Study Guide

Raynard Patterson in Bronx Masquerade

By Nikki Grimes

Raynard Patterson

People don't think much of Raynard. Heck, the other kids in Mr. Ward's class doubt he can even read. Maybe that's why he hasn't ever read at an Open Mike Friday.

Of course that's not the case at all, though—Raynard's secret is that he's dyslexic. This means it's tough for him to read, even though he's just as smart as any of the other kids in his class:

Homework was a nightmare. Essay questions in history and English. What are they trying to do, kill me? All those words swirling around the page gave me a headache I'm still trying to get rid of. If only they could give homework a beat and put it on a CD. Now that would work for me. Then they'd be speaking my language. (59.1)

With one poem, Raynard shows his classmates what he's been up against. He's not stupid; he's working his butt off to keep up with them and doing a pretty amazing job. He's kind of an inspiration—just like all of Mr. Ward's students.