illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue
Dial Books for Young Readers, 1999
From the book
The game is/Seventeen to four
But scoring/Isn't why we run
And dribble/And jump
While some/Aim guns.
We hit/The hoops
And shoot/For fun.
from My Man Blue
© 1999 by Nikki Grimes
Teaching guides are available for this title.
"This against-the-odds book from Grimes...tells of an African-American boy living in a neighborhood that cuts him no slack, and the man who helps keep his feet grounded and his self-esteem steady against the occasional buffeting of his peers...an old friend of the mother's introduces himself: Blue, a rather steely character wrapped in shades and enigma. Damon (who has just lost his father) is wary of Blue; he gives the man a chance only when it becomes evident that Blue is not about to move in on Damon's home turf...Blue...offers advice of haiku-like simplicity...anger is a dangerous waste, fear useless unless subverted, men don't hit women...Lagarrigue's illustrations are brooding gardens of color...while Damon's cool earnestness...courage and independencebrighten each page." Kirkus, starred review
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