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Carmenby Walter Dean Myers
Synopses & Reviews
Into the summer heat of New York’s Spanish Harlem strides Carmen, a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets. When she first meets José, she falls for him hard. He’s not like the gansta types she knows—tipo duros who are tough, who think they are players. But José has a quick temper, and he likes to get his own way. And nobody gets in Carmen’s way.
When Escamillo rolls into town, everyone takes notice of the Latino Jay-Z—a quadruple-threat singer/rapper/producer/businessman. But he only notices one person—Carmen. And Carmen has given up on José—he’s not going to get her out of her tough neighborhood, el barrio, and into the action. Escamillo will.
But José won’t let that happen.
Passion, love, and betrayal explode into tragedy in this modern retelling of an enduring love story.
"...this concentrated dose of high drama is full of sharp repartee and would make a lively classroom read-aloud." - Publisher's Weekly
"Given how often Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has been reinvented, it's surprising that Bizet's famous opera has received little attention in the YA sphere (The Fortune of Carmen Navarro being a recent exception). Myers updates the classic story of doomed love with flair (and humor), moving the action from 19th-century Spain to present-day Spanish Harlem. The cast stays pretty much intact — sensuous, willful Carmen seduces a cop, instead of a corporal, before rejecting him for the flashier Escamillo, here a rap star/film producer. Written in script format like Myers's Riot and Monster, the story is broken up into two acts. The contemporary details will help it resonate with teens — instead of a smuggling ring, Carmen and her girlfriends are drafted to help pull off a massive credit card fraud. Bizet's opera broke new ground because it treated the emotions of its working-class characters with respect; Myers does the same. Though students unfamiliar with the opera may need some filling in, this concentrated dose of high drama is full of sharp repartee and would make a lively classroom read-aloud. Ages 12 — up. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWxyz LLC)
About the Author
Walter Dean Myers is one of the most renowned writers working today and has published in many genres, including nonfiction, picture books, poetry, historical novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is best known for his gritty urban YA novels, particularly those set in his beloved Harlem, including the New York Times Best-Selling Monster.
Myers has received many awards and honors for his work, including two Newbery Honor Awards, the first Michael L. Printz Award, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the Margaret Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the new Virginia Hamilton–Coretta Scott King Lifetime Achievement Award.
Walter Dean Myers grew up in New York City’s Harlem, where he sets this retelling of Carmen. You can visit him online at www.walterdeanmyers.net.
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