Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bad Boy: A Memoir by Walter Dean Myers

I love that Myers so honestly shared the trials of his childhood, particularly the challenges he faced at home and the struggles of feeling different from his family and friends as a reader and writer. And some of the "bad" classroom behavior will surely slip into some of those teacher nightmares we dread. It's hard to believe he came out of some of the situations he faced alive! I loved reading about Harlem in the 50s and the big names that Myers came across growing up: Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Billie Holliday. I didn't love the writing; some of the chapters jumped around to a bunch of different topics: basketball, school, reading, girls, gangs. I think some students may struggle with the lofty literary allusions (this former English major did!) but if they can accept their confusion and read past it, it could be an enjoyable book for the right kid.

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