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Words with Wings

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,794 Ratings  ·  312 Reviews
Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, o ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by WordSong (first published January 1st 2013)
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Sep 14, 2013 Ed added it
Grimes, N. (2013). Words with wings. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mill Press. 96 pp. ISBN: 978-1-59078-985-8. (Hardcover); $15.95.

In all fairness, as much as I adore this book, I am not the best person to review it. I am, however, the BEST person to talk about one of the characters in the book because that person is the real, live, nonfiction ME! If one takes a look at the acknowledgment page, one will see that the teacher character in this book is named for me because of several questions I an
Jul 25, 2015 Tonya rated it it was amazing
**ARC thanks to Netgalley**

To be honest, when I opened the book tonight, I was just planning to skim the first few pages to get the gist for now. That did not happen -- I started reading the first poem and did not stop until I read the last. Halfway through, I was salivating to share with my next-year students.

The vivid language, the simple (yet, oh-so-deep) story....perfection.

Jun 26, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Short 'n' sweet novel in verse, for any age 7 to 12 as I never caught just how old Gabby is.
Laura Salas
Jul 03, 2013 Laura Salas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
This beautiful story in poems presents a daydreamer kid and a teacher who really makes a difference in her life. Excellent imagery, interesting story arc, and a sympathetic main character made this story one that I zipped right through. It was totally satisfying, even though I didn't really want it to end! A real gem.
Tamera Wissinger
Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes is a tenderly written contemporary verse novel with a sensitive, imaginative young protagonist – Gabrielle (named after the angel Gabriel because, “He was so fierce people fainted at the very sight of him.” There is much to love about this story told in Gaby’s first person narrative voice. First and foremost, it does exactly what a good verse novel should do: the poems work together to each reveal more of the story as Gaby struggles to cope with her parent’s divo ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Stanley rated it it was amazing
Fascinating description and vocabulary. A book dripping with inspiration.
Kristen Carson
Dec 09, 2014 Kristen Carson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t-l-307, poetry
Book Information:
The genre of this book is poetry and fiction. The reading level is grades third-fifth
This book is about a girl named Gabby. Gabby daydreams constantly and when her parents separate, she finds that daydreaming is a way for her to escape to a new world. She finds that not only is day dreaming an escape from her life but she can't seem to stop now. Her life seems like a huge daydream. When she moves to a new home with her mom and a new school she still can't seem to stop da
Alyse Erickson
Dec 10, 2014 Alyse Erickson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classroom-books
Grimes, N. (2013). Words with wings. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mill Press.

This novel-in-verse tackles quite a few issues using a small amount of words. This book is special because it emphasis the importance of writing and the impact a teacher can have on a student. Gaby is a daydreamer which gets her into trouble both and home and in school. When Gaby's parents’ divorce and she enters a new school her daydreaming get worse. At first her teacher tries to divert Gaby's attention but when Gaby
Apr 27, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
I am so glad we found this book! I think it will be wonderful for our whole-school read aloud and to tie into our author visits in 2015-2016.

I have some ideas already about how to use it in my 8th grade classroom:


Say "book"
And I abandon all reason...
Jessica Cain
Dec 08, 2014 Jessica Cain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t-l-307, poetry, fiction
Summary and Critique:
This book was composed of 70+ poems of the journey through Gabriella's life. She is a daydreamer which is frustrating to her mother and classmates at school because one simple word you say could send her mind going crazy. Her parents get divorces which really affected her and her emotions. Her dad moved away and she was left living with her mom. When her parents split it made her daydreaming worse because it was an escape for her. She misses the way her family used to be an
One Sentence Review: Sweet little story, though I should probably say I can't honestly review it since I know personally the "Mr. Spicer" mentioned within its pages.
Mary Lee
Nov 16, 2013 Mary Lee rated it it was amazing
A peek into the mind of a daydreamer, and a teacher to add to our Great Teachers in Children's Literature list on the blog.
Jan 04, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Lovely poems about a daydreamer.
May 16, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Words with Wings is wonderfully evocative, and is easy to read. It blends the story of what is happening in Gabriella's life with the vivid pictures the she paints in her mind. The poetry and the structure of individual poems inspired by specific words interspersed into narrative poems captures the capricious nature of the mind. It felt like my mind was floating like a kite along with Gabriella's.

I liked the fact that this book has a positive message about being a dreamer, even if it mi
Oct 23, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
It doesn’t take Nikki Grimes long to tell a good story, and this time she’s written a verse novel, brief, but spanning the year of a young girl Gabriel, in and out of all her daydreams. In this year, Gabriel’s voice shouts “I am me, who I want to be” (my words), but others don’t like who she is, a daydreamer. She must survive her parents’ separation, which means her father is not around too much, and he was the “other” dreamer in the family. As Nikki Grimes writes, the only thing in common with ...more
Gabriela is still dealing with the divorce of her parents and having to start a new school and make new friends. Her mother worries that her daydreaming and failing to pay attention in class will result in missed work and poor grades. Her dreamy behavior often leads to teasing from her classmates. Certain words send her off on flights of fancy that distract her from her tasks but result in imaginative, expressive writing. As her teacher, Mr. Spicer, modeled after the real, live Ed Spicer, and he ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Kifflie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Poetry is the perfect format for this lovely short story about a girl with a vivid imagination. Gabriella is heartbroken when her parents split up and she is forced to move away from her old neighborhood and best friend. She starts at a new school, where she has trouble concentrating, but her teacher soon recognizes her special qualities and comes up with an inspired idea to encourage Gabby and the other kids in the class to use their imaginations.

