words that can carry me away

Story of day dreaming Gabriella trying to navigate her parents separation, a new school, and being an outsider because of her constant daydreaming. The story is told through poems, some insightful and some laughably grandiose, in the way that children can think and dream! 

This book is for elementary aged students, it being made of poems makes it easier for younger students to read it, but its themes would make it appropriate for older students as well. Grimes has done it again! I LOVED it. 

 These were my favorite:

"Summer Shift" 
We packed our bags in June,
I braced for a summer
of impossible good-byes,
and the dread
of living without friends
ever again.
To chase away the fear,
I flipped through a dictionary,
plucked out the word hush
and thought about
the whisper of wind
rustling through leaves.
come next autumn,
and the silence of their falling.
Then I jumped onto
a soft deep pile of them,
grabbed an armful
of red, gold, and
burnt-orange beauties,
tossed them into the air, 
and I was all right again,
for a while,
and I went back to packing
for the move. 
--Nikki Grimes, Words with Wings

"Getting Started"
Say "fly,"
and I go back to the 
first daydream
that saved me.
I remember
there were screams,
a plate crashing
to the kitchen floor;
and angry words
ripping the air.
I pulled the pillow
over my head,
dove deeper under the covers.
Still, I could hear the awful sound
of their raised voices.
"Lalalalalala," I said aloud.
Still, I could hear them.
If only I could fly, I thought.
If I could fly, fly, fly away.
I'd go to the window,
step out on the ledge,
spread my wings and fly away
high above the city,
higher than the clouds.
I'd fly straight to Virginia,
fly to Great-Grandma's house.
I'd land on the porch,
hop on her swing,
and listen to her hum,
hum, humming to me.
And just then,
I could almost hear
Great-Grandma's hum,
could almost feel the gentle sway
of the porch swing.
And for a few moments,
I forgot
my parents fighting. 
The word fly
had set me free, 
and I wondered,
Are there any other words
that can carry me away?
--Nikki Grimes, Words with Wings


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