Saturday, October 10, 2009
Book of the Week
I've read several of Walter Dean Myers' books and have thought highly of them all. I have to say that Monster is my favorite title by this author, but our book of the week is a pretty close second. It's called Street Love and it tells the story of a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet set in Harlem.
Well, it's not exactly like Romeo and Juliet. In fact, a lot of what annoys me about Romeo and Juliet is changed in Street Love. I love that Junice and Damien think deeply about their love, about their lives, and their futures. I love that they don't kill themselves at the end and that there's hope for their futures. I love that they're not just a couple of bored rich kids, but have real lives and real struggles to deal with.
What I love about the original Romeo and Juliet that is also found in Street Love is the power of the language. In both, the cadence of the poetry leads the reader to feel the power and rhythm of what the characters are saying. Though the characters are speaking musically, you get the sense that their words are alive and have meaning. Characters don't just drone on and on in these books; their language glides your through the narrative.
I loved this book. I think that it could appeal to a female or male audience. It's also a very do-able 134 pages in length and it's full of powerful lines and realistic characters. This book is on the bookshelf at the back of the room if you're interested in signing it out.