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.
“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)
“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
“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)
“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
“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
“Characters have vivid page presence.” Kirkus Reviews
A powerful novel of drugs, violence--and second chances. Dope Sick, from two-time Newbery Honor winner and five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers, belongs on reading lists beside Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Dear Martin by Nic Stone.
A drug deal goes south and a cop has been shot. Lil J's on the run. And he's starting to get dope sick. He'd do anything to change the last twenty-four hours, and when he stumbles into an abandoned building, it actually might be possible. . . .
Elements of magical realism intensify this harrowing story about drug use, violence, perceptions of reality, and second chances.
This ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers earned multiple starred reviews and was described as "vivid," "nuanced," and "intriguing." Booklist said: "Myers' narrative strategy is so inherently dramatic that it captures his readers' attentions and imaginations, inviting not only empathy but also thoughtful discussion."
Walter Dean Myers was a New York Times bestselling author, Printz Award winner, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, two-time Newbery Honor recipient, and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Maria Russo, writing in the New York Times, called Myers "one of the greats and a champion of diversity in children's books well before the cause got mainstream attention."
About the Author
Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcom X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; New York Times bestseller Monster, the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was a National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.