Grimes, Nikki. Words with Wings. Boyd's Mills/Word Song 2013 84p. $15.95 ISBN 978-1-59078-9985-8 elem/ms Conflict E-BN
For those who enjoy playing with words and seeing where words can take them, this book is a treasure. A novel in verse, the poems reveal the mystical, magical world in which Gabby lives. Since she was named for an angel, it is no wonder that Gabby’s thoughts gain wings and take flight. Her love of words and the meanings, sounds, images and feelings they evoke take the reader on an in-depth tour of Gabby’s hopes, fears and joys. Readers will savor the sound of words like “hush” and the images created by words like “dragon” and “sand”. Teachers could use this book with any age group from third grade on up through college level poetry classes as a springboard for a discussion of how to create poetry that documents a life event with carefully chosen words that recall the feelings, sounds or smells attached to it. Gabby finally finds a champion in a teacher who helps her learn how to focus when necessary but also to allow time for Gabby’s mental flights that can develop freely in quiet surroundings. This is a book to savor. The sparseness of words only deepens the reader’s appreciation for multiple award-winning Grimes’ linguistic talent. Kudos to the cover art that is a perfect depiction of Gabby’s mind.
Summary: Gabriella, named for the famous angel, often lets her mind take flight and gets into trouble for daydreaming. Her move to a new school after the divorce of her parents leaves her wondering if she will make new friends since she is so quiet. Gr. 3-9.
Moving house-Fiction, Novels in verse --Lois McNicol