Synopses & Reviews
Just when all the excitement over the election for student body president of Carver Elementary has died down, Ms. Shelby has another special announcement to make. But this time, the news is personal--Ms. Shelby is getting married! The classroom is abuzz with speculation about the new fiancé, and Nikki gets a sneak peek at him when he stops by the school--and is shocked that he is not at all what the other girls in the class have imagined. She's even more surprised when she and Deja are chosen in a special lottery to attend the wedding (because Ms. Shelby can't invite the entire class, of course).
As the girls in the class form teams and square off to compete over who can plan the best imaginary wedding for their teacher, Nikki excitedly throws herself into preparations for the real thing. But Deja is not so enthusiastic. Her Auntie Dee has been temporarily laid off from her job, and Deja is worried. Will they become homeless? What will happen now that Deja can no longer afford a new dress and special hairdo? Will Nikki leave her best friend behind while she shops and primps? Will Deja be able to get over her jealousy and enjoy the celebration anyway?
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year
"English manages to convey both the trials that best friends sometimes put each other through as well as how easy it can be to get the relationship back on track. A former teacher herself, English fondly depicts these tried-and-true dynamics." and#8212;Booklist
"In her first chapter book, English perceptively explores the undercurrent of insecurity and rivalry that threatens two African-American girls' friendship." —Publishers Weekly
"Accesible writing, authentic characters, an easy-to-identify-with plot and Freeman's appealing black-and-white illustrations come together smoothly in this straightforward friendship tale." —Kirkus Reviews
"English has childhood spats down pat...both original and emotionally effective...full of movement and energy and joy...'So good!' " Kirkus Reviews
"audiences will sympathize with the falling-out-with-a-friend blues even as they long for their own blue popsicles" BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"high-energy collage illustrations...a satisfying summer story about community and friendship." THE HORN BOOK Horn Book
"Innovative illustrations add depth and texture to an evocative text." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred School Library Journal, Starred
"English's story is engaging...Steptoe's stunning, mixed-media illustrations make the boar soar." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA
and#8220;Deja can't wait for her birthday party: the presents, the games, the hope that and#8216;this time my daddy might come for my birthday.and#8217; When Dejaand#8217;s classroom nemesis tries to siphon off the guests to her own party, Dejaand#8217;s high spirits fizzle, but her best friend Nikki, her guardian Auntie Dee, and an elderly neighbor keep her moving forward. The realistic view of Deja's week and the sensitive yet never soppy portrayal of characters make this a fine entry in the Nikki and Deja series, one of the few early-chapter-book series featuring African American girls.and#8221;
and#8220;Little girls, little girls...they can be mean sometimes. Deja's birthday is coming up, and she is filed with all the anticipation a soon-to-be-eight-year-old can hold. Will her absent father come? Will she get the special ring from her Auntie Dee? Things fall apart when Antonia, Deja's nemesis, decides to have a and#8216;just becauseand#8217; sundae-and-trampoline party at the same time, with the result that everyone chooses Antoniaand#8217;s party. This straightforward plot explores Dejaand#8217;s reaction to the unexpected turn and makes few judgments of who is right and wrong. Perhaps Antonia is jealous of Deja and Nikkiand#8217;s close friendship? Maybe she didnand#8217;t sabotage Dejaand#8217;s party? In the end, when Deja finds out how much she means to her Auntie, she gets the best present of all. A clear typeface, ample white space and Freemanand#8217;s occasional black-and-white illustrations make this accessible to new chapter-book readers, although a note printed in unlinked cursive might confuse some. Likeable and independent African-American girls are a rare find in early chapter booksand#8212;letand#8217;s hope these two can start a trend.and#8221;
and#8220;In this successor to Nikki and Deja (Clarion, 2008), Deja looks forward to her eighth birthday party. While her father's absence has taken its toll, she hopes that he will come to the celebration. A few days before the event, Auntie Dee unexpectedly leaves for a business trip, and Deja must stay with their neighbor, Miss Ida, who serves turnips and has a black-and-white TV. At school, Deja learns that her and#8216;nemesis,and#8217; as Miss Ida calls Antonia, intends to hold an extravagant and#8216;Just Becauseand#8217; bash that will coincide with Deja's more modest plans. Deja worries that their classmates will choose to go to Antoniaand#8217;s party. Thankfully, her friend Nikki provides constant support, and Auntie Deeand#8217;s return results in clarity and perspective. The narrative is a bit contrived, although it is realistic that there is no resolution of Dejaand#8217;s longing for her father. Early chapter-book readers will relate to the protagonistand#8217;s authentic emotions as English acknowledges the challenges and complexities of classroom life.and#8221;
and#8212;School Library Journal
and#8220;An accessible story of recognizably real grade-school politicking and enduring friendship thatand#8217;s suitable for reading aloud or alone. Fans of the duo will rejoice at their return.and#8221;
and#8212;The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The fifth book in the acclaimed series by Coretta Scott King Honor-Award winner Karen English about Nikki and Deja, two African American third grade girls who are best friends--and this time they're attending a wedding!
