Joylin is not a girly girl, but middle school has her trying out skirts and heels that just don’t feel right to this basketball-lover. She doesn’t understand the new feelings she’s experiencing, and the poems in Planet Middle School pour out pure and effortlessly. As Joylin navigates her changing body and emotions, she also grows in self-acceptance and how to be who she is, even though she’s changed.
Nikki Grimes has written a spot-on book about girls and middle school, and her poetry draws the reader close to the heart of the book. Find discussion questions to ponder and have students write their book responses in poetry, using Grimes’ style as a model. Read this blog interview with Grimes to find a great writing exercise for children.