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Dope Sick


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About the Author

Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.


Gr 9 Up-Things have never looked worse for 17-year-old Jeremy Dance, known as Lil J. After getting involved in a drug deal that ended in the shooting of a police officer, he's nursing a badly wounded arm and desperately looking for a place to hide. He stumbles into an abandoned building and finds an open apartment occupied by an enigmatic man who introduces himself as Kelly. Although Lil J at first assumes that Kelly is just another junkie squatter, a common sight in his Harlem neighborhood, he slowly begins to realize that something much deeper-and much odder-is going on. Using a television remote that seems capable of revealing all facets of Lil J's life both past and present, Kelly guides, probes, and sometimes unsettles the teen into reflecting on the choices he's made leading to a life of crime and drug addiction. Myers has long been an excellent source of rich, nuanced portrayals of inner-city teens, and Dope Sick is no exception; the use of magical realism brings depth and an intriguing strangeness to his sharp-eyed observations of Harlem street life and Lil J's interactions with family and friends. Lil J is a particularly complex and sympathetic character; even as Kelly forces him to take responsibility for his poor decisions, readers come to understand how poverty and a family history of substance abuse impacted his development. Myers's gritty depiction of one young man's struggle to overcome the lure of the streets is sure to keep teens turning the pages.-Meredith Robbins, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York City Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Rich, nuanced...the use of magical realism brings depth and an intriguing strangeness to [Myers'] sharp-eyed observations of Harlem street life."--School Library Journal (starred review)
"A didn't-see-that-coming ending wraps up the story on a note of well-earned hope and will leave readers with plenty to think about."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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