A Dime a Dozen

writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
illus­trat­ed by Ange­lo
Dial Books, 1998

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A Dime a Dozen

An excerpt from the book:

“Writ­ers are a dime a dozen …
I heard those words one time too many
from my own moth­er …
But my heart script­ed one phrase truer:
Some­day she’ll be/ proud
To shout out loud
My daughter/ the Writer”

from A Dime a Dozen
©1998 by Nik­ki Grimes

Awards and Recognition

  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Bank Street Col­lege Chil­dren’s Book of the Year



Where do writ­ers come from? … Grimes traces her strug­gle to find her voice from an ear­ly age; short vers­es explore the pain and plea­sure of grow­ing up. Every­day events come to the fore — a game of hop­scotch, a stroll with her moth­er, play­ing gin rum­my — and help Grimes exam­ine how she fits in with her fam­i­ly and what val­ues they share … This slim vol­ume and its bit­ter­sweet entries will encour­age read­ers to locate and acknowl­edge the poet­ry in their own lives and to give voice to their own expe­ri­ences. (Kirkus Reviews)

Writ­ten in the first-per­son voice … these 28 poems cel­e­brate fam­i­ly, cul­ture, writ­ing, and the spir­it of a cre­ative, intro­spec­tive child. They should be read in the order in which they are arranged to appre­ci­ate the pow­er and over­all loose plot … A qui­et­ly pro­found, heart­felt work. (School Library Jour­nal)

As Lee Ben­nett Hop­kins did with his Been to Yes­ter­days, Grimes recounts the sto­ry of her child­hood through poet­ry … Free-flow­ing and very acces­si­ble, the poet­ry may inspire read­ers to dis­till their own life expe­ri­ences into pre­cise, imag­i­na­tive words and phras­es. (Book­list)

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