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Bad Boy: A Memoir

by Walter Dean Myers

Published by HarperCollins, 2001
214 pages
ISBN: 0-06-029523-6

Ages 11 and older

A notable author of books for children and teens has now written about his own life in a memoir that offers an honest and intriguing look at his past, and a lively, forthright commentary on the challenges of growing up that will resonate for today's young-adult readers. Walter Dean Myers was hungry to learn as a child living with his adoptive parents in the vibrant energy of 1940s and 1950s Harlem. But he kept his love of books a secret from most of his friends and classmates. He didn't want to seem different. "As I approached my twelfth birthday I was six feet tall and physically aggressive. . . . I was also a reader. . . . I was completely comfortable alone in my room with a book, more comfortable than in any other situation." Myers can laugh at the child he was, and he can also question many of his choices and actions without wholly condemning the boy who made them. Many readers will see themselves in young Walter Dean Myers, eager to be cool, lying without reason, disappointing loving parents for the lure of excitement on the streets. Hopefully those same readers will also see some aspect of themselves in the bright, curious, excitable boy and young man that Myers so engagingly presents. A collage of black-and-white photos of Myers as a child and teenager is the cover design beneath the dust jacket of a surprising and wonderful memoir. CCBC categories: Biography and Autobiography; The Arts; Contemporary People, Places, and Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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