Renowned author and poet Nikki Grimes succinctly captures a childhood filled with both tragedy and courage and invites readers to join her as she seeks the truth of her past in this powerful memoir Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by her mother s second husband At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night and discovered the magic of writing Through subsequent years, her notebooks were her most enduring companions In this remarkable memoir told in both poetry and prose, Grimes explores her harrowing past, showing how the power of words helped her conquer the hazards ordinary and extraordinary of life