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The Cruisers (Cruisers #1)

3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  354 ratings  ·  116 reviews
School is hard enough, but when you're misfits on a mission, you're really put to the test. The re-launch of a popular middle-grade series by Walter Dean Myers.

Zander and his crew are underdogs at DaVinci Academy, one of the best Gifted and Talented schools in Harlem. But even these kids who are known as losers can win by speaking up. When they start their own school newsp
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Published August 1st 2010 by Brilliance Audio
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Jan 13, 2011 Andy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 1-star
While it is nice to see Walter Dean Myers writing for young readers about significant issues, this particular book (the first in a new series) was forgettable. Eighth-graders at a gifted school in Harlem are learning about the American civil war. In a mock re-enactment the students are divided into Union and Confederate sympathizers, with “The Cruisers” assigned to keep the peace. Unfortunately the characters lacked any development. While the peacekeepers bonded over their failing grades and the ...more
I adore Walter Dean Myers. This is the only book I've ever come across that explains race relations to teenagers. (I think people of all ages should read it, especially television "journalists" and public servants.)

I read this book with a freshman I'm tutoring. It was definitely easy reading for the student, and we both enjoyed it. Also, I think the subject matter really put into context the history and legacy of the civil rights movement. That era seems so far away to the younger set, but this
Bethzaida Acevedo
Tell me more about the characters?
The characters in the book are irresponsible and not doing very well in school. The principal is a very thoughtful person and is trying to get some sense into their heads and give them one more chance. In the book , Mr. Culpepper tells them their grades said enough for the way they're acting in school.

Do they have a voice of their own?
Yes, they have their way of showing what they want to be and what they want do in life depending if they care to even pass their
Angel Jenkins
This book is really good so far! There are two groups called The Sons Of Confederacy, and The Cruisers. The Cruisers are peacemakers, and the Sons Of Confederacy are just trouble makers. There are two sides taking place in this book. You're either a Southerner, or a Northerner.
"If I'm going to have a fight I got to see the win in it so I'll know what I'm fighting for."

—Zander, The Cruisers, P. 32

With this book, Walter Dean Myers has launched a new series that I think holds a lot of promise. Zander Scott and his three friends Kambui, LaShonda and Bobbi are students in eighth grade at the Da Vinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented, in Harlem, New York. When the school's principal calls Zander and his three friends (collectively known as "The Cruisers" in reference
Aug 26, 2010 Sps rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: middle
A book about contemporary, academically gifted African-American kids that doesn’t back down from talking about being contemporary, academically gifted African-American kids in a mostly white school environment. And it’s for tweens. And it’s funny. Rara avis indeed.

This is actually the first of a series about four friends, the Cruisers, who are a mix of genders, ethnicities, interests, and ambitions. This little book is a breeze to get through but it clocks in at just over 100 pages, so libraria
Kenzie Keppner
I really did not enjoy this book very much. I wouldn't say it was terrible but I wouldn't say it was good either. I found that I had to force myself to read it just to get through the book. I didn't feel like I could relate to any of the characters but that could be because I'm white and the book deals with racism. I also felt like a modern day school wouldn't have allowed what happened in the book. This book is written for the younger side of young adult literature. I just felt like it wasn't e ...more
I like Myers because he tackles some interesting ideas for young adults. The Cruisers are four members of an alternative school newspaper (vs. the asst.-principal sanctioned "normal" school newspaper). They are tasked with the very difficult job of "peacekeepers" of the Civil War. They come up against the Sons of the Confederacy, a group of kids who seem to enjoy stirring up racial conflict. The topic of free speech, and the power of the mind over the power of the fists, are developed and presen ...more
Zander Scott and his friends, Kambui, LaShonda and Bobbi are students at the DaVinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem. Unfortunately, their grades are slipping and Mr. Culpepper, the assistant principal, is just waiting for the opportunity to kick them out of the school. Part of the problem is their alternative newspaper, The Cruiser, which allows them to present their own unique point of view to the rest of the students. They are given one last chance to stay. The school has begun ...more
Victoria Whipple
So, I know Myers is trying to appeal to a middle school audience, but I just don't see how this will do it. The book follows a group of intellectually gifted children who write a newspaper for their school. The students and their classmates are working on a unit on the Civil War, and as the Cruisers are racial minorities in their school, things are said and done that hit some nerves. Unfortunately, more focus is put on the issues leading to the War, and so it reads like a history lesson. Then th ...more
I wish I had a category for "books based on historical events that make you think about current events and would be good simply for teaching the thoughts that come up" but I don't. I really don't think a typical kid would be very interested in this book, but from a teacher's perspective, I am really excited about it.

