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Ordinary Hazards: Book summary and reviews of Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes

Ordinary Hazards

A Memoir

by Nikki Grimes

Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes X
Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes
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About this book

Book Summary

In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse.

Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Grimes presents a gripping memoir in verse constructed from imperfect recollections of the hardship and abuse she endured as a child. Underlining the idea that 'a memoir's focus is on truth, not fact,' Grimes courageously invites readers to join her on a journey through the shadows of her past." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The memoir has heartbreaking moments—even soul-crushing ones—that will make readers ache for young Grimes and teens grappling with similar circumstances. But inspiring moments bolster her raw, resonant story, showing that there is always light at the end of the darkest of tunnels." - Booklist (starred review)

"A raw, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting story of trauma, loss, and the healing power of words." - Kirkus Reviews

"This book is... a gut-wrenching testimony of pain, loss, resilience, and grace. Nikki is open about her truth and wrote it to make it accessible to readers of all ages. This book will heal hearts and open a lot of eyes. It will keep some kids alive and it will wake up some adults. This powerful story, told with the music of poetry and the blade of truth, will help your heart grow." - Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Shout

"In Ordinary Hazards, Nikki Grimes has given us an intimate look into her life as a young person who found writing as a way to buoy herself in the choppy waters of her childhood. Giving us a glimpse into addiction, abandonment, foster care, and abuse, Grimes poetically guides us to her eventual acceptance and amazement. This is a testimony and a triumph." - Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down

"Life, as Nikki Grimes so well puts it, is full of ordinary hazards, only she creates and accepts them in poems. Sometimes you want to cry... sometimes to laugh... but always at all times are you glad you are alive and lived with it and through it. Ms. Grimes writes, but some of us sing, bake, or build buildings or play sports. These, too, can be hazardous. But none of them is ordinary." - Nikki Giovanni, Poet

This information about Ordinary Hazards shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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More Information

New York Times best-selling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her books include the ALA Notable Book and NCTE Notable Novel in Verse Garvey's Choice, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, Words with Wings, and The Road to Paris. She is also the creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown.

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