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Bad Boy: A Memoir

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,651 ratings  ·  285 reviews
In a memoir that is gripping, funny, and ultimately unforgettable, New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers travels back to his roots in the magical world of Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s. Here is the story of one of the most distinguished writers of young people's literature today.

As a boy, Myers was quick-tempered and physically strong, always ready for a
Paperback, 214 pages
Published May 7th 2002 by Amistad (first published May 8th 2001)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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

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 many differ
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
"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
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
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...
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
Rebecca McNutt
Really incredible memoir, the true story of a boy who wanted to make something meaningful out of his life but was growing up in a place where you have to be tough to survive. It was vividly detailed and intense to read; definitely one of my new favorite memoirs.
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.
Sam Johnson
Walter Dean Myers portrayed his life beautifully in Bad Boy: A Memoir.When reading this nonfiction book you find yourself truly in this boy’s life.You’re thoroughly intrigued by wondering what will happen next. The story is a first person view of Walter, a young black boy living in Harlem. You travel through Walter's life as he finds his path.
You start the book by describing Walter’s family. Walter lives with two white parents after his mother dies. As a young boy, Walter is much bigger than th
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
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
May 21, 2013 Dean added it
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
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
Book review written by:Karson Klocko

Bad Boy is very interesting book that is written by Walter Dean Myers and stars Walter Dean Myers as the main character, and talks it doesn't talk about Walter Dean Myers life but some of his family’s history. For example in the first chapter Walter finds out his great grandfather was a slave. Bad Boy also takes place in harlem during the 1920s at the end of the Harlem Renaissance and lots of the given culture at the time had died off, and some of Walter’s fri
In the memoir Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers, Walter explains about his memories in his life year by year. Walter's story is about being called a "bad boy" which is not true, but people assume that just because he is black. He grew up with a lot of racism in his life, but didn't pay any attention to it, and didn't let it affect him as a person. The central message in Bad Boy is to overcome anything that is bothering, and to be better than that that thing. Growing up in Harlem, Walter already was g ...more
In the memoir Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers, Walter recalls the most important events of his life year by year. His story is about living with racism and being called a “bad boy” when really he was not. The main idea or message from Bad Boy is no matter what your surroundings and society may be you can always be greater. Growing up in a poor family in Harlem meant that his hope for a successful future weakened as he realized the class and racial struggles that surrounded him. He began to doubt hi ...more
Ahna Sky
Over the past couple of months, I have read the book Bad Boy, by Walter Dean Myers. The book starts off with his early childhood. In the book, Walter talks about life as “a black” in the 1940's, and all of the struggles that come along with it. His great-uncle was a slave, his father had married two times and had many children, they moved very often, and he had to put up with all of the unequality going on. His mother was very hardworking, cleaning houses and doing labor work, but she decided to ...more
Walter Dean Myers was a writer of children and young adult books. I discovered his books when I was 13 or 14. The first book I read by him was Slam!. I've never been into basketball, but I did love the book and felt a strong connection to the characters. Walter Dean Myers and S.E. Hinton were the ones that really got me into reading. After reading Slam! and The Outsiders I was hooked on reading.

It has been quite a while since I've read anything by Walter Dean Myers and in January I decided to ta
Jocelyn Taylor
I decided to read this book because I am teaching a unit on the poetry of Walter Dean Myers to my 4th graders. Reading the story behind his poetry, and learning how the lack of intellectual African American role models effected Mr. Meyers was eye-opening. It put his works into context and made them seem even more important.

I loved the detail that Mr. Meyers went into when writing this memoir. At the end, though, I am left with a lot of questions. The story basically ends when he joins the army
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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
Jackson Fenicle
The story "Bad Boy" has a lot of different interesting aspects to the story. Walter Dean Myers did a great job at writing this story and I enjoyed this story a bunch. I couldn't put this book down when I started reading it.

What I enjoyed about this story is how well the sentences flowed while reading it and how gripping this story was. I couldn't believe that this was a true story. I disliked how there wasn't more comedy in the story because the comedy added something interesting to the story.
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
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
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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 about Walter Dean Myers...
Monster Fallen Angels Slam! Sunrise Over Fallujah Shooter

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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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