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 life changes. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby or as eAudio on Overdrive/Libby.
Nikki Grimes has done it again! Garvey’s Choice is a wonderfully crafted story in verse. Nikki Grimes uses Tanka, an ancient poetry form for this story. Tanka is Japanese for “short poem.” The story features a very likable young man, Garvey and his interpersonal relationships with his family, friends and feelings about his place in the world. His Dad wants him to play football. His older sister is quite the athlete, but Garvey prefers reading about Space and is a very good math student. He is also a very good but shy singer. It also doesn’t help that he is overweight and the object of much bullying at school. His relationship is strained with his father and his sister has taken to expressing mean comments about his ever increasing weight gain. He has one good friend, Joe, who accepts him for who he is. But when his lunch schedule changes, Garvey is left to fend for himself. He befriends a student who is albino. What looks like a disaster, turns into a testament of the Human Spirit. His new friend Manny gives Garvey some priceless advice from his mother. “My mom says, ‘shine your light, no one will care what size candle holds the flame.’ Will that advice help him overcome his fear and trepidation and allow him to be himself, or will he be faced to live life based on other peoples’ expectations?
Coretta Scott King Honoree, Nikki Grimes never disappoints.