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The Resource The watcher, written by Nikki Grimes ; illustrated by Bryan Collier

The watcher, written by Nikki Grimes ; illustrated by Bryan Collier

Label
The watcher
Title
The watcher
Statement of responsibility
written by Nikki Grimes ; illustrated by Bryan Collier
Creator
Contributor
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A poetic story inspired by Psalm 121. Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another
Review
  • Gr 3–5—Drawing from Psalm 121, Grimes weaves a dual narrative around two young classmates using the Golden Shovel format. (Each poem uses the words of one line of the original psalm as its ending words.) Jordan makes good choices despite a meek and downtrodden nature. Tanya acts like a bully, her hostility rooted in self-consciousness about stuttering and academic struggles. Both are encouraged by family members to turn to God, who is always watching over them. The message is heavy at times: "where/stutterers aren't treated like spit." But Grimes's skillful use of enjambment keeps the verse fresh. The text is also a valuable study in perspective, offering insight into the character's motivations and fears. Both gravitate to an aptly named new student, "Israel." Soon after, the speakers are brought together by Jordan's commitment to choose kindness and Tanya's willingness to change. Grimes ends with a brief explanation and encourages young readers to try their hands at this poetry form. Collier's mixed-media illustrations accompany the text, incorporating paintings and also photographs of real New York City students. VERDICT A strong portrayal of pious characteristics to foster empathy in kids; a fine addition to religious-themed poetry collections.—Maria O'Toole, Carroll Manor Elementary School, Adamstown, MD --Maria O'Toole (Reviewed 10/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 10, p122)
  • /* Starred Review */ Drawing on Psalm 121 and a poetic technique called the Golden Shovel, Grimes creates a cycle of poems about two children, Jordan and Tanya, who become friends through their intense faith and the arrival of a new classmate. As the poems alternate between the children’s observations and pleas to God, readers learn that Tanya, who stutters and feels that other children “tease me into meanness,” bullies Jordan relentlessly. Jordan, sensing Tanya’s literal and emotional hunger, reaches out to her. The Golden Shovel form uses the words from the source poem to conclude lines in the new poem. Thus, “your coming and going” from verse eight of the psalm turns into Jordan’s thoughts on the children’s budding friendship: “Tanya’s attendance is perfect at dinnertime. ‘Your/ mom’s a good cook’ is her excuse for coming/ over every other day. But I don’t mind, and/ Mom’s glad to see how strong this friendship is going.” The language, by turns soaring and searing, requires close attention, but its beauty is brought to earth in the best way by Collier’s resonant photo-collages of schoolchildren. Ages 6–10. Illustrator’s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed 09/11/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 37, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ When the chaos of life threatens to overtake your soul, a simple psalm can soothe you. In this picture book, Wilder Award-winning author Grimes delivers a compact yet powerful message of hope and encouragement based on Psalm 121. Short poems energized with kindness, despair, hope, regret, and acceptance are delivered using a style she describes in the back of the book as "the golden shovel," a form she also used in One Last Word (2017). Grimes defines this form as using a portion of an existing poem and arranging it in such a way that the end words of each line form a short sentence from the original poem. Using the words from the psalm, woven with carefully crafted words of her own, she tells the story of Jordan and Tanya, two elementary school children struggling with fitting in, trying to survive. Tanya, a black girl, stutters and compensates with meanness; while Jordan, a shy and quiet white boy, just wants to make a friend. Tanya feels the constant brunt of others' lack of compassion and directs that anger toward Jordan. Collier's exquisite artwork combines soft, delicate brush strokes with lively photo collages. The effect is both hyper-realistic and gauzily surreal, a perfect complement to Grimes' poems. A sumptuous work filled with a deliciously wrapped center—perfect for classrooms, school, public, or church libraries, or home: wherever hearts go for mending. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)(Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2017)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10809940
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Grimes, Nikki
Dewey number
811/.6
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
700L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
LG
LC call number
PS3557.R489982
LC item number
W38 2017
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 3
  • 5
Reading level
4.3
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Collier, Bryan
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Compassion
  • Friendship
  • Bullies
  • Christian poetry, American
  • Compassion
  • Friendship
  • Bullies
  • Christian poetry, American
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Christian / Friendship
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
  • Bullies
  • Christian poetry, American
  • Compassion
  • Friendship
Target audience
juvenile
Label
The watcher, written by Nikki Grimes ; illustrated by Bryan Collier
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
1903577
Dimensions
26 cm
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780802854452
Lccn
2017000206
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780802854452
  • (OCoLC)987796301
Label
The watcher, written by Nikki Grimes ; illustrated by Bryan Collier
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
1903577
Dimensions
26 cm
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780802854452
Lccn
2017000206
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780802854452
  • (OCoLC)987796301

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Cepeda BranchBorrow it
      651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2590471 -97.7088905
    • North Village BranchBorrow it
      2505 Steck Ave, Austin, TX, 78757, US
      30.362144 -97.7305032
    • St. John BranchBorrow it
      7500 Blessing Ave., Austin, TX, 78752, US
      30.3328231 -97.6937014
    • Twin Oaks BranchBorrow it
      1800 S. Fifth St., Austin, TX, 78704, US
      30.2486884 -97.76239749999999
    • University Hills BranchBorrow it
      4701 Loyola Ln., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3093017 -97.6664785
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