Bronx Masquerade
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Bronx Masquerade

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,469 ratings  ·  435 reviews
When Wesley Boone writes a poem for his high school English class, some of his classmates clamor to read their poems aloud too. Soon they're having weekly poetry sessions and, one by one, the eighteen students are opening up and taking on the risky challenge of self-revelation. There's Lupe Alvarin, desperate to have a baby so she will feel loved. Raynard Patterson, hiding...more
Hardcover, 167 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Dial
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Carrie
Mar 09, 2013 Carrie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Reluctant readers; pre-teens and teens
If I were rating "Bronx Masquerade" from my students' perspectives, they would give it 4 or 5 stars; they LOVED this book! Me... not so much. First of all, there were too many characters from too many different backgrounds with too little character development. I couldn't keep everyone straight because almost every chapter introduced a new character, but the chapters were only 2-3 pages long on average. 2-3 pages is nowhere NEAR enough to really flesh out a character enough that I will remember...more
Elonna
This book is about young kids that live in the Bronx who are all in the same english class, and even though they all come from very different backrounds they all come together through the poetry they share with eachother. Before the poetry days, these were kids who never even talked to eachother and were very distant from one another. The kids who would usually have bad grades were acing english class because they were enjoying sharing thier pain through poetry. Basically these kids created a bo...more
Gina
This book reminded me a lot of The Brimstone Journals, with the shifting narrative from kid to kid. It truly does take an incredibly talented author to have so many characters and still give them unique personalities that are memorable but not overblown, and connect them at that.

However, I have to say I liked this one a bit better than Brimstone, partly because it wasn't entirely poetry, which I find easier to follow. Although poetry can give a different kind of understanding - and the excerpts...more
Maria Nesmith
I enjoyed reading the book Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. This book was about Mr. Ward's high school English classroom in the Bronx New York. Mr. Ward is teaching Harlem poetry when all of the students begin to want to share their poetry to the class. Mr. Ward then begins to hold “Open Mike” on Fridays for the students to share their poetry from that week. The book shows how the students relieve all their feelings and learn to become a family minus their backgrounds.

The book showed no rhymin...more
Anna
Jun 26, 2009 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults
This book is *awesome*!!! I was not expecting it to be anywhere near as good as it was. It's a story about a group of kids in a high school English class in the Bronx who start reading poetry to each other. The writing is a mix of the individual teens' stories (where you get to know them and the problems they are facing) as well as their poems, which are always somehow related to their identity struggles. One boy named Tyrone usually comments on the poems and that helps to create a flow in the w...more
Brianna Marie
Some of the poetry was good, but everything else was just terrible. The whole scenario seemed incredibly unlikely, and there characters didn't really have a lot of depth.

And please, SHUT UP TYRONE. His comments annoyed me so much. They were written way too simple and he just restated the obvious. It didn't add anything, and just managed to get on my nerves.
Gregory
Bronx Masquerade sets out to teach kids that "poetry can be cool" and doesn't take the time to focus on anything else, like plot or character development or keeping the reader entertained. Grimes gives you a barrage of ridiculously underdeveloped characters dog-eared by one minor character flaw or minimalist back story. They all seem like outlines, or casings of characters that she meant to go back and fill in later. Even worse is Tyrone, our hype-man who follows each of the increasingly worse p...more
Adriana
BRONX MASQUERADE BY NIKKI GRIMES IS AN AMAZING BOOK. IT IS INSPIRING AND IT SHOWS GREAT INSIGHT INTO THE LIVES OF URBAN TEENS. EACH TEEN HAS THEIR OWN LIFE STORY, DIFFERENT FROM THE NEXT. THE BOOK IS FULL OF POETRY AND SHOWS THE EVERY DAY STRUGGLES PRESENT WITHIN TEENS LIVES. POETRY FROM TEEN MOTHERS TO ASPIRING ARTISTS AND STARS. EACH TEEN HAS A DIFFERENT DREAM AND GOAL IN LIFE AND EACH TEEN IS FULLY CAPABLE OF REACHING FOR THE STARS. THE TEENS LIVE IN AN URBAN AREA WHERE THEY ARE NOT TAKEN VER...more
Terry
I really wanted to like this more. As a rule, I'm a sucker for novels in verse, and I had hope for using this with my high school students. The scope of the book is wide, with each character bringing several issues to the table. Yet, for such a short book, it took me forever to wade through it. By choosing to include the voices of so many characters, Grimes never develops enough energy or focus to really make this a compelling story. This can work - Seedfolks comes to mind - but is tricky to pul...more
Rachel Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew
"Bronx Masquerade" is a book about a group of teenages attending high school in the Bronx. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different student, concluding with a poem that the student wrote. These students in Mr. Ward's English class are about of an evoluationary process in classroom structure; after one students asks to read a poem in front of the class, more students express interest in reading their poems. Eventually, Mr. Ward hosts weekly open mics in his classroom. Hearing thei...more
Hattie
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
"Bronx Masquerade" is one of my favorite YA books. This is because I had the chance to feel what teens are truly feeling. Often, teens hide their emotions for fear of being laughed at by peers, being disciplined by parents or just because there not sure they aren't the first person in the whole wide world who has felt the same way or wanted to act the same way. "Bronx Masquerade" is about students in a New York school have a very creative teacher. This book is mos...more
Courtney
Eighteen vignettes. Eighteen voices. Eighteen poets. Endless artistry.
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes is an urban masterpiece told from the perspectives of eighteen inner city teenagers. Mr. Ward, aka "Teach", is an unassuming English teacher who just happens to notice a poetic spark in his students during a unit on the Harlem Renaissance. As soon as Mr. Ward transforms his classroom into Open Mike Friday, it immediately ignites that small spark in each of his students. From then on, we watch a...more
Bill Parsons
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
bambam
The book ‘Bronx Masquerade” was really interesting. I loved the poetry and how the students expressed their thoughts and feelings. It was like a play for 18, talking about their daily lives. The chapters in the students’ voices change with the poem read by the student. The students’ are bold, shy, or scared to live within each other. All of them talk about the awkwardness and common separation to their age. Through “Open Mike “they find more to themselves.

