Skip to main content

Rich: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

Review

Rich: A Dyamonde Daniel Book

written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

In this second installment of the Dyamonde Daniel series, author Nikki Grimes shares with us another one of Dyamonde’s adventures. Dynamic and outgoing, Dyamonde has a knack for finding treasures and making friends.

In this episode, Dyamonde takes her best friend, Free, to the secondhand store after Free complains he’s poor. He wants something that costs $100, but his parents can’t afford it as his dad just lost his job. Dyamonde tells him he’s not poor, but he just can’t buy everything he wants. Free finds that he has a lot to learn about poverty and treasures.

At first, Free is not too impressed with what he sees at the store. He asks, “Why would I want stuff other people threw away when I could buy something new?” Dyamonde responds, “…how do you know these things were thrown away?” She goes on to say, “It’s not just old stuff, Free. Everything has a story. That’s what makes it a treasure.” Dyamonde visits the store about once a week. On this trip, she finds a wooden box for her rock collection. Free, despite his initial reluctance, spots a big jar of marbles and is now hooked on finding treasures.

When their teacher announces that the local library is sponsoring a writing contest with a first place prize of $100, Free is quick to raise his hand for an entry form. So does Damaris, the quietest girl in the class. Dyamonde knows why Free wants to win the contest, but she isn’t sure about Damaris’s participation. In fact, she doesn’t know much about Damaris at all except that Damaris doesn’t eat anything at lunchtime. Dyamonde wants to find out why, along with where Damaris lives. Of course, Dyamonde is determined to learn Damaris’s story. And as she does, she also learns about homelessness and treasures of a different sort.

Damaris ends up writing a poem about home that redefines what “home” is, and Free pens one about nature. I won’t tell you who wins the writing contest; you’ll have to read the book to find that out.

This is a story about friendship, homelessness, poverty and being “rich” in things that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. Nikki Grimes’s writing style is fast-paced and dynamic, and her narrative rings true. I look forward to reading the next book in the Dyamonde Daniel series.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on September 16, 2010

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

  • Publication Date: April 4, 2017
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • ISBN-10: 0425288544
  • ISBN-13: 9780425288542