Amistad Press, Paperback, 9780064472883, 224pp.
Publication Date: May 7, 2002
In a memoir that is gripping, funny, and ultimately unforgettable, New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers travels back to his roots in the magical world of Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s. Here is the story of one of the most distinguished writers of young people's literature today.
As a boy, Myers was quick-tempered and physically strong, always ready for a fight. He also read voraciously he would check out books from the library and carry them home, hidden in brown paper bags in order to avoid other boys' teasing. He aspired to be a writer.
But while growing up in a poor family in Harlem, his hope for a successful future diminished as he came to realize fully the class and racial struggles that surrounded him. He began to doubt himself and the values that he had always relied on, attending high school less and less, turning to the streets and to his books for comfort.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.
“[A] superb memoir. Young writers will find inspiration here.”
-School Library Journal
“Myers paints a fascinating picture of his childhood growing up in Harlem in the 1940s.”
“Many of the individual scenes have power…and the author’s voice and heart are consistently heard and felt throughout.”
-The Horn Book
“A powerful read. Will make the reader laugh out loud & sigh with satisfaction.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“A thoughtful, cautionary and inspiring tale.”
“This memoir joins the ranks of stellar literary autobiographies, such as Fleischman’s Abracadabra Kid and Zindel’s Pigman and Me.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Myers captured what it was like to be young and black while growing up in the city. As he often said, he wrote books he would have wanted to read as a kid. Myers died after a brief illness. He was 76. More at NPR.org
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