I loved the way Nikki Grimes has wrote....more
Kristy
Bronx Masquerade -- This book is about how these students in a school studying the Harlem Renaissance, and their teacher assigns them to write some poetry. These students goes above and beyond writing poems about the issues, and events in their life. I really liked this book because these students were able to express themselves through poetry. In their poems it portrays a lot of racism, and gender issues. It also just tells their life and happenings all from poetry. I think it's really cool how...more
Rolando Castillo
I didnt really know if I was going to enjoy this book at the beginning by just looking at the cover and the tittle. After the first few pages of "Bronx Masquerade" I got hooked on the book. I enjoyed reading the poems in the book and me personally I don't like poems at all it is rare that I find a good poem that I like. The story plot was pretty awesome because it was a couple of random kids that you would of never thought they would ever talk to eachother. It was a complete accident in how they...more
Troyhester
Bronx masquerade is about kids in new York city. they all attend school and most of them have one thing in common poetry. they have this poetry class with a man name Mr. Ward. they all have different problems accept the girls. when they get to this poetry class they let things out that you wouldn't have thought was inside of them. they all are unique in there own way and they are very interesting.

what I liked about this book is that the poetry is good and very interesting. I also like how the...more
Mauricio
This is a good typical book down south. Each character came from a different background. At first the few first pages or probably the first handle of pages might be difficult to catch. This is probably one of my top five favorites relating to poetry. After each poem from a student, that is in the same reading class with the other poets, a character named Tyrone would comment. Tyrone comments in a both positive and negative way, each poem it helps him and other classmates about that specific poet...more
Tara Betts
I read this to write and read with my 6th graders in the Bronx. They seem to like it so far. They also have some good forms written by the characters in the book that younger readers may want to write themselves (concrete poems, letter/epistolary poems, self-portrait poems, etc.). Also, a lot of good references to Harlem Renaissance writers, Amiri Baraka and Pedro Pietri.
Zaahir
Bronx Masquerade is a fiction book. About various kids and there problems. But they have one thing im common and that's poetry. Whatever the problem they come in class and speak their poetry. That everyone can connect to.

Now what I liked about this book was the poetry. The characters in the book have good poetry. One of my favorite characters are Tyrone. Because he was quiet and he was deep into poetry. Also I can connect to his problems. One thing I did not like about this book was the lack of...more
Jake Lang
Tyrone is a boy that lived in the Bronx and had no intention to go to college. He wanted to grow up and be a rapper. But Tyrone started going to school more instead of skipping. In there school they have this day that is called an "Open Mike Fridays." This is a day where anyone can make a poem and share is with the class. Every time Tyrone heard a poem, he changed as a person. He started taking school more serious than he had before the Open Mikes started. He himself shared poems on Fridays. Tyr...more
Essence Thomas
The book " Bronx Masquerade" by Nikki Grimes is about a high school boy who in the beginning of the book the boy really doesn't care much about school or even being something In life. He says the only reason he went to school was because of his friends. He rarely even goes to school and only wants to hang with his " homies." Going along down into the book the kids actually starts to care about school & poetry. They all feel like they want to show it off and feel like they are ready to perfor...more
Blake Bowen
Nov 28, 2009 Blake Bowen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: idiots
This book is awful! The school board has really hit a new low by making this a part of school curriculum. Read The Bone Collector instead of this horrible book.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Outstanding! The author masterfully reveals how the students come to understand each other through listening to each other's poetry. Highly recommended!
Mia
Feb 05, 2010 Mia rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Unisex
Recommended to Mia by: Me and my teacher read it together
I did not like this book at all. This book is about 6 young soon to become poets and write about poems about there life.
Montrevais Edwards
I think this was an AWESOME book! It was really shocking at times. The chracters were had low self-esteem.
Shawna
This is an AWESOME book! I need to teach it in my classroom. It is a must.
Devonte
I enjoyed reading this novel by Nikki Grimes. This story is of 9th graders who just want to do better in life. It is all about these kids expressing themselves through poetry. Tyrone is the main characters but the story flows to many other characters. For example, Chankara Troupe expresses the things that are happening to her sister and how it affects and pains her. Another example is when Raul expresses himself in his poem and it's about race and the stereotypes. This is a very powerful book th...more
Emma :d
I LOVED it! I could relate to the characters so well!
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LOVE THIS BOOK! 1 4 Nov 03, 2013 07:02AM  
How Does this book express individuality from each character? 2 18 May 08, 2011 08:49AM  
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“Choose whatever box you like, Mike. Just don't put me in one, son. Believe me, I won't fit.” 10 likes
“Only the wind shatters the silence. I have been here before choking in solitude.” 3 likes
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