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Nathaniel Talking
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Nathaniel Talking

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In brief poems, a nine-year-old boy shares his views on his mother's death, knowledge, friends, school, his father, and the future.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Writers & Readers Publishing (first published July 1989)
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Genre: Poetry Reading level: Ages 5-10
Nathaniel is a son, a grandson, a student, a neighbor, a friend, and a child who desperately mourns his mother. How does one little boy pack all of these roles and their accompanying feelings into one package? He raps, he writes, he rhymes, and sometimes he cries. Nathaniel talks about his family, his friends, his school, his neighborhood and his dreams. The result is a book of poetry about Nathaniel and his life. The language of this book, written in variou
Garrett Ellis
A great book for those students who may feel they have too much on their plate. I have heard several stories during my practicum experiences in which 3rd and 5th grade students were taking care of their younger siblings for hours at a time until their parents would get home from work. It is sad that this happens, but it is true and this book tackles in a form the frustrations that those students may be facing.
Anja Manning
This was an interesting reading experience, where the book really won me over. I didn't appreciate Nathaniel's initial rap, but I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations by Jan Spivey Gilchrist.

Greenfield's poems talk about life, but they are wholesome (no negative connotations here). I really enjoyed the poems about friendship, family and the future. This book has a very positive outlook.

I see my future
clear as I don't know what
not all the things around me
not furniture or houses
or sidewa
-Nathaniel rapping- begins with introduction, and from there Nathaniel raps about many aspects of his life, such as his mother's death, his memories of her, how he wants to be when he grows up, grandparents and more. Ages 9 and up
-good illustrations- black and white pencil drawings on each page, some of which are prominent, and some of which are blurry and fade into the background
-aside from the fact that the poems themselves have rhythm, there are several references to music
This is such a great book to read because it provides readers with a different perspective on the layout of a book. Each page is a different story from the mind of Nathaniel. The stories are broken down into very short brief poems on a specific aspect of his life. An example of this includes a poem and page dedicated to his mother, the poem is titled Mama, and in the poem he describes the simple yet memorable attributes of his mother. Great book!
1990 Coretta Scott King Award (illustrator winner)

Nathaniel raps and rhymes about various ideas and people in his life. I liked the poem about Nathaniel thinking he knows everything when he's old, only to be shown up by a little girl's questions. The illustrations are realistic and beautiful charcoal drawings. The explanation about the twelve-bar blues poems in the back was also really cool. Some of the poems were a little bland, but others I liked.
Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. I thought this was a pretty cool book. It made the reader naturally rap, which was pretty impressive :) It deals with real-life, sometimes difficult topics too, in an accessible way (even for quite young kids). I liked it and would recommend it.
These poems made you feel like you were a young child, at home, looking at the world around him. Students will all be able to relate to his viewpoints, and feel like they are home and comfortable themselves. This is a great way to see the world through a child's eyes.
From the jacket, "Nathaniel B. Free is a spunky, spirited nine-year-old poet who raps and rhymes about his world, from what it's like to be nine, to his education, to his family life."
Karin Adams
Apr 16, 2012 Karin Adams added it
Shelves: lis-645
I really liked this picture book, the character of a nine-year-old boy being the narrator of the poems. It was interesting to see these poems and emotions in a child's eye and words.
Poetry. Beautiful black and white sketches by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. The poems in this book are excellent. There is a great rhythm to all of them; you could almost sing them.
Jenny Wright
Beautiful short poems accompanied with amazing black and white sketches that truly capture every character's personality and feelings.
Poems written from a 9-year-old point of view dealing with the people in his life including his recently deceased mother.
1990 CSKing Author Honor
1990 CSKing Illustrator Winner

excellent pencil illustrations
Charlie Beck
Nathaniel talks about his thoughts on life in poetic form including rap and blues.
This book is a collection of poems in a variety of styles remarking on a young boys life.
Nathaniel expresses his thoughts and ideas about life in this book of collected poems.
Apr 15, 2013 Becky added it
Shelves: withers
Series of poems written from Nathaniel's 9-year old perspective.
Book in poetry form. Rhyming; black and white illustrations.
May 06, 2013 Becky added it
Shelves: withers
Series of poems written from Nathaniel's 9-year old perspective.
Ashley Kohls
Poetry book of African American poems.
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