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Garvey's Choice

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,615 ratings  ·  781 reviews
Garvey’s father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading—anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey’s li ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by WordSong
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,615 ratings  ·  781 reviews

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Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes is a beautifully written children's novel, written in verse. A well taught life lesson for the middle-grade child that could very well carry into adulthood improving their self confidence and teaching them to be all that they can be, despite negative experiences that challenge them along the way. A quick and heart-felt read with so much to offer the reader. :-)
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book says so much. It's written in tanka poetry form, but tells a story of a boy who's overweight and has a father who wants him to be a jock. It's a wonderful read for kids and sends an important message. My daughter enjoyed it too.

Rachel Reads Ravenously
People of ALL ages should read this!

Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse

Stars wink, words slap, and laughter spatters in the pages and poems of Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes. This beautiful story is told in verse with emotion and force. A story about a boy finding his way at home, school, and life.

“I’m just beginning
to learn what I am made of,
to pay attention
to the kid in my own eyes,
starting to like what I see.

I feel unwritten
like that song says, in chorus,
my story untold.
I can’t wait to sing the song,
croon my own untold story.”

This little book caught me off gua
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think I liked this book because me and Garvey are similar in the fact that we may not be the thinnest, but when the world makes fun of you for it, we both went to music and friends for our safe haven.
Leigh Anne
Anyone who has struggled to live up to a parent's expectations will see a part of themselves in this book. Garvey is trying to accept himself as a young boy who enjoys reading, space, and singing, while trying to ignore his dad's desire for him to play football and the other kids' taunts about his weight. But in the end...

"I do like Manny
crank up the inside volume
listen to my dreams
as I walk through the school halls
I choose what words to let in."

That is strength. And that is Garvey's choice.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This sweet lyrical book is a quick read, but is packed full of emotion and life lessons. Nikki Grimes masterfully tackles identity, family relationships, body image and healthy weight loss, friendship, and self love all in a book that you can easily read in less than an hour. I will definitely be purchasing this for the classroom library. Loved it.
Scott Fillner
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book written in Tanka form poetry. I foresee this as a powerful read for any adolescent. This book gives voice to what many young men fear, not living up to the expectations/vision of their father.

The novel in verse also does an excellent job of looking at issues like obesity, not conforming to societal pressures, and bullying (Peers & relational)

I just love how this book gives voice to issues from a male adolescent perspective.

For me this book was an amazing "window" and hopefully a do
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Lyrical, moving, and full of voice.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This nifty little novel in verse tells the story of Garvey, an overweight astronomy nerd who can't seem to live up to his father's expectations. I thought it was a nice story until I got to the end, where the author notes that she wrote all the poems in this story in the form of tanka, a Japanese poem with 5 lines and certain syllabic requirements per line. Then I had to go back to the text and marvel that she could tell such a story entirely using poems in that form. Wow! I have a hard time wri ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I loved Nikki Grimes' book Bronx Masquerade, but I have to say that this book was a little disappointing. I wasn't sure what the main point was. The synopsis brought up eating as comfort, a father/son relationship that was not good, and a boy who didn't fit in. I didn't see any of these particularly as being well-developed. This made the ending flat as well. I liked some of the poems, but there just weren't enough of them that really made the story come to life. Maybe ok for upper elementary stu ...more
Ava Pratt
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: msba-2017
Garvey is a boy who love reading and Star Trek. His dad on the other hand, wants him to be athletic, love football and sports. Garvey's mom follows his path with him. This book really explained the pressures on Garvey, his dad, football, and school.
I gave this book 3 stars because it was slow throughout the beginning of the book to the end. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic fiction.
Beth Honeycutt
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sweet, beautiful story in verse. I love Nikki Grimes' books - such a talented poet. The book has several important messages about life.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about a boy coming to terms with who he is. I love the explanation about the poetic form used.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the character development in this book. Garvey goes from a shy kid to a kid who isn't scarred to sing. I do, however, wish the book was a little longer.
Raegan Angela Jones
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Short and in my opinion, a couple mistakes in grammar. It was cute, but not my favorite.
Richie Partington
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: GARVEY’S CHOICE by Nikki Grimes, Wordsong, October 2016, 120p., ISBN: 978-1-62979740-3

