Scorpions

by Walter Dean Myers

Twelve-year-old Jamal Hicks lives in a contemporary Harlem neighborhood in which... read more

Twelve-year-old Jamal Hicks lives in a contemporary Harlem neighborhood in which male peer tension and values can outweigh other influences, even family, church and school. Tension in the superbly plotted novel mounts once Jamal possesses a gun. Characterizations of Jamal, his best friend Tito, and his remarkably strong mother are powerful. The author allows readers the freedom to draw conclusions regarding Jamal's future, after reading the memorable final pages, which are certain to stimulate speculation. However, Myers leaves no doubt that he knows a boy can grow in courage and personal strength, even if the institutions he trusts fail him. (Age 11 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1988

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