Reviews for Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
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 In walks Free, a new student who's so withdrawn and irritable that Dyamonde secretly names him Rude Boy.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. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Smart, spunky third-grader Dyamonde has everything going for her--except a best friend. The new kid, Free, doesn't show much promise at first, and Dyamonde nicknames him "Rude Boy"--until she takes the time to get to know him. A quirky heroine, an unusual friendship, and a city setting make this start to a new series a welcome addition. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #2
Third grader Dyamonde Daniel, transplanted from Brooklyn to Washington Heights because of her parents' divorce, is looking for a best friend. She is smart in school, especially when it comes to numbers, and sometimes her bravado makes her seem cocky. Deep down, Dyamonde is like most other kids: She wants a friend and she wants to belong. But as her new friend Free, also newly relocated because of family issues, says, "Wow! You're amazing….You really don't care what people think." He hides his fondness for reading from the other children and is grouchy and belligerent to the little kids until Dyamonde calls him on his attitude, cementing their friendship. City youngsters will welcome a story set in their world--the world of small businesses, nosy old folks, small apartments and people from many cultures, and new readers will welcome the familiar situations, large font and ample white space. Gregory's familiar black-and-white sketches add a hip, urban feel to the tale. Here's hoping this series kick-off leads to many more stories about best friends Dyamonde and Free. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 July

Gr 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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