Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel
by Grimes, Nikki; Christie, R. Gregory (ILT)

Happiness follows Dyamonde Daniel wherever she goes and so fitting into her new neighborhood and school will be no problem for her, but when she meets another new student at school with a grumpy disposition, Dyamonde is determined to find a way to cheer him up and become his friend.

Nikki Grimes is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of dozens of children's and young adult books as well as a poet and journalist.
Among the many accolades she has received are the Golden Dolphin Award (2005),the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children (2006), the Coretta Scott King Award (2003) for Bronx Masquerade, and the Horace Mann Upstanders Award (2011) for Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book. Additionally, her book Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (illustrated by Bryan Collier) was a New York Times bestseller, and she was acknowledged as an NAACP Image Award Finalist in 1993 for her book Malcolm X: a Force for Change. Her books Meet Danitra Brown (illustrated by Floyd Cooper), Jazmin's NotebookTalkin' About Bessie (illustrated by E.B. Lewis), Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings were each awarded Coretta Scott King Honors. Visit her online at

Smart, confident Dyamonde sits in her third-grade classroom and wonders why she's been at her new school for weeks and still doesn't have a best friend. In walks Free, a new student who's so withdrawn and irritable that Dyamonde secretly names him Rude Boy. When plucky Dyamonde challenges Free, he begins to open up and slowly becomes a friend. Any child who is a "new kid" could benefit from contrasting the two main characters: Free tends to look backward to his old life and inward to his emotions, while Dyamonde looks forward to a new best friend and outward to the people and possibilities of her new neighborhood. Clean, direct prose and strong, clear characterizations make this an appealing early chapter book, while Christie's stylized, dynamic drawings give it a fresh look. A welcome addition to the steadily growing list of beginning chapter books with African American protagonists, this is a promising start for the Dyamonde Daniel series. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Third grader Dyamonde Daniel, transplanted from Brooklyn to Washington Heights because of her parents' divorce, is looking for a best friend. She is smart in school, especially when it comes to numbers, and sometimes her bravado makes her seem cocky. Deep down, Dyamonde is like most other kids: She wants a friend and she wants to belong. But as her new friend Free, also newly relocated because of family issues, says, "Wow! You're amazing....You really don't care what people think." He hides his fondness for reading from the other children and is grouchy and belligerent to the little kids until Dyamonde calls him on his attitude, cementing their friendship. City youngsters will welcome a story set in their world-the world of small businesses, nosy old folks, small apartments and people from many cultures, and new readers will welcome the familiar situations, large font and ample white space. Gregory's familiar black-and-white sketches add a hip, urban feel to the tale. Here's hoping this series kick-off leads to many more stories about best friends Dyamonde and Free. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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