Friday, August 4, 2017

*Review* Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

Genre: YA Poetry
Published: December 31, 2001
Pages: 176


Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes' award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens. 


I got the audiobook version of this through Audiobook Sync's summer reading program for teenagers completely free with absolutely no strings attached. This is my honest review.

This audiobook has a full cast so every character has a distinct voice. With the way the book is set up from several different character's perspectives, that was a nice touch for the audiobook. It made it incredibly easy to know who's head I was in at any given point in time. I imagine it would have been much more difficult to keep the characters straight if there had been only one narrator. 

This story sort of reminded me of the movie, Freedom Writers. The cast of this book is very diverse, which is part of why the array of narrators was so helpful for me, and most of the characters have backgrounds that are far different from my own. Granted, the fact that they live in a city and not some podunk town in the middle of nowhere Kansas makes their background far different from my own. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book is that while many of the characters thought that they had nothing in common with most of their classmates, they were able to relate to them through the poetry slams. Those same poetry slams also gave everyone a new perspective about many of their classmates as well, and that is definitely a good thing. In the end, it seems like the characters realized that they have more in common with each other than they thought based on appearances alone. 

Overall I give Bronx Masquerade 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Nikki Grimes conveyed the fire-in-the-belly fervor of a Harlem girl who knows she was born to write in Jazmin's Notebook, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. In My Man Blue, a Booklist Editor's Choice and Newsweek Children's Books of the Year selection, her artful words expressed a boy's journey from skepticism to trust. And now with Bronx Masquerade she presents a rich chorus of eighteen voices, singing openly about ideas, feelings, and questions--things that open minds, invite debate, provide release. A recent Booklist review proclaims: "As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for--real characters who show them they are not alone."An accomplished poet, novelist, journalist, and educator, Ms. Grimes was born and raised in New York City and now lives in the Los Angeles area.

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