Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cruisers by Walter Dean Myers YP FIC MYERS

Zander Scott and his friends Bobbi, Kambui, and LaShonda call themselves the Cruisers because that exactly what they expect to do, cruise through the DaVinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem with a solid C and little to no effort, but their underachieving ways have finally caught up with them. Now the assistant principal has tasked them with stopping a new civil war! The high school has been split into the Union and Confederate sides as a way to teach about the civil war and if the Cruisers can’t get the sides to come to a truce they are going to be booted out. But when real life racial tensions make the assignment all too real and the Cruisers may have to actually TRY.

Walter Dean Myer is an all time great writers of young adult lit. He writes such real and raw books that pull no punches, so I was surprised he was writing a book aimed more at middle schoolers than teens, but he pulls it off very well. the book is smart, fast paced, and all the characters feel real. Myers is always great at looking at the really tough issues like racism, war, and class, but without ever getting boring or preachy. One of the really tricky question of the book is, what would have happened to America without the Civil War? A great read for people that want a new series about the middle school set but with a cool urban flair.

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