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.
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.