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My Man Blue (Picture Books)

My Man Blue - Nikki Grimes, Jerome Lagarrigue 9/6/13 ** I've been reading 1-2 poems at the very end of the school day to my fourth graders. This has been a very popular selection for free choice reading since I've started it. Thank you Ms. Grimes for a variety of poems that hang together with a narrative arc, provide a range of topics that many kids can "enter the book through," and that help us think of the world through others' eyes.

1/2/13 ** Had the privilege of hearing Nikki Grimes speak at a conference in July 2012 where she performed several poems from this book. So energizing.

A mother and her son move to a new place and are greeted by Blue. The boy is immediately leery, saying...

"Why'd you want my friendship, Blue?"
I blurt out there and then.
"I had a son named Zeke," Blue says.
"These streets became his friend.

"He needed me but by the time
I came, it was too late.
He'd passed the point of trusting his
old man to steer him straight.

"Your missing daddy also left
a hole in you," says Blue.
"If friendship fills it, there's less chance
the streets will eat you."

A beautiful reminder of the ways in which family members don't need to have blood connections.