Bronx Masquerade
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Bronx Masquerade

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,026 ratings  ·  415 reviews
When Wesley Boone writes a poem for his high school English class and reads it aloud, poetry-slam-style, he kicks off a revolution. Soon his classmates are clamoring to have weekly poetry sessions. One by one, eighteen students take on the risky challenge of self-revelation. Award-winning author Nikki Grimes captures the voices of eighteen teenagers through the poetry they...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published December 29th 2003 by Puffin Books (first published December 31st 2001)
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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
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
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
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
Jun 26, 2009 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
"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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
Montrevais Edwards
I think this was an AWESOME book! It was really shocking at times. The chracters were had low self-esteem.
This is an AWESOME book! I need to teach it in my classroom. It is a must.
Emma :d
I LOVED it! I could relate to the characters so well!
I thought this book was awesome. I read it really quickly because I found it engaging and easy to get into. The only skepticism I have is whether this is how kids in the Bronx would really talk, write, and think, or whether it's just an idealized version of how we hope it would be. These kids are deep, and they are able to distill their personal challenges into powerful life lessons (eloquently phrased, too). I don't remember being like that as a teenager, but maybe some teenagers are more matur...more
This book was great. . .
Although I am an english major I have always struggled with poetry. I know this is a problem many teenagers face as well, and this book is a good way to "sneak" it in. I am not sure what made me pick this book up in the first place (at age 14) but I did, and love it just as much today. When I began to read it I noticed there was lots of poetry in it and the fact that I kept reading is a testament to this book in and of itself.
The students of Mr. Ward's english class in the inner city bronx high...more
Kids in a Bronx high school who used to judge each other in all sorts of ways find themselves and come together through weekly poetry readings in their English class, a practice started after one student wanted to respond to studying the Harlem Renaissance in poetry rather than in an essay. Each chapter changes voice, with a few characters repeating a number of times, giving the book an updated, American, and decidedly young but still _Vanity Fair_ effect. Identity that defy stereotype...more
This book is about varies of students.There's a kid name Tryon Bittings and he like a hood kid.So the teacher made him read a poem.Every one thought that all he was going to talk about was guns ,sex,girls, etc.So when he does his poem it came out to be a clean poem.It wasn't what every one expected it to be.Mostly everyone in the class was surprise.The teacher liked tryon poem so much he made he made a open mike Friday.Then students realized if he could express himself by peoms and show the real...more
Richie Partington
1/17/2002 BRONX MASQUERADE by Nikki Grimes, Penguin Putnam, January 2002

"...It's not much better at home. My older brother's always after me to hit the streets with him, calls me a girly man for loving books and jazz. Don't get me wrong. B-ball is all right. Girls like you, for one thing. But it's not you they like. It's Mr. Basketball. And if that's not who you are inside, then it's not you they're liking. So what's the point?..."

BRONX MASQUERADE is a wonderful new novel by Nikki Grimes. It is...more
Flitting between characters, Bronx Masquerade, tells the story of eighteen sophomore's at a large, diverse school in New York City. It's a bit stereotypical, but it hits a nerve. Behind all the racial issues we have amongst ourselves for whatever reasons we may, we're all struggling to grasp on to anything we can. We all want an identity and a niche, some place to carve out for ourselves where we belong. Struggling with all sorts of problems (from abuse, children, "fitting in") they find an outl...more
Bronx Masquerade is a book about eighteen high-school students that have the opportunity to tell their stories and express their feeling through poetry. The story presents one common character in the life of each one of the students, their English teacher. Mr. Ward. In one of their English assignments, Mr. Ward asks the kids to write an essay about poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, but one of the students, Wesley Boone, finds the assignment pointless, so he "writes bunch of poems instead." The...more
Mohamed. I
My Enlgish teacher, Mr. H brought this book to the class. We read it as a class. I really liked it, but we didn't have time to finish it. When we were assigned this report by Ms. Richardson I knew I wanted to finish this book. It is very exciting because you get to learn about how kids who have a tough life can get a good future.

This book is about young kids that live in the Bronx. They all have the same English class. They are from diffrent backrounds.They had to write a poem. The writing is a...more
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LOVE THIS BOOK! 1 3 Nov 03, 2013 07:02AM  
How Does this book express individuality from each character? 2 16 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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