Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What They Found: Love on 145th Street

I've read a lot of Walter Dean Myers books, from Slam to Monster and haven't enjoyed one yet. Well, that has all changed as of this morning. I read What They Found in three hours, not stopping for breakfast. This collection of short stories centers around the different kinds of love a Harlem neighborhood experiences. This love runs the gamut from a girl caring for her addict mother to a soldier finding love on the battlefield.

I always read with my students in mind--they will love the intertwining stories and realistic dialogue. While some of the stories are borderline risque, there's nothing I wouldn't feel comfortable discussing with middle school students. The stories all have a clear lesson, but are not preachy.

Myers' female characters are not entirely believable. Their emotions are simplistic and they seem like caricatures rather than real people. Still, this is a minor criticism for an engrossing and enjoyable page-turner

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