Great Illustrated Books

The Road to Paris

By Nikki Grimes

Putnam Juvenile, 2006
Pages : 160
Suggested Ages: 9 and Up
ISBN: 9780399245374

When eight-year-old Paris and her ten-year-old brother Malcolm run away from their abusive foster family in New York City, they hope their grandmother will take them in. She doesn't want them. Instead, Paris is taken by Children's Services to a new foster home with the Lincoln family in upstate New York. Though she grieves over being separated from Malcolm, for the first time ever Paris sees what it's like to be part of a loving, caring, normal family that treats her with affection and respect. Paris's ultimately hopeful and uplifting story is tempered with sobering elements, and deals frankly with tough issues including her fear of the dark that stems from being locked in a closet all day, her ambivalent feelings about her alcoholic mother who deserted her and now wants her back; and the racism she faces as a biracial child.

Compare the riveting realism of Paris's story with the fantasy elements in Lois Lowry's Gossamer, about another abandoned child who finds healing, but with the help of a little dream-giver named Littlest One.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Byars, Betsy. The Pinballs. HarperCollins, 1977. ISBN-13: 978-0064401982

Codell, Esm� Raji. Sahara Special. Hyperion, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0786816118

Creech, Sharon. Ruby Holler. HarperCollins, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0060560157

Creech, Sharon. The Wanderer. HarperCollins, 2000. ISBN-10: 0060277300

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. Delacorte, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0553494105

Dowell, Frances O'Roark. Chicken Boy. Atheneum, 2005.  ISBN-13: 978-0689858161

Paterson, Katherine. The Great Gilly Hopkins. HarperCollins, 1978. ISBN-13: 978-0064402019

Pearsall, Shelley. All of the Above. Little, Brown, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0316115261

Pearson, Kit. Awake and Dreaming. Viking, 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0143056379

Wolfson, Jill. Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies. Henry Holt, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0805076707

Wolfson, Jill. What I Call Life. Henry Holt, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0312377526

Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion. Putnam, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0439636155

Critics have said

"A poignant and plausible story, Paris is well crafted and simply but elegantly told. Even secondary characters are well drawn and recognizable as they grow, mature, and propel readers to a satisfying, hopeful, though not pat conclusion."
Maria B. Salvadore, School Library Journal

"In well-crafted prose, Grimes dramatizes both the best and worst of foster care situations, offering both a compelling character study and a discussion-provoking final scene."