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Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

Review

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

“Dyamonde Daniel was a gem waiting to be discovered. Just ask her.” So begins this delightful tale about this smart, friendly, confident girl. Dyamonde (pronounced “Diamond”) has a head full of “wild-crazy” hair and is “skinnier than half a toothpick,” but on the inside “she was extraordinary.”

Dyamonde is also new to her school, and despite her obvious intelligence and outgoing personality, she has yet to find a new best friend. Sure, Tanya, Tylisha and Tameeka (a group of girls Dyamonde refers to as the “Three T’s”) are nice enough to her, but she just doesn’t fit in with their little social group.

Reed Freeman, who calls himself “Free” for short, is also a newcomer at the school. He doesn’t have any new friends either, but that’s because he’s so mean to everyone. He walks around all the time with his head down. If anyone speaks to him, he either ignores them, growls at them, or simply glares at them. He keeps to himself and doesn’t want to socialize with other students.

Dyamonde doesn’t like Free’s attitude. One day during lunch, when Free is picking on a smaller kid in the lunchroom for no good reason, Dyamonde decides to confront him. She walks right up to him and asks, “What is your problem?” Free is startled by her question and responds, “Who says I got a problem?” Dyamonde reads him the riot act about the way he has been treating the boy. She demands that Free apologize to him, which he does.

But that’s not good enough for Dyamonde. She keeps an eye on Free after that. Every time he growls at someone, she glares at him. Whenever he yells at someone, she steps in front of him and stares him down until he apologizes. After a few days of this, Free does his best to avoid everyone, especially Dyamonde.

However, Dyamonde is not one to be deterred. Instead of waiting for another confrontation between Free and some other kid, she decides to just talk to him. During the course of several conversations, the first of which takes place during lunch period, she learns about Free and why he acts the way he does.

MAKE WAY FOR DYAMONDE DANIEL by award-winning author Nikki Grimes is the first in a new series that will feature Dyamonde Daniel. So if you love this character as I do, you’ll look forward to reading about her in future books.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on March 4, 2010

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel
written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

  • Publication Date: March 4, 2010
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • ISBN-10: 0142415553
  • ISBN-13: 9780142415559