Summer Reads: Scorpions
A book so well done you'll forget you're reading!
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Publisher/Date: Harper and Row, 1988/Amistad, 1990
Number of Pages: 216
Recommended age of readers: 12 and upIt's not a classic—yet—but Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers sure reads like one. The book has already been named a Newbery Honor Award book and author Myers has received the Coretta Scott King Award five times. He has also won the Margaret A. Edwards Book Award. After reading the book this summer, I can see why. I got so lost in the story, I would forget I was reading.
The setting is the urban jungle of Harlem, New York. Jamal is a normal 12-year-old boy, whose brother Randy is in jail for armed robbery and murder. Randy needs $2,000 for his court appeal, but Mama just doesn't have the money.
The only way to get the money is for Jamal to become the leader of Randy's gang, The Scorpions. Randy's friend Mack gives Jamal a pistol and tells him to think about it. Jamal is confused and under even mor pressure because another boy is bulling him at school. Jamal's best friend Tito adds to the stress when he tells Jamal he isn't too sure about the whole Scorpions thing.
The way Myers puts his words together makes me feel like I'm in the story, and it's a great feeling. As you follow the story, you go through a variety of feelings—from happy, to sad, to confused, to excited. I even felt some of these feelings at the same time as I was reading Scorpions.
Scorpions is a great book and I highly recommend it.
PHOTO: Book Cover Courtesy Harper Collins/Amistad
NOTE: What books have you read this summer? Use the blue comment link below to make your own book recommendations or add your thoughts about Scorpions.