Monday, August 25, 2014

Words With Wings - Audio Book Giveaway!

Congratulations to Sheri Levy who won an autographed copy of Lisa Kline's book, Eleanor Hill from last week's giveaway.  For those of you who didn't win last week, here's another chance!
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I've been a fan of Nikki Grimes' poetry ever since reading Bronx Masquerade; I love how she juxtaposes words and images. This is her second book I've read and once again, I enjoyed it a great deal. In this award-winning novel in verse, Grimes has written a tight story that will speak to readers, writers, and daydreamers of all ages.

Gabby is like her father - a dreamer who sees worlds inside everyday words. When she says a word such as sand, carousel, or roller coaster she immediately flies away from her school work or chores. 

After her parents split up, Gabby misses her father's comfort and empathy. Her mother decides they have to move across town and Gabby misses her neighborhood, best friend, and school:
Missing My Old School, 

My Old Life, My Old Family

Some days
sad is a word
I can't swallow.
It swells inside my throat
until it's stuck.
I hurry home from school
and beat Mom there.
The second she arrives, 
I crawl onto her lap
like when I was little.
She holds me, quiet,
and strokes my hair.
I stay there
til the sadness shrinks and I can breathe again. (p.33)

Daydreams are more than an escape from problems -- it's Gabby's way of thinking, breathing, and living. Here are a few of my favorite poems:

First Day


I duck down into the seat of my new class.
To these kids,
I’m not Gabby yet.
I’m just Shy Girl
Who Lives 
Inside Her Head.
No one even knocks 
on the door for a visit.
They don’t know
it’s beautiful 
in here. (p. 9)
Words with Wings


Some words 
sit still on the page
holding a story steady.
Those words 
never get me into trouble.
But other words have wings 
that wake my daydreams.
They fly in,
silent as sunrise,
tickle my imagination,
and carry my thoughts away.
I can’t help 
but buckle up 
for the ride! (p.11)

Maybe

Dad is a dreamer
And mom is a maker.
I’ve been thinking,
maybe
I can be both. (p.27)

Sled


Say "sled"
And my nose is cold and shiny
As the blades if the red racer I haul
To the top of the hill.
Then it’s down
Down
Down I go

careening through 
a lop-sided snow fort,
Waking the morning 
with laughter
steering straight 
into the sun.  (p.28)

Waterfall
Say "waterfall"
and the dreary winter rain
outside my classroom window
turns to liquid thunder,
pounding into a clear pool
miles below
and I can’t wait
to dive in.  (p. 30)
Gabby loves the places her daydreams take her--but her mother and teachers don't.
Stuck in Dreamland

Maybe something 
is wrong with me.
all this fancy dancing 
in my mind.
Where I see red and purple 
and bursts of blue,
everybody else sees 
black and white.
Am I wrong?
Are they right?
Too bad 
I can’t ask Dad. (p.38)

After hearing too many times that she needs to quit daydreaming, she resolves to stop. 
I quit

I pack my daydreams
kick them to a dark corner.
No more word journeys for me,
seeing what others don’t see. (p. 39)

When her new teacher confiscates one of her written daydreams, Gabby doesn't get into trouble as she expects. Instead, he proposes a solution that gives credence to all students' dreams and validates Gabby's aspirations.   
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Courtesy of Recorded Books, I am giving away this audio CD to one fortunate blog reader. Middle grade students in both the traditional classroom or homeschool will enjoy this book-and so will you!

Leave me a comment by 7PM on August 29th, along with your email address if you are new to this blog. If you want an extra chance to win, share this on your social media of choice and let me know which you do.