REVIEW: Words with Wings

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Words with Wings
by Nikki Grimes
Wordsong (Highlights)
ages 9-12

Words With WingsPremise: Gabby is an imaginative girl adjusting to huge changes in her life. Her parents’ marriage falls apart, and the father who understands her best moves out. She has to say goodbye to her best friend and start over in a new school. And then there’s Gabby’s daydreaming ways, which keep getting her into trouble.

Personal Opinion: This unique story is told entirely through a series of poems. Each gives the reader a peek into the soul of Gabby, short for Gabriel. This young girl’s personality steadily emerges as she shares treasured memories, secret thoughts, and flights of fancy. Daydreams are her escape, but they’ll ultimately connect her with people who are cut from the same cloth. I especially enjoyed Gabby’s changing relationship with her new teacher, Mr. Spitzer. Here’s one of the poems from the book, a haiku:

Explain This Please
Mom names me for a
creature with wings, then wonders
what makes my thoughts fly.

Rating: This book had me smiling right from the prologue. Each poem is a personality-packed bundle of feelings. It was as if Gabby was telling me her secrets, and we were becoming friends. Words with Wings is certainly an excellent introduction to poetry that you can place in a child’s hands, but it’s more than that. With a minimum of words, Nikki Grimes delivers a vivid story with a lively, likeable main character. I was completely charmed. Ten of ten stars. (10★).

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