Friday, June 12, 2020


One of My Favorite Books
OH, BROTHER! by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Mike Benny

Students - Today the Poetry Friday Community celebrates Nikki Grimes. I feel fortunate to have had Nikki's books in my life, starting with delightful poetry picture book MEET DANITRA BROWN back when I was a new teacher to her most recent and highly acclaimed memoir ORDINARY HAZARDS.

OH, BROTHER! has been one of my favorite books for years, and I have mentioned it several times in this space. This poetry picture book tells the story of two boys, Chris and Xavier, whose parents marry. It takes a bit of time for them to feel like brothers - not just stepbrothers - and Nikki's wise, honest, visual poems help readers understand how trust takes time. It is difficult to read OH, BROTHER! without tearing up with both sad and beauty-loving tears.

Congatulations, Nikki, on your recent - and numerous - awards. We are grateful for your work and words.

Nikki Grimes

Nikki's poems and books have given much to many, and you can learn more about her writing and her life all over the internet...but here are a few places to begin:

Today is the final day, Day 72, of my Keeping a Notebook notebooking series for the COVID-19 Spring of 2020. If you joined me for any of these videos, I thank you for journeying along. Should students be home from school come fall, I will think of something to offer. My hat is off to all teachers. May your summer days be restful!

Enjoy this week's Poetry Friday roundup, an everywhere-celebration of Nikki Grimes and her work, hosted by Irene at Live Your Poem. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you 


  1. Dear Amy, may YOUR summer be restful after all you've given during this time! I, too, and a fan of OH BROTHER! as you know. Thank you for sharing it here today. I've lived your "Oh, Book!" poem, too. Many times! xo

  2. Amy, I adore this poem. It’s a beautiful experience book lovers have. I will miss your daily writing chats! Thank you for sharing them. Hugs~ Amy

  3. What a wonderful journey in this poem! Books really do feel like this.

  4. Dear Amy,
    What a treat it has been journeying with YOU through these months. Thank you so much for your heartfelt joy evident daily--for writing, for reading, for nature, for family. #KeepingANotebook has been a safe harbor in stormy seas. I will miss checking in with you daily. Wishing you all the best for a restful summer.

  5. You've given so much to teachers & their students this year, Amy. Among all the writing & sharing, I imagine each one now has this same feeling when reading a book. I gave this book to a parent friend years ago who had recently re-married and now there were stepsons. I'm glad you reminded me because I had forgotten about it. Thanks for all your beautiful, creative work.

  6. This poem has been ME so many times in my life!

    Echoing everyone's thanks for the "safe harbor" of your voice and Betsy the Writing Camper through this spring and early summer. Your gift to writers everywhere...simply amazing.

  7. Amy, you deserve a break after all those days in the camper writing with kids. This is one of Nikki's books that I don't know, so I'll put it in my art. We all know those books that we are sad to leave behind. The characters become friends. Their world a place we want to be.

  8. Amy, thank you for your videos from Betsy. She was a cozy place to call your teaching home each day. While I did not see all the videos, I did appreciate the ones I listened to. Thank you also for a Nikki poem that I had not heard before.

  9. Thanks for sharing Nikki's book "Oh Brother," I'm looking forward to reading it. What fun the "oh" journeyed you on… and right into a book and story. And I agree with all here, yes it's hard to leave at a books end… Thanks for your wonder-filled poem and days with Betsy! xo

  10. You gave such a gift to educators and kids this past few months, Amy! Here's hoping for a bit of relaxation now!

  11. Thank you for another beautiful post, and for all the ways you've helped teachers through this difficult time.