Carmen
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Carmen

2.8 of 5 stars 2.80  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Into the summer heat of New York’s Spanish Harlem strides Carmen, a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets. When she first meets José, she falls for him hard. He’s not like the gansta types she knows—tipo duros who are tough, who think they are players. But José has a quick temper, and he likes to get his own way. And nobody gets in Carmen’s way.

When Escamillo ro...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by EgmontUSA (first published January 1st 2011)
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Clarissa Santiago
Carmen, "a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets". Meets José, she falls for him hard. He’s not gansta type she knows that tipo duros who are tough, who think they are players. But José is extreme irascible, no one is to mess with Carmen.

When Escamillo rolls into town, everyone takes notice of him especially Carmen. Hence Carmen has given up on José he’s not going to help her out her struggling neighborhood, and into the action like cool Escamillo will. But José refuses for that to ha...more
Marlene
Carmen is a realistic fiction novel by Walter Dean Myers. Carmen was published on
April 26,2011 based on a true opera. I picked up this book because it was recommended to me by one of my summer school teachers. After that book I started to read 2 other books by the same author, and still plan on reading more. In the book, I was expecting Carmen and Jose to spend their life time together since she had feelings for him for quite a while.

The book is about a girl named Carmen who had a crush on a g...more
Josiah
“Love came easy, but it just wasn't for me.
It flew away like swallows on a summer evening.
Love sang softly, but it just wasn't to me.
Was I a fool to give my love, to give my soul,
and more away?
My heart aches with longing, cries each night,
As I just fall apart."

―Carmen, singing Love Has Flown Away, P. 70

I hope that eventually some enterprising filmmaker takes a look at some of the books that Walter Dean Myers has written, and decides to adapt one or two of them into movies. As in Riot, C...more
Val
May 10, 2011 Val rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Review Posted Originally On:
http://www.truthbetoldblog.com/2011/0...

Carmen was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. This story moved quickly and drew me in story from the very first scene. If you enjoy reading plays, you will definitely want to pick this one up.

The characters in this play have very imaginable personalities. Each one has their own unique way of speaking and/or singing. By the end of the play you can even figure out who is speaking without looking at the name.

I enjoyed that this st...more
Katie
Recap:
When Carmen - a gorgeous, young, Dominican woman - sees Jose - the boy she had a crush on so many years ago - it doesn't matter that he is a police offer (who will soon be arresting her!), all of the old feelings come rushing back.

Jose quickly falls deeply in love, but it isn't long before he begins to show the darker side of his feelings. Carmen always thought true love was dangerous, but she still wasn't prepared for this.

Review:
Walter Dean Myers is the man. 145th Street, Street Love, H...more
Jen
Carmen by Walter Dean Myers is an urban adaptation of the classic opera. Carmen is a stunningly beautiful Latino girl (18)who all the men hope to capture the love of. The story takes place in Spanish Harlem where life is tough. Carmen meets Jose, a 21 year old police officer, who has a dark side that the reader does not see until well into the book. Carmen remembers Jose from childhood when they lived on the same street and she had a crush on him. When Carmen sees him again, the old feelings com...more
cecilia
A modern-day telling of the French opera Carmen along the lines of what West Side Story did for Romeo and Juliet. Saucy and vivacious chica del barrio Carmen knows how to wrap guys around her finger, so when she sets her sights on Officer José, he never had a chance to resist. Carmen likes undying devotion in her men, but José gets a little too possessive to her liking. She drops him for the flirty rapper-turned-producer Escamillo which leads into a tragically explosive conclusion.

