Riot by Walter Dean Myers

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Synopsis

As the Civil War rages, another battle breaks out behind the lines.

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, including the Colored Foundling Home, are burned down; 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.

Addressing such issues as race, bigotry, and class head-on, Walter Dean Myers has written another stirring and exciting novel that will shake up assumptions, and lift the spirit.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Walter Dean Myers

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Walter Dean Myers is the New York Times bestselling author of the first Michael L. Printz Award winner, Monster, and the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He's been writing since he was a child, and he's now considered one of the preeminent authors for young people. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family. You can visit him online at www.walterdeanmyers.net.
 
Published May 27, 2010 by EgmontUSA. 192 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Fifteen-year-old Claire Johnson, daughter of an Irish mother and African-American father, could pass as white but chooses not to, but her identity crisis mirrors the upheaval the city faces as Irish mobs—angry at the federal government’s Civil War draft, blacks they see as taking their jobs and w...

Aug 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Riot

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