From fledgling foster care child to an amazing author, Nikki Grimes for the win!
Once an orphan in foster care, now an inspiring author, Nikki Grimes started out from a simple start. She radiates hope and imagination to children, especially children she used to be like. She encourages children to follow their hearts and be who they want to be and not let anyone get in the way of that.
Nikki Grimes was born to a mother who was an alcoholic and fought mental illnesses. Her father was a musician and encouraged Nikki to be artistic and creative. A little while after that she was placed in foster care. Foster care is a system in which the child’s parents are unable to care for them for whatever reason, and the children are temporarily placed into another adult care. Usually, when children are placed in foster care, it is due to abuse or neglect from the child’s parent.
Due to the fact that she moved from guardian to guardian, friendships weren’t easy to make. There was one thing that made her happy. Books. Literature gave her solace. The thing she didn’t like about books; however, was that in all the books that she read, nothing bad ever happened to the characters.
They went through no loss and led happy, hopeful, heartfelt lives. She was inspired to write a poem, in which the characters go through what happens in real life, in reality. Nikki was six years old. She said she wanted to grow up to become a writer, but her mother turned her away. She said that writers were worth a “dime a dozen.” and she was also told by her neighbors that writers don’t come from around her. Since that experience, Nikki Grimes has been following her heart and ended up in the profession she wanted to be in. She also published a book called “A Dime a Dozen” after what happened with her mom.
As she grew up, she often found inspiration while traveling."When all you see is your immediate surroundings, your sense of what's possible is severely limited." Nikki said. One of Grime’s books,” Is it far to Zanzibar?” is based on Nikki’s voyage to Tanzania and her time in China led to her writing a book called” Tai Chi Morning: Snapshots of China.”
Although Nikki Grimes is a great author, there is one special element that makes her writing distinguishable from others: she faces topics like that adults tend to shy away from. She accepts the fact that some of her young readers are going through the challenges in her books. She mainly writes about her life and what it was like growing up in New York City as an African American girl.
During an interview, Nikki was asked why she writes for teens. ‘’I see myself as service-oriented and I see certain gaps in the literature, stories that need to be told.’’ Those stories are topics like divorce and bullying. Grimes’s books show how the characters deal with them, so maybe her readers could use those strategies too.
Apart from writing books, Nikki has co-produced the radio show for children: “The Kid’s Show.” Nikki is a great artist, who also watercolors and sketches. Even with her clothes, she is a beautiful piece of art herself.
Nikki started from a simple beginning and so many things tried to stop her from pursuing her dream job, but did she ever decide to quit, to give up or to throw it all away because it was too hard? Not at all.
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