Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes: This paper is about the changes teenagers go through as they mature, and how peers influence the way you look and act on problems.

Essay by clarebear87High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2003

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Growing Up

Bronx Masquerade is about problems young teenagers have to face while finding themselves. In this book people change the way they look, act, and even think to feel like they fit in. These teenagers mimic people they look up to, or think "cool" because of their fear of being themselves. During these adolescent years many kids have low self-confidence and/or self-esteem, so they give up easily and believe others are better than them. This book takes a turn when the teacher introduces poetry to the class. The kids learn how to express their feelings through many different ways, one being poetry. When someone has self-confidence they have a stronger belief in themselves and in what their trying to achieve in life. Nikki Grimes writes this novel to show how hard people try to please everyone but themselves, just to fit in, until they realize they're most important in life.

Grime's seems to believe that people will change the way they look or act to feel comfortable in/with their surroundings because if they change who they are then they're not being themselves. For example: a conversation between Devon a character in the book and his homeys. "'Yo, Devon where you going?'" I tell him I'm heading for the gym to meet Coach and work on my lay-up. Then once they're out the door, I cut upstairs to the library to sneak a read" (30). In this dialogue Grimes is showing how people hide themselves because of their differences. This quote supports the author's reason for writing the book in that, people will act differently around others because of the fear of rejection.

In another, Sheila Gamberoni, an Italian girl in the book, wants to change her name to Natalina. In this conversation Grimes shows the extent of change people...