Words with Wings is like a jewel box. Each free verse poem poses a thought, quandary, or observation and sparkles with precise word choice, exploration of emotion, irony, or contrast, and delightful metaphor. Each brief facet imaginatively unfolds this poignant story like a series of photographs, calling attention to important details otherwise unnoticed. Collectively these verses applaud teachers who recognize the value of imaginative thinkers, parents who learn the beauty of creative thinking, and children who dare to daydream for good. Grimes masterfully conveys big ideas with very few words. A rare gem.
Gabby's world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents' arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl's indomitable spirit, and of a teacher's ability to reach out and change a life.
Nikki Grimes has been awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award. Words with Wings has been named a 2014 ALSC Notable Children's Book in the middle readers category.
Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook "thick with daydreams," Gaby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.
When Gabby's parents separate, her tendency to daydream becomes essential to coping with life's difficuties, which only increase when she moves with her mother to a new home and a new school.