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Nimona - Teacher Guide

Nimona is the 2021 PPLD All Pikes Peak Reads selection. This guide is intended for teachers to use to incorporate the title in their classroom.

Welcome to the "Nimona" Teacher and School Librarian Guide!


Welcome to the All Pikes Peak Reads Curriculum Guide

We are so excited for our All Pikes Peak Reads choice - Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. We hope this curriculum guide will make it easy for you to use this text in your classroom with your students, in whatever what makes the most sense!

What is All Pikes Peaks Reads?

APPR is Pikes Peak Library District's annual community reads program that focuses on celebrating literature, improving community connections, and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Each year, PPLD selects APPR titles that focus on a variety of timely topics and plans a variety of community-wide programs. This year’s selected titles explore themes of hope, finding community and friendship, how we view those who are different than us, and how marginalized members of society are treated.

What is Nimona about?

Nimona is a brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson, full of nemeses, dragons, science, symbolism and more!

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Nimona was chosen to be our Young Adult All Pikes Peak Reads 2021 pick due to its themes of finding community in unlikely places, enduring friendship, and exploration of how we treat those in our community we see as different. We also love its witty tone, graphic novel format, and deconstruction of fairy tale tropes.

Nimona was selected as Indies Choice Book of the Year, National Book Award Finalist, New York Times Bestseller, New York Times Notable Book, Kirkus Best Book, School Library Journal Best Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book, and NPR Best Book.

How do I and my students read it?

Nimona is available for free, with a PPLD library, for check out at any library or on Hoopla School Districts that participate in PowerPass for students are also able to access the title through Hoopla. We also have a small amount of physical book sets to send to schools that request them. Benefits of using Hoopla include:

  • Students can all access the book online, at the same time, on Hoopla.

  • The book can be borrowed for 21 days.

  • On mobile devices and tablets, the book can be downloaded for later use without the internet.

  • Speech bubbles are quite small, thus we recommend reading the book on a computer or tablet. However, the pinch zoom feature can be helpful if a mobile device is needed to read the book.

  • It is possible for one person to download the book on multiple devices.

  • After some reading, you may close out of the book. Hoopla will automatically remember your spot when the app is opened again.

About the author:

Noelle Stevenson is an award-winning author, cartoonist, and animation producer.

She is the creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the animated television series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power which ran from 2018 to 2020. She is also known for the fantasy comic Nimona and her work on the comics series Lumberjanes.

Stevenson's work has won multiple Eisner Awards as well as a Daytime Emmy Award and a GLAAD Media Award. Stevenson is non-binary and has written about being transgender in works such as The Fire Never Goes Out.

Depending on your audience, readers and/or families may appreciate a notice prior to beginning the book that the author is transgender and non-binary.

What is the curriculum guide?

APPR is intended to start conversations in the community, and we want the curriculum guide to help you facilitate using the text in your school to do that.  We created several different types of tools that can be used in a variety of ways - for an informal book club discussion, down to writing prompts that have been written with the CDE standards of “Reading, Writing, and Communicating” in mind. We don't intend for one classroom to use all the tools, but for you to use what will work and make sense in your classroom, if any. Please see below for the connections to the CDE standards for the guide.

Oral Expression and Listening

Reading for all Purposes

Writing and Composition

Research Inquiry and Design

Grade Level

Standard Connection


Discussion question 1 - Standard 2, #1

Writing prompt 2 - Standard 1, #1

Writing prompt 3 - Standard 3, #3


Writing prompt 1 - Standard 2, #1

Writing prompt 2 - Standard 1, #1 and #2

Writing prompt 3 - Standard 3, #3 and #4

Writing prompt 4 - Standard 4, #1


Discussion question 2 - Standard 1, #1

Discussion question 4 - Standard 2, #2

Writing prompt 3 -  Standard 3, #3

Writing prompt 4 - Standard 4, #1

9/10 band

Discussion question 10 - Standard 1. #1

Discussion question 9 - Standard 2, #3

Writing prompt 7 -  Standard 3, #3

Writing prompt 6 -  Standard 4, #1