The Road to Paris

writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
Put­nam Juve­nile, 2006

Buy this book:

nar­rat­ed by Myra Lucre­tia Taylor

The Road to Paris

From the Book

“Some­times I wish I was like my name, thought Paris, some­where far away, out of reach. Some­where safe down south or on the oth­er side of the ocean. Instead, she was nei­ther Paris nor Rich­mond. She felt like a nobody caught in the dark spaces in between. A nobody on her way to nowhere.”

from The Road to Paris
© 2006 by Nik­ki Grimes

About the Book

Paris has just moved in with the Lin­coln fam­i­ly, and isn’t thrilled to be in yet anoth­er fos­ter home. She has a tough time trust­ing peo­ple, and she miss­es her broth­er, who’s been sent to a boys’ home. Over time, the Lin­colns grow on Paris. But no mat­ter how hard she tries to fit in, she can’t ignore the feel­ing that she nev­er will, espe­cial­ly in a town that’s most­ly white while she is half black. It isn’t long before Paris has a big deci­sion to make about where she tru­ly belongs.

Awards and Recognition

  • Nom­i­nat­ed for the 2009–2010 Nebras­ka Gold­en Sow­er Award, Inter­me­di­ate division
  • Sasquatch Read­ing Award List, spon­sored by the Wash­ing­ton Library Media Association
  • 2007 Coret­ta Scott King Author Hon­or Book
  • Book­list, starred review
  • 100 Titles for Read­ing and Sharing
  • 2006 Book­list Editors’Choice
  • Wom­en’s Nation­al Book Asso­ci­a­tion, Judy Lopez Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion Award



  In clear short chap­ters, Grimes tells a beau­ti­ful sto­ry of fam­i­ly, friend­ship, and faith from the view­point of a child in search of home in a harsh world. Nine-year-old Paris’ clos­est bond is with her old­er broth­er, Mal­colm, who pro­tects her when their alco­holic moth­er has no use for them and when they flee their abu­sive fos­ter home. Then Paris is placed in a lov­ing fos­ter fam­i­ly, but the price is sep­a­ra­tion from Mal­colm. What is more, as a bira­cial kid in a main­ly white neigh­bor­hood, it’s dif­fi­cult for her to find a friend, and the racism is ugly. Her fos­ter broth­er tells her to keep God in her pock­et, some­thing she nev­er for­gets, even when she must leave because her birth moth­er wants “to give this fam­i­ly thing anoth­er go.” The big upheavals are qui­et­ly told; and although God is Paris’ sup­port, the reli­gion is not didac­tic. The fos­ter fam­i­ly is kind but nev­er ide­al­ized, just as Paris’ birth moth­er is not demo­nized. In one hilar­i­ous scene, Paris tricks the self-impor­tant ther­a­pist, and it is the human sto­ry behind the case file that read­ers will remem­ber. (Hazel Rochman, Book­list, starred review)

Buy this book:

nar­rat­ed by Myra Lucre­tia Taylor