Book Review of the Middle-Grade read One Last Word by Nikki Grimes



Beautifully written and crafted. Thought provoking line by line. Here are a few lines from the poem, “On Bully Patrol” I wanted to comment on:

Worse yet–again, like–my child tarries
over each assigned task far too long,
ever seeking impossible perfection in
the doing of it. Never mind that the
symmetry she desires is beyond the human depth.
I sigh, recalling the ultimate value of
such doggedness, the strength implied, the
sturdy beauty of a stubborn seed.

I bet Grimes “tarried” over the task of writing this book. And how ever long it took her to accomplish this, thank you Ms. Grimes. Even though Grimes may feel it’s imperfections, I feel she achieved the “impossible perfection”. She was able to teach me, a Caucasian, the feelings of how an African American living in Harlem felt–“beyond human depth”. This book was probably her “stubborn seed” but I see the “sturdy beauty” of it.

This book will not be a read aloud for my 2017-2018 students. This book will serve as a mentor text. I can not wait to share and study the beauty of this book with my students.


Do I think it is a 2018 Newbery contender?  Yes

Is a contender as a read aloud for my 2017-2018 class?  No, because I will be using this a mentor text rather than a read aloud.


2 thoughts on “Book Review of the Middle-Grade read One Last Word by Nikki Grimes

  1. teacherolsen says:

    I am a fifth grade teacher and I would love to know how will you be using this as a mentor text in your classroom?

    • says:

      Maybe not as a mentor text per se, but I use popular songs to write metacognitive thoughts and understand the meaning. I usually try to find books during this time of year to summer that I will read aloud to my students the next year. I want to read this to my class, but if I simply read it aloud, many won’t get the meaning. I am going to use it as a text that we study the poetry just like I do the songs. I am not sure yet exactly how I am going to set it up yet.

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