Synopses & Reviews
The itch starts when things get too heavy for Lil J. Skin popping or stealing pain pills from his mom help him relax. But Lil J's focus is wandering because money is short, and his man Rico knows a way to make some quick cash. It's supposed to be an easy deal, but it isn't so simple when the buyer is an undercover cop.
With a gunshot wound to the arm, Rico in jail, and a police officer clinging to life, Lil J is starting to get dope sick. He'd do anything to change the last twenty-four hours, and when he stumbles into an abandoned crack house, it actually might be possible. . . .
Walter Dean Myers weaves elements of magical realism into a harrowing story about drug use, violence, alternate perceptions of reality, and second chances.
“Myers narrative strategy is so inherently dramatic that it captures his readers attentions and imaginations, inviting not only empathy but also thoughtful discussion.” ALA Booklist
“Drugs, drive-by shootings, gang warfare, wasted livesMyers has written about all these subjects with nuanced understanding and a hard-won, qualified sense of hope.” New York Times
“A didnt-see-that-coming ending wraps up the story on a note of well-earned hope and will leave readers with plenty to think about.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Characters have vivid page presence.” Kirkus Reviews
“Readers might be moved to consider what theyd do in their own lives if they could start with a clean slate.” Bulletin of the Center for Children & #8217;s Books
“Rich, nuanced…the use of magical realism brings depth and an intriguing strangeness to [Myers] sharp-eyed observations of Harlem street life.” School Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Walter Dean Myers is the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers has received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He is the author of two Newbery Honor Books and five Coretta Scott King Awardees. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and is a three-time National Book Award Finalist as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was the 2010 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and is considered one of the preeminent writers for young people. Walter lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.