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Capturing the shock and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of Garvey, a beloved character, Nikki Grimes’s newest novel in verse shows readers how to find hope in difficult times.
Garvey’s finally happy—he’s feeling close to his father through their shared love of music, bullies are no longer tormenting him, and his best friends Manny and Joe are by his side. But when the schools, stores, and restaurants close because people are getting sick, Garvey’s improved life goes into lockdown as well. And when Garvey’s father gets sick, Garvey must find a way to use his newfound musical skills to bring hope to both his father and himself. Moving, powerful, and beautifully told, this remarkable novel shows readers how even small acts have large reverberations, how every person can make a difference in this world, and how—even in the most difficult times—there are ways to reach for hope and healing.
Nikki Grimes is a New York Times bestselling author who has won the ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature, the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She has also received several ALSC Notables, a Coretta Scott King Author Award, Coretta Scott King Author Honors, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors, a Printz Honor, and a Sibert Honor.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the ALA Children’s Literature Legacy Award, the ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her books include her critically acclaimed memoir in verse Ordinary Hazards as well as picture books Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice and Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. She won the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade and earned a Coretta Scott King Author Honor five times—for Words with Wings, Jazmin's Notebook, Dark Sons, Talkin’ About Bessie, and The Road to Paris. Visit nikkigrimes.com.
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) Best Book of 2022
"Garvey in the Dark is more than a beautifully crafted novel in verse. It’s a story that faces news headlines and captures the wild emotional roller coaster of the COVID-19 pandemic with honesty and courage. A must-read for young people who lived through the early days of the outbreak as well as those who will be curious about it in years to come." —Kate Messner, New York Times bestselling author
“Few things could induce me to relive the first years of the pandemic; the invitation to read a spectacular book by Nikki Grimes is one of them. With deceptive simplicity, Grimes captures characters and emotions by wielding a poetic form—the tanka—with superb and superhuman strength, and the result is a beautiful and brilliant book about how faith, grace, and familial love can help us triumph over adversity. In Garvey, a gentle and thoughtful musician, Grimes has created an alternative male role model, whose heroism lies in kindness. If you’re already a friend of Garvey’s you will surely rejoice in this reunion and if you haven’t met him yet, here’s your chance! This sequel is as much a triumph as Garvey’s Choice—a stunning example of how much can be accomplished with few words in the hands of a masterful poet.” —Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home
★ “What kids in school had to go through – seeing their parents scared and/sick, missing their friends, and watching the world fall to complete disarray – is an almost impossible scenario, and Nikki Grimes captures it in well-written, poignant poetry. She uses the tanka form, crafting Garvey’s emotional journey from happiness, doubt, frustration, desperation, and near grief into crisp stanzas, articulating all of his feelings with short, well-placed phrases of dialogue.” —Youth Services Book Review, starred review
“With poignant clarity and in elegant verse, Grimes calls up the confusion, hope, and fear of the beginning of the pandemic…this offers a compelling chance to reflect on the discomfort of living through what will surely become fraught history.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[A] moving reflection on our recent past and the ongoing pandemic. Grimes, with her characteristic graceful, emotive poetry, incisively captures the uncertainty, exhaustion, fear, and isolation of the era. Top-notch writing with wide appeal. A hopeful tool for processing the pandemic, which has occupied a significant portion of students’ young lives.” —School Library Journal
"Grimes conveys many of the elements specific to Black life in 2020, focusing on how families adapted to Covid, not knowing whether a lasting resolution would arrive. [T]his story...tackles themes of family, friendship, grief, and coping with injustice and will inspire dialogue about this chaotic period as well as a sense of hope and healing. A way for young people to reflect on a troubled time." —Kirkus Reviews
"Written in sequences of five-line tanka poems, a haiku-like form, this verse novel transports readers back to the early pandemic months through Garvey’s experiences. The poems vividly express his thoughts and emotions as he, his family, and his friends deal with unwanted changes in their lives as well as the underlying dread of COVID-19. This engaging sequel will resonate with many readers." —Booklist