The book uses one font to move the narration alo
Terri Floccare
Dec 23, 2015 Terri Floccare rated it it was amazing
I really liked this little free verse book about daydreaming. There is so much noise and activity in our world, I worry about when our kids can find time to be alone with their thoughts and if they'll even know how to be alone with them. I really loved the fact that the teacher is based on a real teacher. This book was a small pleasant surprise.
Brady Stevens
Dec 08, 2015 Brady Stevens rated it it was ok
Shelves: 307
This is a story of a little girl named Gabby. Gabby's parents fight a lot and have arguments constantly so she daydreams to tune them out. Her parents end up getting a divorce and Gaby now goes to a new school. There Gaby daydreams a lot and get in trouble by the teacher and her other. t was until Gaby was paired up with a new friend who also daydreams. They both now have a daydreaming writing session and have journals full of dreams. Gaby now is more confident about herself and her futures. Thi ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This brief novel in verse describes the life of Gabby, whose family has split up and who has just started a new school. Gabby is a daydreamer, which is a problem when the teacher is talking or when she's doing chores at home. Her classmates avoid her, thinking she's strange. Will she ever make friends?

I particularly like the solution that Gabby's teacher comes up with to cope with her daydreaming. Very clever, and based on a real teacher's real solution.

I also especially like the poems where wor
Laurie Gray
Aug 23, 2013 Laurie Gray rated it it was amazing
Nikki Grimes' novel in verse is a celebration of imagination sure to inspire young dreamers everywhere and to encourage their teachers and parents to help them harness that creative energy and turn it into a passion they can pursue with confidence. Perfect for reading aloud with third and fourth graders, Words with Wings takes the fears and hopes of one child and spins them into a story for children of all ages. Grimes is particularly adept at packing vivid imagery and powerful emotions into ver ...more
Jan De la Rosa
Jul 01, 2013 Jan De la Rosa rated it really liked it
*ARC from Netgalley*

"Dad is a dreamer and Mom is a maker. I've been thinking, maybe I can be both".

This is the story about a girl named after an angel that has trouble keeping her head on the ground. She wonders and her imagination drifts away, a lot and in places or moments were she is not supposed to daydream. The words have wings, like her, taking us to strange places were thoughts must be lost, because that's how we discover new things.

I really liked this. It's totally not supposed to be rea
Katrina Burchett
Aug 23, 2013 Katrina Burchett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, arc
Gabby is a girl with a vivid imagination. Her mother doesn't understand her 'wandering mind'. Classmates tease her and call her weird. Will Gabby abandon her creativity? Or will she continue to let her "Words with Wings" fly?

Nikki Grimes' verse novel is beautifully crafted. It will bring encouragement to creative children who are misunderstood and treated badly because they're seen as "different" and "weird". It validates their uniqueness. WORDS WITH WINGS is a MUST HAVE BOOK for elementary scho
Brenda Kahn
Nov 17, 2013 Brenda Kahn rated it it was amazing
This is a (very) quick read, but (very) powerful tribute to the power of imagination as well as a gentle reminder to adults taking care of or teaching kids to celebrate the daydreamers. Gabby is achingly real and articulates her confusion well while still sounding like a kid. She wants to please her mother, she misses her father terribly, she's lonely and needs a friend who doesn't think she's a freak. It's all there in these spare poems that pack an emotional wallop in nearly every one. It woul ...more
Nov 04, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it
Fabulous book that helps teachers and students to see the power in daydreams and how they can encourage writing and imagination rather than stifling them! Young Gabby is encouraged to continue dreaming those dreams through her teacher Mr. Spicer (named after the real classroom teacher Ed Spicer). This book helps us all to harness the power of daydreams and to understand how they can expand children's thinking and creativity if harnessed in appropriate ways. We are all reminded to keep dreaming w ...more
Stephanie Biese
Apr 27, 2016 Stephanie Biese rated it it was amazing
Love love love love
Dec 04, 2015 Dominic rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, children
A lovely little verse story about a daydreaming girl, but also a reminder that schools need to make room for daydreams within the school day. It's so easy to turn schools into one-size-fits-all test prep centers, but kids aren't that malleable and they shouldn't be. I would have loved to hear more about Grimes' inspiration and her thoughts on this book's implications for education.

Actually the first time I heard about (and met) Grimes was during an NCTE session back in 2005 (maybe 2006). Not onl
Jun 25, 2015 Billy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-classes
OK, first off, this book is outstanding. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I read "verse novel" in an overview (aside from the book's structure), but I was pleasantly surprised by the content. I would highly recommend this book to, well, just about anyone, really. Anyway...
**Alternatives to book reports prompt #1: The US President has learned that you've read this book and wants to know one thing a main character discovered about life that you think all Americans should know. What would y
Apr 30, 2015 Kelsey added it
Shelves: fiction, poetry, 307
Gabby is a young girl who is always daydreaming, especially at the wrong times. Her mother and teacher tell her to stop but Gabby has used daydreaming to escape the absence of her father, and once she stops her world becomes colorless. Once her mother and teacher are able to help Gabby find the balance in her daydreaming, she is able to use that for good. This story is written in all poetry and contains a lot of imagry. She describes what happens when someone says the word "roller coaster" or "s ...more
Alyssa Becker
Apr 06, 2015 Alyssa Becker rated it it was amazing
Words With Wings; Written by Nikki Grimes; Copyright 2013, 83 pgs.
*ALA Notable Children's Book 2014*

To start off, I loved where this book took my imagination. Through the eyes, poems, and stories from the main character Gabby we learn that she loves to imagine and her mind wanders whenever she hears the most random words. Even words like macaroni and tent sent her concentration in school to another place. The plot of this story was fun, creative and be easily related to.

Many people, both kids an
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