Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Nikki Grimes
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
The Watcher can only be described as a work of art, beautifully written in a style of poetry called the golden shovel. Inspired by Psalm 121, the author follows the unique poetic style and uses the first eight verses to come up with a new story. This book deals with the subject of bullying and focuses on Tanya, the bully, and Jordan, the victim. Readers see both Tanya and Jordan's side of the story and their struggle to follow the commandment to love one another. Even though Every person has features and flaws that only God knows about it is important to show love to others in all circumstances.
This book teaches an important lesson, but it may not be appropriate for younger children as the subject matter delves deeper. Parents may not approve of the books vocabulary as it includes words like "stupid" and "geek," even though they are used to accentuate the seriousness of bullying. The cover and style of the book is a bit deceiving because it looks like it would be suitable for children in preschool or kindergarten, but it is more geared toward older elementary-aged children. The creativity, illustrations, unique style of writing should be praised by older audiences.