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Bronx Masquerade

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  4,654 Ratings  ·  507 Reviews
Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes' award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens. This anniversary edition--celebrating ten years of this wonderfully evocative work--will feature discussion questions, testimonials from teachers, and an all new introductio ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 31st 2001)
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Meryssa Plentz There is actually many conflicts with each character within this story.
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 09, 2013 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  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
Aug 11, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read some previous reviews and I think they're missing the point.

Yes, there are a dozen characters (or more), and the story spans an entire school year. But there isn't really a big plot, per se, so there's not a lot of need for the reader to keep the characters straight. They reference each other enough that you can figure out, if you're really curious, but I think the poems and vignettes are more to illustrate how high school students have so much bubbling below the surface that others - cl
Dec 02, 2010 Elonna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 07, 2015 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rereads
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
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.
Jul 20, 2016 Duchessbookworm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star, poetry, school
I loved this book. Poems are not really my thing. But this book is amazing.
Apr 03, 2009 Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maria Nesmith
Feb 24, 2012 Maria Nesmith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eced-221
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
Jun 26, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2015 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is mostly about poetry. It has very good verses and is not a very long book. This is what I'm reading right now and I really like it. It's kind of a slow moving book but oh well.i like the characters and how they they express themselves. The poetry slang in the book is detailed and really inspirational on some parts. It talks about being ur self and other moral values.
Apr 09, 2009 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verse-novels
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
Feb 19, 2008 Rachel Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: multicultural-1
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2013 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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
Aug 08, 2010 Hattie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Andrea Medina
May 13, 2016 Andrea Medina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about high schoolers that express themselves with poetry. They go to Open Mike Fridays and they read the poems that they wrote and they will be appreciated and heard by their classmates that attend that class. I really like this book because it talks about how many different people have different problems but they go out and say them on Friday with the rest of the class. Their problems are being told in a poem and they make the classmates really get how they feel and how they are be ...more
Bill Parsons
Mar 13, 2013 Bill Parsons rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2010 bambam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 21, 2013 Kurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

116. Bronx Masquerade, by Nikki Grimes. 2004 170 pages.
This is YAL and is one of its better representatives. The story is set in the Bronx, New York. The English teacher, Mr. Ward, gets his students involved in his class by having them write poems and standing and sharing them during Open Mic sessions each Friday. I’ve tried, and it didn’t’ work so neatly. This come comes with an audio CD version; kids wrote to me at the end of the year that they love the book—amazing!!! There are 18 characters
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
Sep 28, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and listening to the teenagers' voices. It reminded me a lot of my early teaching experiences.
Catherine Wood
Dec 01, 2014 Catherine Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Bronx Masquerade" by Nikki Grimes is a compelling collection of poetry and prose, showing the first-person reflections of students in Mr. Ward’s high school English classroom as they begin writing poetry, learning about themselves, and learning about each other. The book follows the students as they start the year learning about the Harlem Renaissance, begin writing and sharing their own poetry, and eventually have weekly poetry reading sessions in class. The book is made up of short reflectio ...more
Carley Beshaw
Nov 09, 2014 Carley Beshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Bronx Masquerade one weekend over the summer. I picked it up for free because it was in the schools discard pile. They had like fifty of them and it wasn't part of the curriculum anymore. It had a lot about diversity, which I thought was spectacular. My peers have always lived in small town Connecticut, whereas I've lived in urban areas before, so I've experienced more culture, so I don't understand why they took it off. There were a lot of characters which were hard to keep in order, ...more
Rolando Castillo
May 22, 2014 Rolando Castillo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
There were features of this book that I really liked, but it balances out just below a 3.5 to me.

First, what I really liked: the book is a series of vignettes followed by poems, and some of the vignettes are just brilliant. A few of the characters (Diondra, Lupe, Janelle, Devon), felt fully realized and their arcs had momentum. The poems were varied in style and complemented most of the characters really nicely. Grimes gets a lot out of very short stories, making it look effortless, and that tak
May 26, 2014 Mauricio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 12, 2016 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've seen a lot of negative reviews of this book but then again these are from adults that aren't trying to think like a teenager. A teen or middle school student that reads this book is going to see how a class uses poetry to express themselves. They are going to see that students assume that they know their peers when they only know what their classmates let them see. There is always a backstory. There is always something you don't know about that is happening in someone else's life. I love ho ...more
Feb 20, 2014 Zaahir rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Conflict 1 1 Nov 17, 2015 10:20AM  
LOVE THIS BOOK! 1 5 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.” 12 likes
“The fact is that you are more comfortable with myth than man.” 4 likes
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