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Scorpionsby Walter Dean Myers
Synopses & Reviews
Lately everybody's messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal's brother Randy's in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack.
All the gang jive--Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it's the only way to cop the bread for Randy's appeal...
The story of twelve-year-old Jamal, whose life changes drastically when he acquires a gun.Though he survives the experience, it's not without sacrificing his innocence and possibly his relationship with his best friend.
1989 Newbery Honor Book
Notable Children's Books of 1988 (ALA)
1988 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1989 Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA)
The USA Through Children's Books 1990 (ALA)
Young Adult Choices for 1990 (IRA)
1989 Judy Lopez Children's Books Award, Honorable Mention
Children's Books of 1988 (Library of Congress)
1989 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
Scorpions, a Newbery Honor Book by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Walter Dean Myers, is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary!
When it was first published in 1988, Scorpions amazed readers. It continues to do so today. This special twenty-fifth anniversary edition contains the original Scorpions novel, plus an extra Q&A with New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers—including questions about juvenile detention facilities, gang life today, and friendship.
Also included are a sneak peek at Kick, by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman, and an excerpt from Myers's New York Times bestselling novel Monster!
Now with extra material to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Scorpions!
Everyone is getting on Jamal's case. The kids at school are bugging him, his teachers won't leave him alone, and the principal's always giving him a hard time. Even his mama yells at him, upset because Jamal's brother, Randy, is in jail. The only person he can count on now is his best friend, Tito.
But Crazy Mack wants Jamal to take over as the Scorpions' leader and run crack. Jamal doesn't want anything to do with gang life, but he doesn't have a choice—it's the only way to get money for Randy's appeal. And as long as he's got Tito on his side, Jamal knows everything will be okay. . . .
When it was first published in 1988, Scorpions blew readers away. It continues to do so today. This special 25th anniversary edition contains the original Scorpions story, plus an extra Q&A with New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers.
About the Author
Walter Dean Myers is an award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. He has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature and is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. His many titles include Bad Boy: A Memoir; Monster, the 2000 Michael L. Printz Award winner and National Book Award Finalist; and Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins. Walter Dean Myers lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
In His Own Words...
I am a product of Harlem and of the values, color, toughness and caring that I found there as a child.I learned my flat jump shot in the church basement and got my first kiss during recess at Bible school. I played the endless street games kids played in the pre-television days and paid enough attention to candy and junk food to dutifully alarm my mother.
From my foster parents, the Deans, I received the love that was ultimately to strengthen me, even when I had forgotten its source. It was my foster mother, a half Indian-half German woman, who taught me to read, though she herself was barely literate.
I had a speech difficulty but didn't view it as anything special. It wasn't necessary for me to be much of a social creature once I discovered books. Books took me, not so much to foreign lands and fanciful adventures, but to a place within myself that I have been constantly exploring ever since.
The George Bruce Branch of the public Library was my most treasured place. I couldn't believe my luck in discovering what I enjoyed most — reading — was free. And I was tough enough to carry the books home through the streets without too many incidents.
At sixteen it seemed a good idea to leave school, and so I did. On my seventeenth birthday I joined the army. After the army there were jobs — some good, some bad, few worth mentioning. Leaving school seemed less like a good idea.
Writing for me has been many things. It was a way to overcome the hindrance of speech problems as I tried to reach out to the world. It was a way of establishing my humanity in a world that often ignores the humanity of those in less favored positions. It was a way to make a few extra dollars when they were badly needed.
What I want to do with the writing keeps changing, too. Perhaps I just get clearer in what it is I am doing. I'm sure that after I'm dead someone will lay it all out nicely. I'd hate to see what kind of biography my cat, Askia, would write about me. Probably something like "Walter Dean Myers had enormous feet, didn't feed me on time, and often sat in my favorite chair." At any rate, what I think I'm doing now is rediscovering the innocence of children that I once took for granted. I cannot relive it or reclaim it, but I can expose it and celebrate it in the books I write. I really like people — I mean I really like people — and children are some of the best people I know.
I've always felt it a little pretentious to write about yourself, but it's not too bad if you don't write too much.
-- Walter Dean Myers
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