Ms. Shelby is getting married! As the girls in Nikki and Dejaand#8217;s class compete over who can plan the best imaginary wedding for their teacher, Nikki excitedly throws herself into preparations for the real thing. But Deja is not so enthusiastic. Her Auntie Dee has been temporarily laid off from her job, and Deja is worried. What will happen now that she can no longer afford a new dress and special hairdo? Will Nikki leave her best friend behind while she shops and primps? Will Deja be able to get over her jealousy and enjoy the celebration anyway?
This is a charming entry in a chapter book series praised for its accessibility, authenticity, and humor.
Meet Nikki and Deja, who live next door to each other and are best friends. They do everything together—watch Saturday morning cartoons, play jacks, jump double Dutch at recess, and help each other with their homework for Mrs. Shelby's third-grade class. But when an arrogant new girl arrives and Nikki and Deja form a club that would exclude her, the results are not what they expect. This warm, easy-to-read chapter book from an award-winning author captures all the joys and complexities of elementary school life—particularly friendships and cliques—with finesse and humor.
Newsy news is not just regular news. It's news that's interesting and exciting. Nikki and Deja know that there's plenty of newsy news happening on their block andand#160;at Carver Elementary, just waiting to be reported. Luckily, Nikki has herand#160;special pen and notepad, Deja has the use ofand#160;Auntie Dee's computer, andand#160;they both have lots of ideas. Before long, the Fulton Street Newsy News Newsletter
is born. At first, everyone wants to read what the girls have written. But after justand#160;one issue, some unexpected problems arise. Will Nikki and Deja's plans to become celebrated journalists succeed?
Like the first two Nikki and Deja stories, this accessible chapter book shines with emotional depth and humor, perfectly capturing the complexities and joys of elementary school girls' friendships.
It's the hottest, stickiest day of the summer. A fat-sun-in-the-sky day. An eating-ice-pops-on-the-porch day. And for Kishi and Renée, it's a best-friends-breakup day. Each girl sits on her own front porch, waiting for the other to apologize, even though they know they'll never speak to each other again, no matter how bored they get. But then the sounds of feet slapping the pavement and voices chanting double-dutch rhymes drift up the avenue, and neither one can resist going out in the street to play.
This lyrical friendship story, the first collaboration of two outstanding artists, pairs a rhythmic text with distinctive collage illustrations. Its subtle message about sharing and forgiveness will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced the ups and downs of being, and having, a best friend.
The second book about Nikki and Deja, two African American third-grade girls who are best friends.
Deja's birthday is coming up, and she's been talking about it for weeks. But just before the big day, Auntie Dee gets called away on a business trip and Deja must stay with an elderly neighbor . . . who cooks turnips for dinner and doesn't even have a color TV! Worse, the machinations of spoiled Antonia, Deja's new nemesis, threaten to ruin Deja's birthday party plans. Like the first book, this story captures with subtlety and humor all the small betrayals and triumphs of young girls' relationships. Readers will get a wider view of the girls' diverse urban neighborhood, and will recognize themselves and their classmates in the colorful, deftly drawn school scenes. A more serious theme is also introduced (with a light touch) in a subplot concerning Deja's absent father.
About the Author
Karen English is a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning author who lives in Los Angeles, California. Her books about Nikki and Deja have been praised for their accessible writing, authentic characters, and satisfying story lines.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Karen is a retired elementary school teacher who taught in urban neighborhoods for many years, and she wrote these stories with her students in mind.
Laura Freeman has illustrated several books for children. Her artwork has also appeared in publications such as the New York Times and New York magazine.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Laura grew up in New York City and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children. Her drawings for the Nikki and Dejaand#160;books were inspired by her own childhood.