The Watcher

By: Nikki Grimes

Illustrator: Bryan Collier

Nikki Grimes takes the words of a comforting psalm and masterfully transforms them into a tale of compassion, friendship, and faith.

ISBN: 9780802854452

JLG Release: Jan 2018


Sensitive Areas: Bullying

$15.80  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Picture Books

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Book List*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Drawing from Psalm 121, Grimes weaves a dual narrative around two young classmates using the Golden Shovel format. (Each poem uses the words of one line of the original psalm as its ending words.) Jordan makes good choices despite a meek and downtrodden nature. Tanya acts like a bully, her hostility rooted in self-consciousness about stuttering and Drawing from Psalm 121, Grimes weaves a dual narrative around two young classmates using the Golden Shovel format. (Each poem uses the words of one line of the original psalm as its ending words.) Jordan makes good choices despite a meek and downtrodden nature. Tanya acts like a bully, her hostility rooted in self-consciousness about stuttering and academic struggles. Both are encouraged by family members to turn to God, who is always watching over them. The message is heavy at times: “where/stutterers aren’t treated like spit.” But Grimes’s skillful use of enjambment keeps the verse fresh. The text is also a valuable study in perspective, offering insight into the character’s motivations and fears. Both gravitate to an aptly named new student, “Israel.” Soon after, the speakers are brought together by Jordan’s commitment to choose kindness and Tanya’s willingness to change. Grimes ends with a brief explanation and encourages young readers to try their hands at this poetry form. Collier’s mixed-media illustrations accompany the text, incorporating paintings and also photographs of real New York City students. VERDICT A strong portrayal of pious characteristics to foster empathy in kids; a fine addition to religious-themed poetry collections. —Maria O’Toole, Carroll Manor Elementary School, Adamstown, MD

Book Details

ISBN

9780802854452

First Release

January 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

10" x 10"

Page Count

42

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.3; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 700L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Eerdmans

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Bullying

Topics


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