Tara's Reviews > Dark Sons

Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes
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's review
Jun 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, mc-literature, realistic-fiction
Read on June 01, 2010

I did not expect to get into or enjoy this book, yet once I picked it up I read it from cover to cover. The poetic style moved the story on smoothly and the alternating stories kept me reading as my curiosity grew. The two stories tell similar stories of young colored boys/young men who are both, in a way, abandoned by their fathers and how this effects their thoughts and lives. Intertwined into each boys' story is their belief and relationship in God.

In addition to using this book to look at poetry with students, it may be used to compare distant cultures and even times to one another. The alternating and comparable stories of Ishmael and Sam can help young adults realize their similarites to others they otherwise would not have thought they had anything in common with.

Examples of passages that were poetic, simple, and poignant... and also display the different styles/generations/cultures of the two young men:

"So she rolled his promises/ around in her mind/ like rubies,/ slipped them in the pocket/ of her memory,/ and hurried home" (Grimes 19).

"Can't do jack / about the knife/ in my back,/ but there's no point/ in twisting it"

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Comments (showing 1-3)

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Al_ryanleagre I think the book also sends a strong message of forgiveness, which is important for children to see when they experiencing similar events in their own life. Both boys also try not to hate their half brothers, realizing that their new brothers did nothing wrong and deserve to have a good older brother.

message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary Kate I also liked how Grimes alternated her voices! You would think that these boys have nothing in common, but sadly father-abandonment seems to run throughout history. I have to wonder why this is such a universal theme. This might lead to great student discussions!

Danielle Did you feel as if students would benefit more if they had background information on the biblical stories retold in the novel?

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