Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes
Welcome to Mr. Ward's classroom, where poetry is studied, composed, celebrated, and performed. Between the Lines paints poignant portraits of students who are members of this unique class. With the encouragement of a caring teacher, these high schoolers endeavor to understand and express themselves through verse.
Through the eyes of Darrian Lopez, an aspiring journalist of Puerto Rican heritage, readers follow the lives and dreams of this diverse group of teens. Grimes uses newspaper headlines written by Lopez and personal narratives, interspersed with student-created poetry to tell the individual and collective stories of these promising poets. The volume concludes with a school-wide poetry slam. Many of the stories are painful. While the portrayals are realistic, the finale affirms the value of each individual and offers hope.