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Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices (Bank Street College of Education Claudia Lewis Award (Awards)) Hardcover – October 24, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Bank Street College of Education Claudia Lewis Award (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; F First Edition edition (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823418537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823418534
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,426,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6 Up–Myers's skill with characterization and voice are apparent as he models Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology (Sagebrush, 1962) to bring Harlem to life for readers. A complexity of experiences comes through vividly in the varying poetic styles, from the Deacon Macon R. Allen: "Don't give me no whispering church/Don't be mumbling nothing to my Lord/You came in crying and you going out crying/So don't be holding back the word" to 14-year-old Didi Taylor: "I'd love to live on Sugar Hill/Be as rich as I could be/Then all the folks from down the way/Would have to envy me/I'd stick my hincty pinky out/Put my hincty nose in the air/Get a hincty chauffeur to drive my car/And a white girl to do my hair." Selected black-and-white photos from different time periods accompany some of the poems, but the connection to the subjects is often slight. While there are occasional references to historical events or people, this collection can be enjoyed without knowing them. The rich and exciting text will give readers a flavor of the multiplicity of times and peoples of Harlem, and the more than 50 voices will stay with them, resurfacing as their understanding of the context develops. Use this title to supplement classroom presentations, for individual or choral recitation, or simply suggest that teens find a good chair, get comfortable, and listen to what the people have to tell them.–Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-10. In the introduction, Myers writes that he was inspired by Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, in which the people who live in a fictional town tell their stories in verse, and by his love of the Harlem community where he grew up. In each poem here, a resident of Harlem speaks in a distinctive voice, offering a story, a thought, a reflection, or a memory. The poetic forms are varied and well chosen. While some are formally expressed free-verse poems, others use the rhythm and rhyme of early blues songs or the graceful, informal cadences of conversational speech. Expressive period photos from Myers' collection accompany the text of this handsome book. Rather than illustrating specific poems, they help to create the look and feel of the time and place. Six vivid prose statements, called "Clara Brown's Testimony," appear throughout the volume and reflect different stages of her life. The rest of the pieces are poems revealing the experiences and personalities of 53 people, from student to retiree, from hairdresser to hustler, from live-in maid to street vendor-guitar player. Some of the individual poems are exceptionally strong and memorable. Collectively, they offer a colorful and warmly personal portrayal of Harlem. Whether used as a performance piece or read from cover to cover, this unusual book will be long remembered. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author who has garnered much respect and admiration for his fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. Winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Forthofer on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a review of this book in a textbook on adolescent literature that was used in one of my graduate school courses. The review spoke highly of this collection of poetry, and I've enjoyed Myers fiction works, so I figured it would be a great addition to my YA library (I am a high school English teacher). However, when I received the item and began reading it, I wasn't as thrilled as I anticipated being. The poems, while good in their own right, did not strike me as poems that would attract the young (and struggling) readers in my classroom. I would advise leafing through this book at the library first, if you are considering using it in your classroom, prior to actually purchasing. I still may attempt to find a way to use it (perhaps with my Honors classes), but the poems didn't leap off the page as easily accessible to my students, nor particularly relevant to their adolescent lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on October 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book made me laugh and cry. I read it in one setting, it pulled me in immediately. It has the substance that one hopes to find in poetry. What ever your ethnic background the eclectic voices will touch your heart. C. Fields
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this CD of Walter Dean Myers "character tales" in poetry form of people he either witnessed, knew, or imagined. Myers has wonderful YA novels, but these poems are for all teens through senior citizens. You learn some history in characters who made their names known. You learn a lot about both the Civil Rights Movement and "just plain people" growing up in Harlem. Wonderful.
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