Title: Almost Zero: A Dyamonde Daniel Book
Author: Nikki Grimes
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Concepts: wants and needs, scarcity, choices
Review: Outspoken third-grader Dyamonde Daniel has returned for another interesting adventure, this one involving an agonizing lesson about true needs. When stylish Tameeka showed up at school in a fabulous new pair of pink high-tops, Dyamonde told her mother that she absolutely had to have the same pair in red. Mom had different ideas though, and she emptied almost all the contents of Dyamonde's closet to help her better distinguish between wants and needs. This lesson was further reinforced for Dyamonde when a serious fire left a classmate's family with virtually nothing except the clothes on their backs.
Award-winning author Nikki Grimes has built on the Dyamonde Daniel series with another book that weaves together engaging characters, a unique story, and a powerful lesson. This short novel provides a good opportunity to talk with children about wants and needs, one of the first economics concepts to which young learners are exposed in elementary school. Dyamonde Daniel is a very real and likeable character; young readers are bound to eagerly anticipate her next learning experience.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children