"A moving, lyrical, and completely convincing novel. . . . Woodson nails Lonnie's voice from the start, and lets him express himself through images and thoughts that vibrate in the different kinds of lines he puts down. . . . Woodson's created a character whose presence you can feel like they were sitting next to you. . . . Don't let anyone miss this."–Kirkus Reviews, starred review *
"In a masterful use of voice, Woodson allows Lonnie's poems to tell a complex story of loss and grief and to create a gritty, urban environment. . . . Minor characters are three-dimensional, making the boy's world a convincingly real one. . . . The author places the characters in nearly unbearable circumstances, then lets incredible human resiliency shine through."–School Library Journal, starred review *
"The sixty poems are skillfully and artfully composed–but still manage to sound fresh and spontaneous. The accessible form will attract readers; Woodson's finely crafted story won't let them go.
"–The Horn Book, starred review *
"Woodson, through Lonnie, creates a contagious appreciation for poetry while using the genre as a cathartic means for expressing the young poet's own grief."–Publishers Weekly, starred review