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Bad Boy [Hardcover]

Walter Dean Myers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 23.99
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Book Description

April 26 2001

Into a memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking, and unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers richly weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940s and 1950s: a loving home life with his adopted parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood. Although Walter spent much of his time either getting into trouble or on the basketball court, secretly he was a voracious reader and an aspiring writer. But as his prospects for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and his books for comfort. Here in his own words is the story of one of the strongest voices in children's and young adult literature today.


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From Publishers Weekly

Myers paints a fascinating picture of his childhood growing up in Harlem in the 1940s, with an adult's benefit of hindsight, wrote PW. What emerges is a clear sense of how one young man's gifts separate him from his peers, causing him to stir up trouble in order to belong. Ages 13-up. (May)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-This superb memoir begins simply with an account of Myers's family history and his boyhood. Vivid detail makes the Harlem of the '40s come alive, from the music and children's games to the everyday struggle for survival. As Myers grows older, however, his story also grows in complexity. Soon readers are caught up in his turbulent adolescence and his slow, painful development as a writer. Even while performing poorly in school, the teen endlessly devoured great works of literature, often in secret. He also wrote, sometimes quitting out of discouragement but always beginning again. Eventually he attended school less and less often, sometimes fighting roaming gang members or delivering "packages" for drug dealers. After dropping out of high school, he enlisted in the army. Sadness and bewilderment infuse these last chapters as Myers faces a bleak future. Intellectually, he's left his family and friends far behind, but his race and circumstances seem to give him few choices. After years of menial jobs, Myers remembered a teacher's advice-"Whatever you do, don't stop writing"-and in time his persistence paid off. This memoir is never preachy; instead, it is a story full of funny anecdotes, lofty ideals, and tender moments. The author's growing awareness of racism and of his own identity as a black man make up one of the most interesting threads. Young writers will find inspiration here, while others may read the book as a straightforward account of a colorful, unforgettable childhood.
Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Richview Middle March 10 2004
Format:Paperback
The story was about a boy born in a crowd of people. The boys mom died when he was 8 . years old. The boy was adopted and lived in a little town called Harlem. The boys name was Walter Dean. He was always in a fight at school in Mr. Conroys class. This caused the boy to miss so m up to write this book school that they were going to put him in a juvinele faciliy. The boy learned to stop fighting and that is how the story ends.
I liked the book because I was like the boy in a way,I was always getting in trouble. I would get my friends to rend this book because the boy had a hard life and was adopted and poor and grew up to write this book
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4.0 out of 5 stars N8Dawgs Review on Bad Boy Feb. 29 2004
Format:Paperback
Walter Myers is a troubled African american growing up in Harlem in the 1960's, where mos tof his life is fighting with other boys, the other half is spent reading books and writing poetry. Through he's teenage years and through school being 12 years old and entering high school he notices that he's speech is not up to standards and gets picked on for it. He runs into a litte touble for awhile with his new friend delivers a certain package. Through books and poetry Walter Myers finds out how to be a man, what he wants to be when he gets older, and how blacks play a role in harlem society in the 1960's.
The style of the book BAD BOY by Walter Dean Myers is a very slow paced book for the first couple of chapters, so for people who like to get into a novel and get to know all of the charactors and know what goes on in thier lives you can figure it out very easy. Than it dramaticlly gets very exciting with all of the fighting happens and the characters make mistakes and pay for them. It exploits the mind of the main character and gets into what he really thinks is right and wrong in society today and in the 1960's. You must have to get into these parts to further understand the novel Bad Boy. The beginning of this book is not very exciting nore moving, the book somewhat ends in a mystery which is very clever and unique, it ends and it makes you think about what could have happend to the character and where he/she is now.
I believe in my own mind that this book is very unique in the way that it doesn't give you to much information about the characters but just enough to always keep you on your guard and guessing what happens next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Rode Not Taken By The Bad Boy June 6 2003
By Kate
Format:Paperback
Bad Boys by Walter Dean Myers would receive 4 stars for reality, suspense, flare, and an on the edge of your seat story line.
Bad Boys is about a young boy named Walter whose life really only revolves around his family, school, friends, and his secret love of literature. Walter has a big problem with getting into mischief. He is always sitting in the corner or having his mother?s request to come in. But, his biggest problem is that when he gets home his mother is never happy with him, and her being an abusive alcoholic sometimes she would get rough with Walter.
