new student, also enters the contest, capturing Dyamonde's attention. The three soon become fast friends even as they discover Damaris' secret—she is living in a homeless shelter. Nikki Grimes's beginning chapter book (Putnam, 2009) features inviting characters, an engaging story, and a look at the challenges of poverty. It also poses the question: What makes one truly rich? The rhythm, pacing, and tone of Grimes's narration is captivating, although she doesn't provide unique voices for each character.—Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT
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 Notebook, Talkin' 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 www.nikkigrimes.com.