The events of the Civil War and all the reasons behind it are mirrored in the actions of the teenagers in the book. The power of words and the fact that you can't "just throw spit,
3 and a half stars to be more precise but I rounded up. Too many middle school students do not know anything about the Civil War. Myers takes a novel approach (literally) to this problem by crafting what amounts to a new civil war with fresh, interesting, if occasionally flat (I'm looking at you mom and AP) characters...

Three issues:

1. Perfect list type book except there was one biological term for male anatomy, and we all know how that goes...

2. Despite the Cruisers being enlisted to mediate be
Karen Ball
At the Da Vinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem, the 8th grade is going to study the Civil War in a very unusual way. The whole class has been divided into Union and Confederate sides, and they are itching to go to war. Zander, Bobbi, Kambui and LaShonda are the Cruisers, who believe that grades aren't everything and life ought to be enjoyed more... which gets them into trouble with the assistant principal after they publish an article in their alternative school paper. Their conse ...more
Kay Mcgriff
Zander and his friends Kambui, LaShonda and Bobbie have a problem. Even though they are students at the school for gifted and talented kids, they are not living up to their potential. The assistant principal is ready to throw them out unless they can come up with a plan–and fast. Their last chance is to broker a peace between the students who have been assigned the role of Union sympathizers and Confederate sympathizers in a school-wide Civil War project. Zander hopes they can pull it off with t ...more
Hosea Karr
The Cruisers
By Walter Dean Myers

The cruisers genre is realistic friction base on friend and friendship, school life. The book was took place in Harlem, New York. Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12 1937, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. For some reason his mother died when he was three and his dad was very poor so his father give him away to Harbert Dean. He was real good writer in high school. However he about to drop out but on of his teacher advised him to keep on writing no matter what hap
Devon G
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Author: Walter Dean Myers

It's modern day, and the Cruisers are given the task to settle a war between the North and South in a school event taking place in the historical period of late-colonial times. The Cruisers (a newspaper team)have to succeed in keeping the peace or they face being expelled. Most of the members in the Cruisers are African American, making this more then just the grade. The Cruisers must make their moves cleverly, but at the same time restra
The novel is set in and around a magnet school for the gifted and talented in Harlem. The main character and his friends make up a group that have concluded that their middle-school grades will be of no consequence later in life (so long as they pass) and are content to “cruise” by with C’s. Their lackluster academic performance and some other antics have them on probation, and they have been told that in order to stay in school, they will need to negotiate a truce between the Union and the Conf ...more
The Cruisers is by prolific author and poet Walter Dean Myers. It is more accessible to a younger audience–upper elementary and middle school as opposed to high school/young adult–than his usual work. It is appropriate for grades 4-8, depending on the dynamics of each particular group/individual reader(s). The main character is in 8th Grade.

This book looks at race and slavery as kids in the middle school divide into North & South for a Civil War project. This particular plot is not unique, i
Rachel Grover
**Used as a booktalk book**
I really enjoyed this book. While it was short, it gave a look into a group of outcast students who go to a gifted and talented school in Harlem who embark on a school-wide project immersing themselves (and taking sides!) into the Civil War. They find out along the way that some of the race issues from the Civil War are still prevalent today and work together to discuss their impact. I was surprised how it ended. This book is appropriate for today because despite the p
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

DaVinci Academy in Harlem is focused on gifted and talented learners. Unfortunately, Zander Scott and a few of his friends are not making the grade. They haven't been performing up to their potential lately, and the principal is about to make an example of their lax study habits by kicking them out. The four friends must find a way to prove themselves.