Walter is an exceptionally bright student but with one problem, he has a speaking impairment. This impairment cannot be detected by Walter, but to everyone else it is a large distraction. Despite his speaking, Walter gets excepted to a higher grade and excepts the request. Through his new grade Walter learns the difference between being white and being black. Although Walter is black, he never knew that, that was looked at as a bad thing to most whites. Besides Walter being taunted about being black, he would also be taunted if everyone knew he loved literature and poetry.
At Walter?s new school, he begins to slowly grow up. He begins to skip school sporadically and begins to hang around a new friend. He slowly is persuaded by his family to change his ways.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Rode Not Taken By The Bad Boy June 6 2003
By Kate
Format:Paperback
Bad Boys by Walter Dean Myers would receive 4 stars for reality, suspense, flare, and an on the edge of your seat story line.Bad Boys is about a young boy named Walter whose life really only revolves around his family, school, friends, and his secret love of literature. Walter has a big problem with getting into mischief. He is always sitting in the corner or having his mother?s request to come in. But, his biggest problem is that when he gets home his mother is never happy with him, and her being an abusive alcoholic sometimes she would get rough with Walter. Walter is an exceptionally bright student but with one problem, he has a speaking impairment. This impairment cannot be detected by Walter, but to everyone else it is a large distraction. Despite his speaking, Walter gets excepted to a higher grade and excepts the request. Through his new grade Walter learns the difference between being white and being black. Although Walter is black, he never knew that, that was looked at as a bad thing to most whites. Besides Walter being taunted about being black, he would also be taunted if everyone knew he loved literature and poetry.
At Walter?s new school, he begins to slowly grow up. He begins to skip school sporadically and begins to hang around a new friend. He slowly is persuaded by his family to change his ways.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bad Boy, but good book April 2 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Walter Dean Myers, award winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, describes his life by saying, ´¿All in all it has been a great journey and not at all shabby for a bad boy´¿. Myers uses matter of fact descriptions, in a partisan tone, to allow the reader to ´¿see from the inside´¿ his 1950´¿s journey to becoming a popular and recognized writer for young adults. Chronologically, he tells his story of life in Harlem, where he struggles with his alcoholic mother, and depressed, illiterate father. Young Myers secretly has a great passion for reading and writing, and ashamedly uses this to escape his difficulties at home and school. Ultimately his struggles overwhelm him and he quits school and writing. At age 17 he joins the army, barely avoiding arrest by the police and abuse by gang members. After many desertions of his love of literature, he returns to it, following his English teachers advice, ´¿Whatever happens, never stop writing´¿ and continues writing today. Myers innovative style is represented in this book, as he presents his life as a journey with literature, rather than a bland account of his childhood. The medium typeface and plenty of white space, make this book appropriate for readers in grades 6-12. Although Myers´¿ literary references within the text may present some confusion for young readers, it also provides the encouragement that Myers considers his readers intelligent. This book is an excellent choice for minorities, young boys, as well as a true inspiration to all young writers.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for teens.
The book Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers is a memoir of the author's life. Set mostly in Harlem, the book follows Myers' troublesome childhood and the challenges he faced with his... Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars love of books; love of writing
Having written short biographies of Malcolm X and other public figures, Myers recounts his own experience growing up in Harlem in the 1940's-60's. Read more
Published on July 22 2002 by SW
4.0 out of 5 stars A life of the troublesome
The different things that happen in life is what makes life worth living, both big and small. Any event that happens in your life may change your entire life. Read more
Published on May 28 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read and good marks for the bad boy
You know a book is really good when you read a page, paragraph or sentence and you just have to find someone to share it with! Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2001 by Connie Lawson-Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT BORING!!!!!
I ONLY SAY THIS BOOK IS GOOD, BECAUSE IT IS AN AUTOBIOGRAPY OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN WHO WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A child's life in 1940's Harlem
This is a straightforward and workmanlike autobiography by a prolific writer of works for young readers, and is probably best for kids as young as eight through young teens. Read more
Published on July 19 2001 by Eileen Galen
3.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this book.
The boy, his story, and the setting all appealed to me, but didn't keep my interest. I'd recommend skipping this book, and go to a book like SIGHTS (Vance) that tells the a... Read more
Published on June 9 2001
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