Walter Dean Myers's mother died when he was young, leaving his father to raise eight children alone. When he was three, Walter was taken in by a nearby couple, Herbert and Florence Dean, who moved with him to Harlem, New York. A speech impediment contributed to his unhappy time in school, although he did love to read and write. When he was 16 he won a prize in an essay contest, which encouraged him to continue his writing although he eventually dropped out of school and joined the Army. Afterward, he held a series of jobs before becoming a full-time writer. His first book for children, WHERE DOES THE DAY GO?, was published in 1969 after it won a competition sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children. Myers has been awarded the Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contributions to young adult literature.
"Another innovative work by an author constantly stretching the boundaries of what fiction can be, and a natural for readers' theater in the classroom."
"Myers crafts a sympathetic cast, which is excellent fodder for conversations about race and class, and the book is also a choice pick for reluctant readers who will relish both format and pacing. Once again, this master storyteller has delivered."
"Readers should find this story moving--a direct result of Myers's empathetic portrayal of those on both sides."
From the Publisher
In RIOT, bestselling and Newbery Award-winning YA author Walter Dean Myers creates a stirring and complex historical novel that addresses issues of race, class, and violence. Set in New York City during The Civil War, RIOT depicts the race riots that broke out after President Lincoln instituted a military draft from which the rich could buy exemptions. Seen from the perspective of a half-black half-Irish teenager, RIOT deals with the seething emotions at play at a time when America threatened to fracture into pieces.
During a long, hot July in 1863, the worst race riots the United States has ever seen erupt in New York City. Earlier that year, desperate for more Union soldiers, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a draft–a draft that would allow the wealthy to escape serving in the army by paying a $300 waiver, more than a year’s income for the recent immigrant Irish. And on July 11, as the first drawing takes place in Lower Manhattan, the city of New York explodes in rage and fire. Stores are looted, buildings set on fire, and black Americans are attacked, beaten, and murdered. The police cannot hold out against the rioters, and finally, battle-hardened soldiers are ordered back from the fields of Gettysburg to put down the insurrection, which they do–brutally. Fifteen-year-old Claire, the beloved daughter of a black father and Irish mother, finds herself torn between the two warring sides. Faced with the breakdown of the city–the home–she has loved, Claire must discover the strength and resilience to address the new world in which she finds herself, and to begin the hard journey of remaking herself and her identity.
Audio Cassette - Unabridged / Audio CD - Unabridged