Aaron Lemen

Tags: Education

Nikki Grimes

Art, Children, Fiction, Illustration, Music, Photography, Poetry, Spirituality, Stage, Young Adult

The 2017 recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children,” Nikki Grimes has written many award-winning books for children and young adults, including Bronx Masquerade (winner of the Coretta Scott King Award), as well as Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin’ about Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings, each of which received a Coretta Scott King Honor. Grimes’s work has also received a Horn Book Fanfare and been named ALA Notable books. She is the author of the popular Dyamonde Daniel chapter book series and numerous picture books and novels including Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope and, most recently, Garvey’s Choice and One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. During the 1970s, Grimes co-produced and hosted The Kid’s Show on WBAI FM in New York.

In addition to her work for children, Grimes has written articles for Essence, Today’s Christian Woman, Book Links, Image, Journal of Arts & Religion, and others. During a six-year stint in Sweden, she hosted a radio program for immigrants, Grunslöst, and another program for Swedish Educational Radio. Her 2019 memoir Ordinary Hazards was named a Sibert Honor Book by the American Library Association in 2020.​

In 2005, Grimes was awarded the Golden Dolphin Award by the Southern California Children’s Book Association, recognizing her body of work. Grimes has been honored with the NCTE Award for Poetry and the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award from Kent State University.

Festival Years: 2002, 2006, 2018, 2020