It’s summertime in Harlem, and 14-year-old Mouse and his friends have plenty to do – basketball, “tubing”, getting ready for a talent show, and generally dealing with all the issues brought by family and friends. Add to the mix a mystery about an abandoned stash of loot hidden by gangsters in the 1930’s and you have a light-hearted look at a likable bunch of teens enjoying life in the ’90’s. The dated slang and pop culture references only make this more fun to read!
The title character is a 16-year-old aspiring model torn between that glamorous world and the world of a typical high school student. Her agent has high aspirations for her that include being seen with celebrities and a possible movie role. Her best friend Pat wants her to double date with a couple of boys from their school. Crystal doesn’t feel entirely comfortable in either setting. WDM shows a young girl afraid of giving up her integrity for the price of fame.
Tracing the legacy of the Lewis family from 1753 to 1994, WDM is at the height of his powers as he tells the stories of five characters over many generations, from Africa to South Carolina, Chicago, and New York. These are wonderfully detailed portraits that reflect time, place and sensibilities in realistic and powerful ways. My favorite so far.
If you want a tutorial on the theory of the social contract according to Hobbes, Rousseau, and Locke, this is the book for you. High-schooler Paul takes a summer job at a soup kitchen run by Elijah, who wants to teach him about the social contract. The tone tends to be a bit preachy, but there are well-drawn characters to keep the reader interested.
This is a collection of six Old Testament stories retold through the eyes of youthful narrators. Delilah of Samson and Delilah, Isaac of Abraham and Isaac, Ruth of Ruth and Naomi, etc. Myers chose compelling tales and has written them for contemporary audiences through his poetic voice. WDM’s son Christopher provides vibrant illustrations for each story.