Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by 19 artists

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Amazon.com: Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance: 9781681199443:  Grimes, Nikki: Books
Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance – EyeSeeMe

Summary:  In this follow-up to One Last Word, Nikki Grimes focuses on the women poets of the Harlem Renaissance.  The book begins with an introduction to the history of the period and to the poetry form Grimes uses called The Golden Shovel, in which she uses the poems of others to inspire her own poetry.  The poems are presented in three sections: “Heritage”, “Earth Mother”, and “Taking Notice”.  They’re bookended with poems in the voice of a middle school girl, skeptical when her teacher hands her books on the women of the Harlem Renaissance, then empowered after she reads them.  Includes biographical information about the poets and the illustrators, sources, and an index.  144 pages; grades 5-9.

Pros:  Like One Last Word, this book is an amazing resource for learning about poets of the Harlem Renaissance, in this case women who have pretty much been forgotten.  The Golden Shovel seems incredibly difficult, but Nikki Grimes proves herself a master of the form. The artwork by so many different illustrators perfectly illuminates the poems.

Cons:  How did One Last Word not win any Coretta Scott King recognition?  I’m rooting for this book to remedy that.

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