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The Cruisers (Cruisers #1)

3.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  403 Ratings  ·  129 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 did not like it
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
Dawn Michelle
Feb 10, 2011 Dawn Michelle rated it it was amazing
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
Serena L
Feb 03, 2016 Serena L rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2016 Leo rated it it was amazing
Link to the pinterest

The first picture is meant to represent Kambui. He is a very bipolar person, because he often switches on a dime from being Zander’s best friend to becoming a brutal, bloodthirsty fighter. Since the book is told from Zander’s point of view, Kambui is described as a good, reliable friend who is always there for Zander. However, if you judge him completely based on his actions, and ignore Zander’s subjectivity, Kambui is actually quite a terrible person. He is not only verba
6Johnson M
Oct 02, 2015 6Johnson M rated it liked it
Maya Johnson
Bauman Block 6
October 2, 2015
The Cruisers

In The cruisers we learn about a few students at a high school that are a part of writing a section of the schools newspaper called " The Cruisers." In the cruisers they talk about "Life on the high C's" (9) and "Therapeutic values."(38) This book seemed to leave be questioning a lot of things like why write the paper when its not really making people aware of anything and that its more opinionated. Kambui is a character in the book and
Read in 2012
Abdifatah Ashirow
Jan 14, 2016 Abdifatah Ashirow rated it it was amazing
The cruisers by Walter Dean Myers, is about a boy named Zander and his friends Kambui,LaShonda,and Bobbi.They attend DaVinci, a gifted and talented school in Harlem. Zander and his friends get in trouble when they get c’s.Mr culpepper, the assistant Principal, gives them a chance to prove they can be better. So, the open a school newspaper called The Cruisers.The cruisers have to prove themselves by making peace in a Civil War project. Zander and his friends get in a fight a with another group c ...more
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
Josh Guydon
The book, The Cruisers is about a handful of African-American students who attend the Da Vinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem. In the beginning of the story, we are introduced to the main character named Zander. Throughout the book, Zander expresses how he loves the subject English, and how he would like to write screenplays one day. Zander faces lots of adversity, like losing motivation with school, and dealing with the fact he might have to move to Oregon because his mother can ...more
Angel Jenkins
Sep 06, 2013 Angel Jenkins rated it it was amazing
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.
Ellie Fater
"When you don't name something you can't deal with it unless everybody is agreeing to it." Walter Dean Myers is known for addressing social issues through an adolescent lens in many of his books, which is why I like him as an author and why I picked up The Cruisers. This book is the first in a series by Myers, and I think it addresses the issue of race in a healthy way. The students in the story are part of a simulation that is meant to help them understand the Civil War. However, the reenactmen ...more
Oct 18, 2015 Caitlintobin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-school
I could not finish this book. I could not get behind any one character. The story follows a group of middle school students who publish an "independent" school newspaper. They begin a school project related to The Civil War and use the newspaper as a way to express opinions. The plot of the story is jerky. Newspaper articles/editorials are sprinkled throughout and provide the background for what is happening at school, but the articles did not help me understand the events at the school and the ...more
Jun 01, 2011 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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 liked it
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
May 14, 2012 Kenzie Keppner rated it it was ok
Shelves: eng-356
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
Sep 06, 2010 Dawn rated it liked it
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
Mar 08, 2011 Victoria Whipple rated it did not like it
Shelves: thms, middle-school
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
Jan 29, 2011 Kerri rated it liked it
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,
Jun 30, 2010 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-challenge
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
Apr 20, 2012 Kay Mcgriff rated it liked it
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
Nov 30, 2012 Hosea Karr rated it liked it
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
Sep 25, 2012 Devon G rated it liked it
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
Jan 04, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: younger-readers
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
Jul 15, 2013 Rachel Grover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-678
**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
Sep 09, 2010 Destinee Sutton rated it really liked it
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
May 07, 2013 Nick Marchman rated it liked it
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
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Stacie Williams
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 about Walter Dean Myers...

Other Books in the Series

Cruisers (4 books)
  • Checkmate (Cruisers, #2)
  • A Star Is Born (Cruisers, #3)
  • Oh, Snap! (Cruisers, #4)

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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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