Stepping Out with Grandma Mac

writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
illus­trat­ed by Ange­lo
Orchard Books/Scholastic, 2001

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Stepping Out with Grandma Mac

From the Book

“Her cold words
used to make me shiv­er…
Then, after a while,
I’d notice how a light
Switch­es on in her eyes
Every time she sees me…
So I fig­ure
Grand­ma’s chilly words
Aren’t brick walls
Made to keep me out.
They’re more like pick­et fences
With gaps wide enough
For me to squeeze through—
All I have to do
Is try.”

from Step­ping Out with Grand­ma Mac
© 2001 by Nik­ki Grimes

Awards and Recognition

  • Notable Social Stud­ies Trade Book
  • Bank Street Col­lege Best Book of the Year
  • 100 Titles for Read­ing and Sharing
  • Junior Library Guild Selection



  There are no hugs and kiss­es … from Grand­ma Mac. Her words are cold and gruff, and they can hurt. But these poems in her 10-year-old grand­daugh­ter’s voice reveal how much the girl resem­bles her grand­moth­er: scrap­py and strong, adven­tur­ous and reserved, irri­ta­ble and inti­mate … The girl longs for Grand­ma … to touch her … all through the book there are images of hands. In one of the most beau­ti­ful poems, the girl secret­ly tries on Grand­ma’s gloves: ‘the fab­ric fingers/Worn and warm/All loy­al to the form/Of work-weary hands.’ By the last poem there is a sur­pris­ing dis­cov­ery as phys­i­cal and elo­quent as any lov­ing embrace. (Book­list, starred review)

A reward­ing poet­ry expe­ri­ence. (School Library Jour­nal)

Find this book at your favorite library or used bookseller.