Bad Boy
Walter Dean Myers
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Bad Boy

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,443 ratings  ·  268 reviews

Into a memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking, and unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers richly weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940s and 1950s: a loving home life with his adopted parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood. Although Walter spent much of his time either getting into trouble or on the basketball court, secr

Published (first published May 8th 2001)
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What a surprise! What a find! I got Walter Dean Myers' memoir "Bad Boy" for fifty cents in the kids' section at a church rummage sale Saturday. I thought I was buying it to add to my small, yet growing, classroom library. And many of my students have read Myers' "Monster."

Though kids might enjoy learning more about Myers because they've read his work, I'm not sure they'll appreciate the very thing in the book that I loved: Myers' thoughtful exploration of identity, in particular, the identity of...more
I some what enjoyed htis book. that is impressive because i would only read military books and this one was thurally enjoyable. i do recememd reading this book.
if you enjoy books about a young boys struggle to read while growing up on the streets in a poor family in Harlem. as a young boy walter myers would go to hte library and carry them home in a brown paper bag in a futil attempt not to be teased by the other kids. As a kid he loved to read and was destined to be an writer until he came to r...more
Shayna Grage
This book is a memoir about a boy named Walter. The story starts off by talking about his family and how different it is from most. His biological mother died so his father re-married. After that happened his father had 2 other girls with her. Her family, however, didn't like that she was married to an African American, she was forced to leave him. When she took her daughters, she also took Walter in. This is hard for him at times. The book then goes on to tell about his life and going through s...more
In one word: Important.

You need to read this book right now if you are any or all of the following:

1. A writer
2. A parent
3. A teenager
4. A former teenager
5. A teacher
6. Black

Myers' book "Monster" is required reading in a lot of secondary English classes, but I haven't heard of "Bad Boy" being on many lists. It should be. This is one of those very few and far between books that I want to re-read the minute I finish it. I wish I would've discovered it sooner. I can connect with "Bad Boy" on so man...more
Walter Dean Myers presents his story of a child consumed by books, but continually was an under achieving student. He kept getting in trouble in spite of being one of the brightest students at his school. His quick temper caused him to get into fights and he often missed school because he was either expelled or he spent the day reading in the park. Once he missed so many days that he didn't know the term had ended. The book had a refreshing honesty about his family situation. It would provide ma...more
This is a memoir of Walter Dean Myer's early life and probably targeted to middle school students; however, his is a compelling story of growing up in Harlem mid century that would speak to someone of any page, particularly since he ties his own story to an explication of his history as a reader/writer. Particularly interesting is a comparison he makes between himself and Mersault from The Stranger.
Jon Brown
This book was a gone one. This book was a great autobiography of himself. At first walter was afraid of people finding out he could read. He was afraid for them to find out he was smart and had great writing skills. Finally somebody did find out and what they did was totally unexpected...
Ranulfo C
"Bad Boy" by Walter Dean Myers, was the book i read. What initially made me grab the book and start reading it was just by the title and cover of the book. The title name just sounds intersting for me since i think i know what's a bad boy, but i wondered if the book would have a similar definition.

