Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers

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Myers is at his clever best in this witty and action-packed, coming-of-age story of a teenager's summer during the Harlem Renaissance and his run-ins with famous gangsters, writers, and musicians.

It's 1925 and Mark Purvis is a 16-yr-old with a summer to kill. He'd rather jam with his jazz band (they need the practice), but is urged by his parents to get a job. As an assistant at The Crisis, a magazine for the "new Negro," Mark rubs shoulders with Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. He's invited to a party at Alfred Knopf's place. He's making money, but not enough, and when piano player Fats Waller entices him and his buddies to make some fast cash, Mark finds himself crossing the gangster Dutch Schultz.

About Walter Dean Myers

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Walter Dean Myers is the 2012 - 2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He is the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author an award-winning body of work which includes, SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, SLAM!, and MONSTER. Mr. Myers has received two Newbery Honor medals, five Coretta Scott King Author Awards, and three National Book Award Finalists citations. In addition, he is the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Published March 1, 2007 by Scholastic Press. 165 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Humor & Entertainment, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Harlem Summer

Kirkus Reviews

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Provisionally adopted by The Crisis’s literary editor, Miss Jessie Fauset, Mark attends Alfred Knopf’s elegant party, which serves up illegal liquor (like the rent parties uptown) and music that gets a little too hot.

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Publishers Weekly

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In nearly 60 poems, Myers (145th Street ) treats readers to a tour of Harlem's past and present, its hopes and fears, through the voices of narrators young and old.

Nov 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Harlem Summer

Publishers Weekly

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But there is sadness too-a ""fleet of funeral cars"" or ""endless depths of pain/ Singing a capella on the street corners."" Throughout, the past overlays the present, like a legacy passed down (""A journey on the A train/ That started on the banks of the Niger/ And has not ended"").

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Youth Services Book Review

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Nov 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Harlem Summer

The Raw Reviewers

It's 1925 in Harlem, New York when readers are transported into the life of Mark, the main character of HARLEM SUMMER.

Apr 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Harlem Summer

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