Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Review: The Watcher

The Watcher. Nikki Grimes. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. 2017. 42 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Premise/plot: The Watcher is a golden-shovel poem told in two voices. What is a golden shovel poem? It may be easier to show you. But essentially 'you take lines from an existing poem and create a new poem using the words from the original.'

Some days, even the ant towers over me, and I
cower in a forest of grass, waiting for the fear to lift
like fog, so I can be brave, rise up.
But the class bully growls my name, and I shiver in my
sneakers, feel the wet fill my eyes.
Then I remember how Mom told me to
roll my fear like a ball, toss it high in the
air where you can catch it, and fling it to the hills.

Wish I was some other Who, living where
stutterers aren't treated like spit. Does
that place even exist? No. So I switch off my
hearing when Grandma says to ask you for help.
If you care, maybe you can tell me how come
kids tease me into meanness I can't run from.

The narrators are Jordan and Tanya, classmates who appear to be as different as can be. What can these two ever have in common? How could they ever be friends? How could they be anything other than enemies? But the Lord works in mysterious ways. And his guidance leads these two together.

My thoughts: I really loved this one. I love Psalm 121. I love this form of poetry. The book is inspirational.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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