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Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (A Dyamonde Daniel Book) Hardcover – May 14, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Dyamonde Daniel Book (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (May 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399251758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399251757
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-3–What's the matter with the new boy? wonders third grader Dyamonde Daniel. Free always looks angry and never talks in class, only communicating in grunts. Dyamonde knows what it feels like to be new: her parents' divorce caused her to relocate from Brooklyn to Washington Heights. Yet her friendly overtures are rebuffed each time. When Free scares one of the little kids in the lunchroom, Dyamonde has had enough and confronts him about his grouchy behavior. It turns out that the classmates have much in common, including their unusual names and a longing for their old schools and friends. Dyamonde, smart, assertive, wild-haired, and skinnier than half a toothpick, is a memorable main character, though she sometimes sounds too mature for her years. Yet her actions and feelings ring true. Christie's illustrations flesh out the characters, and along with patterned page borders, contribute child appeal. This is a promising start to a new series of transitional chapter books; suggest it to readers who enjoyed Karen English's Nikki & Deja (Clarion, 2008), another early chapter book about the ups and downs of friendship between two African-American students.–Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
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From Booklist

Smart, confident Dyamonde sits in her third-grade classroom and wonders why she’s been at her new school for weeks and still doesn’t have a best friend. In walks Free, a new student who’s so withdrawn and irritable that Dyamonde secretly names him Rude Boy. When plucky Dyamonde challenges Free, he begins to open up and slowly becomes a friend. Any child who is a “new kid” could benefit from contrasting the two main characters: Free tends to look backward to his old life and inward to his emotions, while Dyamonde looks forward to a new best friend and outward to the people and possibilities of her new neighborhood. Clean, direct prose and strong, clear characterizations make this an appealing early chapter book, while Christie’s stylized, dynamic drawings give it a fresh look. A welcome addition to the steadily growing list of beginning chapter books with African American protagonists, this is a promising start for the Dyamonde Daniel series. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Great book that I read with my third grade students.
The Donz
So if you love this character as I do, you'll look forward to reading about her in future books.
She liked the idea of one kid, with her own problems, helping another.
Ronald Angelo Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Early chapter books are a pistol. You'd think they were printed on pages of silver and gold the way publishers dole them out on their lists. For those kids transitioning from early readers to 200+ page tomes, early chapter books are hugely important. So when I find a good one I latch onto it my teeth, lock my jaw, and don't let go. Sadly, of these books I could probably count on one hand the number of early chapter readers that star characters that are contemporary African-Americans. Let's see, books by Ann Cameron, Karen English, and now Nikki Grimes. Meet Dyamonde Daniel. You'll be happy that you did.

She's a third grader with "wild-crazy hair" and who happens to be "skinnier than half a toothpick." She's also brilliant and fun, but Dyamonde Daniel has a definite problem on her hands. What she really wants and needs is a best friend, and there don't appear to be any takers in her new school. Then, one day, another new kid comes to her class, and his name is Free. The problem? Free is just the grumpiest, mopiest, rudest kid Dyamonde has ever met. Before she knows it, she's interested in what his problem is. And in a mere 74 pages she has not only cheered him up, she's found herself an unexpected new friend.

I don't mean to make broad generalizations, but when reading early chapter books there are certain ideas and themes that just don't make an appearance all that often. What I like about "Dyamonde Daniel" is that this isn't a story about some girl who lives in the suburbs and has her own room and puppy. Dyamonde has slept on the couch ever since her parents split up and her mom had to move to Washington Heights. The book deals with issues like unemployment, divorce, lack of apartment space, and having to move in with relatives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on July 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Dyamonde Daniel was a gem waiting to be discovered. Just ask her." So begins this delightful tale about this smart, friendly, confident girl. Dyamonde (pronounced "Diamond") has a head full of "wild-crazy" hair and is "skinnier than half a toothpick," but on the inside "she was extraordinary."

Dyamonde is also new to her school, and despite her obvious intelligence and outgoing personality, she has yet to find a new best friend. Sure, Tanya, Tylisha and Tameeka (a group of girls Dyamonde refers to as the "Three T's") are nice enough to her, but she just doesn't fit in with their little social group.

Reed Freeman, who calls himself "Free" for short, is also a newcomer at the school. He doesn't have any new friends either, but that's because he's so mean to everyone. He walks around all the time with his head down. If anyone speaks to him, he either ignores them, growls at them, or simply glares at them. He keeps to himself and doesn't want to socialize with other students.

Dyamonde doesn't like Free's attitude. One day during lunch, when Free is picking on a smaller kid in the lunchroom for no good reason, Dyamonde decides to confront him. She walks right up to him and asks, "What is your problem?" Free is startled by her question and responds, "Who says I got a problem?" Dyamonde reads him the riot act about the way he has been treating the boy. She demands that Free apologize to him, which he does.

But that's not good enough for Dyamonde. She keeps an eye on Free after that. Every time he growls at someone, she glares at him. Whenever he yells at someone, she steps in front of him and stares him down until he apologizes. After a few days of this, Free does his best to avoid everyone, especially Dyamonde.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't normally write reviews as they are so subjective and sometimes very misleading. However, I am a huge fan of illustrator R. Gregory Christie and have many of his books. They are amazing, and part of that artistic excitement is his use of bold color. This book is the first book I've seen by him that is not only an unusually small in size children's book, but the illustrations are in black and white and wow - what a shock, and not in a good way. Maybe this whole Dyamonde Daniel series is like this; I just did not know. If I had, I might have had second thoughts about purchasing. But I got it used and inexpensive, so it was not too painful upon receipt. It would be helpful if it was mentioned in the description that the illustrations are not in color.
UPDATE 4/4/13: I want to give a more balanced review. I did actually read this book last night. It is very sweet and teaches our young readers compassion and perspective. The entire Dyamonde Daniel series most likely offers children many more positive ways to handle the ups and downs of life. Recommended reading even without the wonderful uplifting bright colors of Mr. Christie's art.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little lady is unstoppable. Even though she's young, she has pearls of wisdom from her own experiences with her family, school, and friends. She's a force that the new boy, Free, doesn't want to cross. Nikki Grimes teaches valuable lessons with this book. One less is you can NOT judge a book by its cover. You should always get to know about people, places, and things BEFORE you judge. This is a great lesson for young people to learn. Ms. Grimes did a fantastic job connecting this message in her story where children can relate.

The discussion questions at the end were great!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Nikki Grimes conveyed the fire-in-the-belly fervor of a Harlem girl who knows she was born to write in Jazmin's Notebook, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. In My Man Blue, a Booklist Editor's Choice and Newsweek Children's Books of the Year selection, her artful words expressed a boy's journey from skepticism to trust. And now with Bronx Masquerade she presents a rich chorus of eighteen voices, singing openly about ideas, feelings, and questions--things that open minds, invite debate, provide release. A recent Booklist review proclaims: "As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for--real characters who show them they are not alone."An accomplished poet, novelist, journalist, and educator, Ms. Grimes was born and raised in New York City and now lives in the Los Angeles area.

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