In the story there are many parts of how Walter, the main character, is supposly a bad boy in school and at home with the family. Walter is not really a bad boy as other people see him, but as the sto...more
I know of Walter Dean Myers and I've read an excerpt from a book of his, which one I don't remember, but it was so well written that when I came across this memoir of his, I was interested. Myers, as soon as he reached his teen years, struggled with his identity. Like many creative people, he didn't feel he fit in, although on the outside he could seem to be like any other young man, playing basketball, getting into occasional fights. At the same time, he loved to read and write. Myers was confl...more
"Bad Boy" the story of Walter Dean Myers life in the streets of Harlem and the challenges he faced from drugs, gangs and the feeling of having no hope to ever succeed. Walter shows the struggle of being a young African American and how you must survive. Walter at a young age was considered very intelligent the only thing that held him back was his speech defect. Much of Walter's life was something he fought for or strived for, something that really didn't expect with a kid that had so much rage...more
Myers wrote an exceptional memoir about his life growing up in Harlem. He doesn't sugar coat it and try and make it sound more impressive. Instead he shares his story about the fact he had or still has a horrible speech impediment but was an intelligent and strong reader. He truly was a bad kid who fought a lot and skipped school, but he doesn't glamorize the facts. He's inspirational for the age group I teach that think it's cooler to hate reading than to admit you're actually okay with it. Mye...more
I love that Myers so honestly shared the trials of his childhood, particularly the challenges he faced at home and the struggles of feeling different from his family and friends as a reader and writer. And some of the "bad" classroom behavior will surely slip into some of those teacher nightmares we dread. It's hard to believe he came out of some of the situations he faced alive! I loved reading about Harlem in the 50s and the big names that Myers came across growing up: Langston Hughes, James B...more
Mercedes H.
It was ok throughout, but at the end when he joined the army and had a bad life (it seems like that, anyway), it was a total letdown
I Liked this book because I find books on peoples lives to be interesting.I liked this book also because it goes to show you that there are people in this world that have had similar childhoods as you or me but, just because you come from a certain place that doesn't mean you can't go to bigger and better places. This piece of literature caught my eye from the cover of the book to the last page. I liked this book because after reading a page it makes you want to read another, and another eventua...more
Bad Boy
Walter Dean Myers
214 pages
New York
US $15.95 CAN $23.95

I never knew how much struggles African-American people had to go through during the past when racism was accepted. After I read the book Bad Boy, by Walter Dean Myers my view of racism changed. I never really understood the term racism until I read the memoir of Walter Dean Myers as a young African-American boy living during the time of racism.

In Bad Boy the book is about a young African-American boy around...more
Summary: Bad Boy is a memoir about a boy named Walter. The book kind of follows the life of Walter from the time he was little to now. Walter was an African American boy living in a mixed racial community. In school, Walter would always get picked on for his speech. He had skipped a few grades because he was so smart. Even though his speech wasn't the best, the teachers felt that he was too smart for his grade. He was actually a pretty tall kid. He was bigger than all of the kids even when he mo...more
Walker Yirkovsky
This book is really good. Its about this kid that grows up being really bad and getting into trouble a lot. He fought with teachers all the time so he went to different schools a lot. When he grew up he became nice and not beating so many people up. When he got to the age 18 he recruited into the Army because thats what he wanted to do because of the violence.
This story is being told by kind of long sentences and chapters. He talks a lot about he getting into trouble and getting into fights at...more
Samantha Eberle
A book like this usually doesn't make it onto my list of things to read. However, in my English class we were to choose a memoir to read, and this book seemed like the best option. I will say, the book wasn't awful, though it wasn't great. The book starts back when he's in kindergarden progressing its way to when he reaches the age of 16, and graduating high school. Throughout the book he talks about the topics of racism, and how people treated the "negroes." you get to see how truly proud he is...more
For a memoir assignment, I've just finished reading Bad Boy. This book is great! Tis book has to do with a boy who has had a very troubled childhood. When he was a child he always got into fights and broke things when he didn't get people's attention. However once he got older, he began tonsee the world differently, "the way an author would see it". Once Walter got older he found something that suited him, that connected to his way of life, writing. During his childhood Walter began to see how t...more
Armon Jones
Young Walter is a mess! He was an intelligent young, even though he started off a little late. He always fought and got into tons of trouble, but eventually grew out of his childish ways and grew up.
I actually thought the book was going to be about a random kid, but who would’ve thought Walter Dean Myers, an excellent writer, had been a bad boy. He reminds me a lot of me because I always used to get into trouble too.
I remember when I saw my little cousin lie to his mom about the bruises on his...more
Danielle Kern
Myers, Walter Dean. Bad Boy: HarperCollins: New York. 2001. 206pp. ISBN-0-06-029523-6.

Genre: Young Adult, Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: **** In this beautiful memoir, Walter Dean Myers describes what it was like to be a black boy growing up in 1950’s in Harlem New York. He lets us into his world were he struggles to fit in with his peers after he discovers that he is smart.

