Whether writing poetry or fiction, Grimes has succeeded in creating works featuring young African-American characters with whom children and young adults can identify. Drawing upon scenes from her own childhood in New York City, Grimes is noted for successfully conveying the black experience and universal themes such as friendship, tolerance, family, and community relationships, and children surviving adolescence. Despite a difficult childhood, her stories are characterized by optimism and warmth.
Nikki Grimes has written for very young children, middle readers, young adults, and adults. She is a versatile and insightful observer of human nature, writing prose that is precise, poetry that is lyrical. Her acclaimed body of work includes the poetry books Come Sunday, an ALA Notable Book, A Dime a Dozen, a Junior Library Guild selection, and the young adult novel, Jazmin's Notebook, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Nikki Grimes currently lives in Los Angeles, California.