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Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

Review

Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

When Tameeka shows up at school with a new pair of neat-looking high-top sneakers, Dyamonde Daniel really wants her own pair (in red of course, which is her favorite color). Tameeka instructs Dyamonde to simply tell her mother that she needs the sneakers. Tameeka tells her own mom what to do because “She’s my mom and it’s her job to get me whatever I need.”

So Dyamonde does just what Tameeka suggests: Dyamonde marches up to her mother and demands that she buy her a pair of red high-top sneakers. Unfortunately, Dyamonde’s method doesn’t go as planned. Instead of getting her the sneakers, her mom packs up nearly all of her clothes, leaving Dyamonde “almost zero” items in her closet: one pair of pajamas, a set of underclothes, one outfit, and one pair of shoes. That’s all the clothes her mom says she needs.

A few days later, an announcement is made at school that Isabel, a girl in Dyamonde’s class, has lost everything in a fire that swept through her apartment building. In hopes of being a positive influence, Dyamonde comes up with a way to help not only Isabel, but also her entire family --- by organizing a clothing drive. She learns valuable lessons about the difference between wants and needs, and about selfless giving and helping others in need.

ALMOST ZERO is the third installment in Nikki Grimes’s series, and I’m happy to report that she continues to meet and exceed my expectations. Even though I’m much older than the intended audience for these books, I still enjoy the storylines and Grimes’s writing style. Now the question becomes: When will book four be available?

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on October 28, 2010

Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book
written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

  • Publication Date: October 28, 2010
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
  • ISBN-10: 0399251774
  • ISBN-13: 9780399251771