Summary: There is no other place that Walter Milton Myers would rather grow up than in Harlem. He loves the colors, the sound...more
The book Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers is my absolute favorite book for three reasons the plot of this book was excellent .I also love the author of the book, lastly I loved the setting of the book. And through the following paragraphs I will explain the following points in further detail.
The plot of the book Bad boy was amazing I love it because it is a true story of Walter dean Myers life. I love how it shows the progression of his life like when he finds out he is adopted and he goes to find h...more
Symone Harris
In the book, "Bad Boy: A Memoir," by Walter Dean Myers, it's about Walter himself, and his life. This story takes place in Harlem. It explains how he grew up in a mixed, racial community. He goes through so much as a kid. He grew up in a poor family. His mother died and his father re-married. This was really hard on him. After his dad had kids with her her family forced her to leave him because they did not like the fact that their daughter was married to an African American. When she left with...more
Rebecca Dalton
Pairing: Yummy will pair with Bad Boy. Both main characters are black males who are being raised in difficult situations. One of them makes it out and one of them does not.

Citation/ ordering information: MYERS, Walter Dean. A Memoir. 224p. HarperCollins. May 2001. Tr $15.95. ISBN 0-06-029523-6; PLB $15.89. ISBN 0-06-029524-4.

The audience for both books would be middle school students and up. The books may be more attractive to males than females. I would put both of these book in the hands of a...more
Jackson Bohn
The book "Bad Boy: A Memoir" by Walter Dean Myres is about the life of Walter Dean Myers' childhood in the 1940's and 1950's. Walter was a big kid who's solution to every conflict was fighting.Always getting in trouble and fighting in school people would look at him and think that he is dumb and Growing up in Harlem on 125th street with his adopted mother and his two sisters, Walter will experience first hand about racial issues, hiding insecurities, and how you don't have to go in the same dire...more
Janessa Brown
"Bad Boy", Walter Dean Myers' autobiography, is an intriguing piece of literature. It was an interesting choice on my part, as I have never read any of Myers other books. However, I was surprised at the upbeat nature of this memoir and its ability to keep me in its grasp. Myers grew up with extended family, the Dean's, and accredits his informally adopted mother to the spark of his ingenuity and success. As Walter struggled in the public education system with behavioral problems, speech impedime...more
Myers, Walter Dean. Bad Boy. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.

“Bad Boy” is a memoir written by Myers. Myers wrote about his young life. This book has small size, it has 214 pages,and no pictures in this book.

This book talked about a black boy was borned in Harlem, he has two sisters, both of them
like music and dancing. He always dance on the street to get money to buy some snacks.And he
didn’t like Jewish boys,the Jewish boys never hit back when someone hit them, they always let
black people cha...more
Luis Gutierrez
Bad Boy:A Memoir is written by Walter Dean Myers. Walter Dean Myers's purpose for writing this book was to reflect on events that happened during his childhood. Bad Boy:A Memoir takes place in the 1940s to the 1950s in Harlem, New York. Walter struggled as a kid with a speech disorder. Also, his family was poor and he would sometimes get bullied and teased by other kids in his grade at school. Walter loved to read, and he was also very intelligent. Walter would often get into trouble at school....more
Debra Zager
Walter Dean Myers is the son of a German and
Native American mother and a black father. Race was not a conscious part of his happy childhood in Harlem. Family, church and the books his mother read to him were the core of his early years. As he grew and went to school, he felt increasingly set apart by his love of books and poetry as well as by the speech impediment that embarrassed him. He longed for a friend "who would be a secret reader as I was, who would feel the same sense of being alone as...more
Jordan Lindsey
This book is really good. Its about this kid that grows up being really bad and getting into trouble a lot. He fought with teachers all the time so he went to different schools a lot. When he grew up he became nice and not beating so many people up. When he got to the age 18 he was recruited into the Army because thats what he wanted to do because of the violence.
This story is being told by kind of long sentences and chapters. He talks a lot about he getting into trouble and getting into fights...more
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Stacie Johnson

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.

After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empi...more
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“The idea of voluntary segregation went against every value I had been taught. What did being born black have to do with excellence?” 3 likes
“Each of us is born with a history already in place” 2 likes
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