They are given the opportunity when the school begins a unit about the Civil War.
Destinee Sutton
This is a book about a school assignment. Sounds boring, right? Well, I think it managed to be as interesting as a book about a school assignment can be. See, there are these 8th graders: Zander, Kambui, Bobbi and LaShonda, collectively known as "The Cruisers" after an alternative school newspaper they produce. The Cruisers, all of them smart but unmotivated when it comes to school, are assigned to play the role of peacekeepers in a kind of mock Civil War going on at their school. The kids playi ...more
Nick Marchman
My book of choice for my review is The Cruisers by Walter Dean Myers. Zander, LaShonda, Bobbi, and Kambui are group of friends who attend DaVinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented. It’s one of the best schools of in Harlem. The four of them each have a talent for writing and creative expression, but they have failing grades. Mr.Culpepper, the assistant principal, has had enough of them and he’s ready kick them out. Zander, the main character in the book, lives with his single mother while his ...more
Abby Johnson
The Cruisers are four friends at the Da Vinci School, a school for gifted students in Harlem. None of them are living up to their potential and their principal gives them one last chance to prove themselves. The school is participating in a Civil War reenactment, dividing up the students between the Union and Confederate factions. The Cruisers are charged with negotiating peace between the two groups. But when words start to fly, things get way more complicated than any of them could have imagin ...more
Erin Forson
The Cruisers
by Walter Dean Myers
I hate to say it, but I wish I had “cruised” right on past this slim little novel. The DaVinci school for gifted and talented students is in the midst of a Civil War assignment where a group of African-American students (The Cruisers) are charged with using the school newspaper to illustrate the types of things that were said and that some people believed during the Civil War. By doing this, the principals of the school hope to get the kids more in touch with what
Walter Dean Myers is an amazing author. I was intrigued by the cover and by the premise of this story. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I had a hard time really getting into the story and it felt shallow. The topics that were being delt with were not shallow (racism and broken families). As the main character observes, these are complex issues, but I felt that Mr. Myers didn't go as deep into it as he could of, or as middle school readers can and want to. I'm constantly impressed by ...more
While not perfect, this is an excellent book in its ability to portray the start-point of an uncomfortable discussion. Told from the viewpoint of a middle schooler, it addresses racism, history, cultural viewpoints and other topics in a way that is believable for the setting.
Several critics have suggested that the 8th graders in the story are too smart to be believable. I didn't have that problem, given that they are in a Gifted & Talented program, more intelligent and articulate than an ave
April Suter
Zander is in 8th grade and enrolled in a special academic school for gifted kids. LaShonda, Bobbi, Kambui and Zander are all unique and
may not be living up to their potential, therefore cruising through school. Their assistant principal has challenged the group to mediate or be the peacemakers during the civil war debate/exercise the school is currently involved. That becomes a real challenge and makes the young men and women personally evaluate, and in some instances experience, each issue of t
Sheryce Steele
I thought The Cruisers was a pretty alright book. It was a little short for my taste and jumped around a bit, but was good. It definitely seemed like a tween book, which I haven't really read since about third grade. So I had a bit of hard time really getting into the book. However, it was a well-written book and had a fairly good plot. There just wasn't much complexity or depth to it, I felt. It never really drew me in like all of the other books so far.

As this is a tween book, there isn't much
Another one for which 1/2 a start would be useful. It was a bit more than "ok" but not quite "I liked it". Certainly, it should be part of a school library and recommended to young adults. It is a short book, but one of a series about this group of kids - the "Cruisers" - so I didn't get any sense of knowing them enough to care about them. Zander has potential - interested in the normal things of the age, enjoys his unusual appearance, and aware enough to know there is more out there that he nee ...more
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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...

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Cruisers (4 books)
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“If I'm going to have a fight I got to see the win in it so I'll know what I'm fighting for.” 2 likes
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