Ordinary Hazards

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Nikki Grimes did not have an idyllic childhood. Her mother was mentally ill and an alcoholic to boot. She often went off her medications. Although a loving man, Nikki’s father divorced from her mother and wasn’t around much. She and her sister Carol were in an out of foster homes and finally in separate foster homes. It was there that Nikki found stability and safety. But it didn’t last very long. Her mother got the girls back, and there was a stepfather. Nikki’s adolescence was filled with uncertainty, abuse, deprivation, and, fortunately, great strength of character and a few heroes who helped her through it.

This free verse memoir is astonishingly beautiful in spite of the difficult subject matter. Grimes’ lyrical language will carry readers along on her journey through this time in her life, and it will often surprise them. “As I walked out of the door, / I dried my eyes / so Grandma could clearly see / my hatred.” Even if one isn’t a fan of memoirs or poetry, this book is so powerful and beautiful that it demands to be widely read. Readers, particularly young adults, will find great hope and optimism in Nikki’s story. Don’t miss this incredible book.

Reviewed By:

Author Nikki Grimes
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher WordSong 
Publish Date 2019-10-08
ISBN 9781629798813
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2019
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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