Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers

I typically like novels in verse, but I confess I had some trepidation about this book. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it- novels in verse is one thing, but novels in rap?? But knowing Walter Dean Myers I thought it surely must be a worthy read. I wasn't disappointed at all. It did take me some time to get the rhythm of the words down, after that I had no problem reading it. And it went beyond rap, beyond the words of the inner city. The rhymes and free verse were incredible. There were times I had to stop and reread passages because the imagergy and language were so powerful, and beautiful.

As I was reading I kept thinking that kids would love this book, and what a great companion piece to Romeo and Juliet it would be. Although, I have to say, I was disappointed in the end...I thought it would be more Romeo and Juliet like. Not that I wanted anyone to die but I thought that was were the story was heading. And, when it didn't go in that direction I wanted Damian to help Junice certainly, but not go with her! Yikes...what was he thinking, he was on his way to Brown. So much for being a romantic! I was torn. But what a great example of love across social and economic lines and the resilience of the human spirit. I also thought this would be a great book to use as a readers' theatre choice, or perhaps to pair with Langston Huges poetry. Lots of potential.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.