What is Goodbye? by Nikki Grimes

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Jerilyn and Jesse have lost their beloved older brother. But each of them deals with Jaron's death differently. Jerilyn tries to keep it in and hold it together; Jesse acts out. But after a year of anger, pain, and guilt, they come to understand that it's time to move on. It's time for a new family picture-with one piece missing, yet whole again. Through the alternating voices of a brother and sister, Nikki Grimes eloquently portrays the grieving process in this gem of a book that is honest, powerful, and ultimately hopeful. Nikki Grimes is the distinguished author of more than two-dozen children's books. She received the 2003 Coretta Scott King Award for her novel Bronx Masquerade and a 2003 Coretta Scott King Honor citation for Talkin' About Bessie. Many of her books have been cited as Notable Books by the American Library Association, including Come Sunday, a picture book in verse; Something on My Mind; and Meet Danitra Brown, which also won a Coretta Scott King Honor. She lives in southern California.

About Nikki Grimes

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Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. She began writing poetry at age six and is well-known for writing award-winning books primarily for children and young adults. Bronx Masquerade and Talkin' About Bessie both won Coretta Scott King Awards, and her poetry collections featuring Danitra Brown are very popular. Grimes received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 2006. She has written articles for magazines including Essence and Today's Christian Woman, as well as hosted radio programs in New York and Sweden. She has lectured and read her poetry at schools in Russia, China, Sweden, and Tanzania. Grimes is also a prolific artist, creating works of fiber art, beaded jewelry, peyote beading, handmade cards, and photography. Raul Colon has illustrated several highly acclaimed picture books, including the "New York Times" bestselling "Angela and the Baby Jesus" by Frank McCourt, Susanna Reich's "Jose! Born to Dance", and Jill Biden's "Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops".""Mr. Colon lived in Puerto Rico as a young boy and now resides in New City, New York, with his family.
Published April 1, 2004 by Disney-Hyperion. 64 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The unimaginably painful situation of losing a sibling is the theme of this poetry collection, told in alternating viewpoints by a younger brother and sister in the year after their older brother’s sudden death from an unspecified cause.

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Publishers Weekly

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In the excellent juxtaposition for "His Name," Jesse uses a flurry of words ("Mommy won't say Jaron's name/ so I write it everywhere/ on the walls, my book, his chair"), while Jerilyn contrasts the meaning of Jaron's name ("to sing") with the silence since he's been gone.

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