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Search tags: walter-dean-myers
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review 2018-09-07 11:17
The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage by Bill Miles and Walter Dean Myers
The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage - Bill Miles,Walter Dean Myers

This short, shallow look at the African-American US Army unit that fought in the trenches of France in WWI wasn't enough. First, the writing was pure US Army - that is, written at a 6th grade level (and that is not a dig at soldiers - all military writing is written at 6th-8th grade reading level to ensure everyone can/should understand). There was a lot more history of African-Americans serving in the military since the days of French and Indian wars through the Spanish-American war. Yet there were hardly any profiles done on the men who made up the Hellfighters; I learned more about the white officers in charge than the men who actually fought. There was very little detail, but a lot of fluff about how courageous they were and vague mentions of valor. I needed more than what was offered and felt the enlisted men of the unit deserved better writing on their achievements.

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text 2018-08-31 11:42
August Reading Wrap Up
The Johnstown Flood - David McCullough
Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
A Match Made in Spell: Lexi Balefire, Matchmaking Witch - Regina Welling,Erin Lynn
The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage - Bill Miles,Walter Dean Myers

Awful month for reading. My participation in COYER and Bob23 was bare minimum at best. I am hoping Halloween Bingo helps me pull through this slump and gets me to the magic number of 100 so I can be done with the last of reading obligations. Here's what I did read:

 

1. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough - 4 stars

2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - 4 stars

3. A Match Made in Spell by Regina Welling and Erin Lynn - 3.5 stars

4. The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage by Walter Dean Myers and Bill Miles - 2.5 stars

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review 2017-08-20 15:45
Monster - Walter Dean Myers

I am very torn with how to rate and review this book. I think this book did a lot of important things. However, I wouldn't say I necessarily liked the book itself.

I really disliked the format. It was an unique choice, but I personally wasn't a fan. The movie-style format made it rather dull for me and often very confusing.

I do think that at the time it was written, it was very significant that the main character was a black teenager. Even today, there are not as many books that follow characters of color as there should be. So the fact this one was published, won so many awards, and was so acclaimed at the time is very impressive.

Story-wise I followed most of it, but there were sections I had to re-read, because they were too vague. The ending was pretty predictable. I was more concerned with why Steve was being charged with felony murder in the first place when he may or may not had a very minimal roll in the robbery. But I suppose that was part of the point of showing how black men are treated in the criminal justice system.

Because of the style, it's a fairly quick read. I really liked the conflict of character that Steve faces and the concept of being a monster. But I don't think it was expressed as much as it could have been if it had been written in a different format.

Again, I think this book did a lot of important things, but I wouldn't say I liked it. However, I still recommend reading it for its significance.
It is an important representation of court trails and jail from the perspective of a black teenager, especially considering it was written for young readers almost 20 years ago.

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review 2016-10-03 18:51
Autobiography of My Dead Brother - Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers
Autobiography of My Dead Brother - Walter Dean Myers,Christopher Myers

I had trouble relating to the text, probably because it was so realistic. The art got me through. I would probably have enjoyed it more thirty years ago when I liked harsh truths, and didn't have kids.

 

Library copy

 

 

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review 2016-10-01 03:24
Juba!
Juba! - Walter Dean Myers

Middle-grade or YA Historical fiction.  Adequate novelization of the story of African-American dancer William Henry Lane (aka Master Juba) in the first half of the 1800's in New York City.  Juba's claim to fame came because of his chance encounter with Charles Dickens, and the subsequent review in Dicken's American Notes. Juba danced in England in the 1850's. It didn't turn out well in the end, but I'll let you read the book to find out why. 

 

In some ways the excerpts from historical documents are the best part of the book. I found the story a bit dry, and it took me two tries to finish Juba! 

 

I'd not previously heard of Walter Dean Myers. Juba! has attracted some attention as being Mr. Meyer's last novel, as it was drafted and I believe in production when Mr. Meyers passed away in 2014. 

 

 

 

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