“...My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me
And then
Spin me around ‘till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure
I was loved”
--Luther Vandross, “Dance With My Father”

“The Luther is ‘a house-made brioche donut, glazed in maple-chicken a jus and topped with warm pieces of oven-baked pecans. While that sounds like a meal already, the brioche is cut in
This is written in an ancient poetry form called Tanka that originates in Japan.

I give the author credit for sticking to the arduous pattern of:
Line 1 - 5 syllables
Line 2 - 7 syllables
Line 3 - 5 syllables
Line 4 - 7 syllables
Line 5 - 7 syllables

That isn't easy to pull off and she does so effortlessly.

The story is about Garvey who is a young man in high school that is trying to find his place. He has a strained relationship with his father who values athleticism over Garvey's love of reading and
Stacy Fetters
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
"Smile showing up like hope till ugly whispers from last year echo in memory, scraping that smile from my lips."
Received at BEA Chicago 2016
Writing a book all in verse must be the hardest way to write a book. You not only have to make your work stand out, but you must grasp the reader in a lot fewer words.
This one comes with a heavy topic. The words bleed and cry with the turn of each chaptering page.
Garvey is overweight and kind of nerdy. With one friend who encourages him in everything he does
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
What Garvey wants most is a way to connect and escape the isolation he feels from others his age and from his own family--well, from his dad.
This probably sounds all-too-familiar, which is why I feel this verse novel could be an excellent tool for reluctant readers. The language is simple and the story moves lightning-quick. Furthermore, this could be a remarkable opportunity to introduce readers to poetry different from the "strictly classics" content included in many school curricula. Most si
Jade Crowell
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a decent book. To read it you must have a strong grasp of inference and alluded messages. The reason why is this book has minimal text and the messages are kind of hidden within the lines of poetry. The message it sent was good, a chubby kid that can't get along with his dad is lost and only has one friend. He finds himself through chorus and also finds a friend there. And once he tells his dad they become close. Meanwhile, he is working out. A good message, but very cliche. All in all, ...more
Trevor Bosse
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Garvey's Choice is an amazing book and it is one my all time favorite Maine Student Book Awards. Some of the decisions Garvey makes is spectactular considering his dad is always trying to change Garvey's choices and trying to force him to do stuff Garvey isn't interested in. I give this book a four star.
Austin Poulin
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a good book. The character Garvey was conflicted with a decision that was effected because of the people around him, mainly his family. It was an EXTREMELY quick read so it was hard to do journal work on but it was still a fun book to read. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good realistic fiction book.
Aidan Lind
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the style this book was written in. The short poems showed you enough to understand what was happening. Each page was like information concentrate, while short the packed a punch. This book was good and I liked the concert part towards the end. Definitely a must read, and undoubtedly a short read. Overall a pretty good book.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Every time I read a novel in verse that I really enjoy, I wonder why I don't read more. This is a very sparse book, but it manages to pack a lot in.

Garvey and his dad just don't connect. Garvey is an intellectual, his dad wants him to be an athlete. Garvey is also overweight, and struggles with name-calling. With the help of some friends, he finds a way to shine.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A super quick read that is packed full of emotion and life lessons. Garvey is on a journey of self discovery and I loved every minute of it. Nikki Grimes is amazing! Written in Tanka it is a joy to read.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this verse novel about a father's expectations and his son's desire to be himself.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2017
Great lessons for middle school students and a quick read.
Really good, its sweet and short.
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 but rounding up! I'm not a huge fan of verse, but I really enjoyed the story. I thought the authors use if the Tanaka poetry for was interesting as well.
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Play Book Tag: Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes - 5 stars 3 17 Mar 04, 2018 05:00PM  
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