Nikki Grimes

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Nikki Grimes
Born (1950-10-20) October 20, 1950 (age 68)
New York City, New York
OccupationWriter, artist
PeriodTwentieth century
GenreChildren's picture books and novels
Notable worksBronx Masquerade
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
Danitra Brown
Notable awardsCoretta Scott King Award

Nikki Grimes (born October 20, 1950) is an American author of books written for children and young adults, as well as a poet and journalist.

Background and career[edit]

Grimes was born in New York City, New York. In a conversation with a Reading Is Fundamental interviewer, she stated: "Books were my survival tools. They were how I got by, and how I coped with things. Books carried me away."[1]

She has been a guest lecturer at international schools in Sweden, Tanzania, China, and Russia. She has written articles for magazines such as Today's Christian Woman and Essence. Her interests and talents are diverse and include photography, fiber art, and beading.

Grimes currently resides in Corona, California, and continues to write poetry and books for children and young adults. She is on the board of directors for the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance. Her work has earned her honors and recognition from a number of prestigious organizations.

Her novel Bronx Masquerade was named the Coretta Scott King Award book in 2002. The Coretta Scott King Award is "given to African-American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions."

In January 2017, she was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal. "The Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." [2] Following controversy surrounding Laura Ingalls Wilder's stereotypical portrayals of indigenous peoples and the subsequent changing of the medal's name, Grimes' work was criticized for alleged anti-semitism.[3]


Published works[edit]

  • From a Child's Heart (1993), illustrated by Brenda Joysmith
  • Meet Danitra Brown (1994), illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book)
  • Portrait of Mary (1994)
  • Come Sunday (1996), illustrated by Michael Bryant
  • Wild, Wild Hair (1997), illustrated by George Cephas Ford
  • Jazmin's Notebook (1998) (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book)
  • A Dime a Dozen (1998), illustrated by Angelo
  • My Man Blue (1999), illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue (Marion Vannett Ridgway Award)
  • Hopscotch Love (1999), illustrated by Melodye Benson Rosales
  • At Break of Day (1999), illustrated by Paul Morin
  • Aneesa Lee and the Weaver's Gift (2000), illustrated by Ashley Bryan
  • Shoe Magic (2001), illustrated by Terry Widener
  • A Pocketful of Poems (2001), illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
  • Stepping Out with Grandma Mac (2002), illustrated by Angelo
  • C is for City (2002), illustrated by Pat Cummings
  • When Daddy Prays (2002), illustrated by Tim Ladwig
  • Bronx Masquerade (2002), (Coretta Scott King Author Award) (Best Children's Book of 2002, Association of Theological Booksellers)
  • Talkin' About Bessie (2002), illustrated by E.B. Lewis (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Author Honor Book)
  • Tai Chi Morning (2004), illustrated by Ed Young
  • A Day with Daddy (2004), illustrated by Nicole Tadgell
  • What is Goodbye? (2004), illustrated by Raul Colón (ALA Notable Book)
  • It's Raining Laughter, photographs by Myles C. Pinkney
  • At Jerusalem's Gate, illustrated by David Frampton
  • Danitra Brown, Class Clown (2005), illustrated by E.B. Lewis
  • One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance (2017), illustrated by Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, etc.
  • Dark Sons (2005), (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book)
  • Thanks a Million (2006), illustrated by Cozbi A. Carrera
  • Welcome, Precious (2006), illustrated by Bryan Collier
  • The Road to Paris (2006), (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book)
  • When Gorilla Goes Walking (2007), illustrate by Shane Evans
  • Oh, Brother! (2007), illustrated by Mike Benny
  • Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (2008), illustrated by Bryan Collier (NY Times Bestseller)
  • Out of the Dark: Nikki Grimes, Author at Work (2009)
  • Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (2009), illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  • Rich: a Dyamonde Daniel Book (2009), illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  • Voices of Christmas (2009), illustrated by Eric Velasquez
  • A Girl Named Mister (2010)
  • Almost Zero: a Dyamonde Daniel Book (2010), illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  • Planet Middle School (2011)
  • "First Day" (unknown)
  • Words with Wings, (2013), Coretta Scott King honor book
  • "Garvey's Choice", (2016) Laura Ingall Wilder Award
  • "One Last Word", (2017)
  • "The Watcher", (2017), illustrated by Bryan Collier

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1993 NAACP Image Award Finalist for Malcolm X: a Force for Change
  • 2003 Coretta Scott King Author Award
  • 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children
  • 2011 Horace Mann Upstanders Award for Almost Zero: a Dyamonde Daniel Book
  • 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literacy Award
  • 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal


  1. ^ "Nikki Grimes - Author", Reading is Fundamental.
  2. ^ admin (1999-11-30). "Welcome to the (Laura Ingalls) Wilder Award home page!". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  3. ^ "As Literary Award Changes Its Name to Escape Allegations of Racism, Instances of Anti-Semitism Go Unnoticed – Tablet Magazine". Retrieved 2018-07-10.

External links[edit]