by Nikki Grimes
Novel in verse
Interest level: grades 3-6
Reading level: 4.3
Coretta Scott King Author Honor, 2014
Young Hoosier Book Award nominee, 2016-2017
5 out of 5 stars
This novel in verse would make a wonderful classroom read aloud. It is shorter in length, with easily understood poems that come together to tell the story of Gabby. Gabby is a daydreamer who is struggling to cope with her parents’ divorce and moving to a new school.
Gabby originally began daydreaming to escape her parents’ arguing, but it starts to take over much of her life, taking the place of being mentally present in class, making real friends, and sharing life with her mother, who is less than understanding. Luckily, at Gabby’s new school, her teacher tries to understand Gabby and her daydreams, and helps design a classroom environment that will help her succeed in school and life.
The short free verse poems, switch between telling the current story, as well as letting us join Gabby in some of her daydreams. This would be a great mentor text for a free verse poetry unity about memories and everyday life, but it also can help children understand feelings associated with divorce. The teacher is also very inspirational and it is nice to acknowledge non-traditional thinking students.