I had been exc...more
Barbara
The always innovative Walter Dean Myers takes the classic opera Carmen and turns it into a play set in New York's Spanish Harlem. The setting and the language he chooses gives the story a hip, it-could-happen-to-me-or-some-people-I-know feel, and many teen readers are liable to relate to the attractive, self-confident Carmen who is looking for a way out of the world in which she lives. Sometimes love or falling in love can seem to provide an avenue for escape. In this case, though, Carmen rekind...more
Jennifer
A thrilling modern-day adaptation by the brilliant young adult author, William Dean Myers of Georges Bizet's classic opera, Carmen, set in Seville, Spain in the mid 19th century, Carmen is sure to wow young adults everywhere. Myers' version, set in New York's Spanish Harlem, the play tells the tale of Carmen, Escamillio and Jose's love triangle interspersed with actual songs from the opera, Carmen. I am familiar with the music from the opera, Carmen but never have seen a production on stage or r...more
Katie
Georges Bizet's 19th-century opera about a lusty gypsy who is killed by a disturbed lover receives bold new treatment in the hands of Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers. The story is relocated from Seville to East Harlem, and the characters' occupations are updated: While Carmen still works in a factory, soldier José is now a cop, shy country girl Micaela an aspiring schoolteacher, and, most notably, flamboyant bullfighter Escamillo an equally flamboyant rapper-entrepreneur. Myers cleverly ad...more
Ofa Fotu
Myers puts it into a screen play form (or a play form) there is even songs and music. It is a Spanish Harlem rendition of the opera "Carmen". The main characters are Latino - and there is a lot of attention paid to culture and dialect. There are themes of violence (fast decisions with sad consequences), unhealthy love relationships, and fate. It was a beautiful read and I felt I could really get into the characters, despite how sparse the descriptions were (most of it is dialogue - screen play s...more
Rachel
This was a pretty amazing project by Walter Dean Myers, grand-daddy of all things YA Lit. He takes the opera "Carmen" and adapts it to an urban setting but still retains the main plot and essence of the opera. Yes, there are urban images/vocabulary. Personally, the fact that he can adapt George Bizet's 1875 opera to appeal to modern-day urban teens is a feat in itself. What I found even more impressive is that he includes some of the opera music (original)that would still be used in his producti...more
Toby
I like that the author experiments with style in this book, writing a screenplay? script? for a drama based on an opera but moving the action to modern day Spanish Harlem. We were considering it for a Mock Coretta Scott King discussion but don't believe it meets the criteria as it doesn't illuminate an aspect of the African-American experience. Still, readers can check out annotated music and lyrics at the end of the book as well as downloads from www.walterdeanmyers.net - undoubtedly, this dial...more
Emily
I loved the concept of this book. The opera Carmen, set in contemporary times in "Spanish Harlem." But I just didn't really get into it. I wanted to. I wanted to love it. It may be that it's too high-concept for me, with music in the back, but I love the music from Bizet's Carmen, so I don't think that's it. I wonder if teens would make it through the book, unless they are reading it as play. It could make for a cool school assignment from the right teacher, but it fell flat for me. Maybe the pl...more
Alicia
Myers took the opera/novella and hundreds of remakings (as he pointed out in the afterword)and reacreated an urban drama in screenplay format that makes it accessible for teens. I must say that I've only heard of the opera and didn't know anything about it but Myers conveyed the idea pretty quickly and easily. Carmen is a fireball with insecurities covered up by her striking beauty since she can so easily fall in love with a man so obviously wrong (and unstable) as Jose. I am interested in liste...more
Laura
Carmen is one of my favorite operas, and if this book gets more students to go see it (and from there, perhaps to other operas) then great. The author has changed very little other than the setting and some of the language: the names all remain the same, and some of the more famous songs are here in modern translations ("The Toreador Song" isn't, which makes sense as the setting has moved to el barrio). Walter Dean Myers is such a beloved author that I'm certain readers will read (and enjoy) thi...more
Martha
How fun was this book? It's set in Spanish Harlem in the present and Myers includes the lyrics for some of the songs within the text. I found the story very entertaining and felt like I was watching the opera. The sad part was that I didn't know what dances the characters were performing, I kept slipping back in time.
The notes about the story and the music by Myers is interesting, absolutely worth reading, using perhaps as a springboard to other music and stories which is something I've been con...more
Wally
Walter Dean Myers tells you in a long author's note how much he loves the opera Carmen, and it shows. He worked with a young composer-arranger to create new versions of Bizet's classic work (which you can listen to on Myers' website), and he adapted the original book to this stage play format.

It works, and it's a quick read, but I wonder just how many kids will pick this up because of the opera link. Myers' many fans will be likely to try it out, though.
April
You know how you read a really excellent adaptation of a story and that becomes the standard by which you set all of the other adaptations? Then you may get really disappointed when other versions don’t quite live up to your expectations.

Read the rest of my review here
Heather
Great cover and premise. I think you have to be familiar with the songs and the opera to appreciate this story. I'm not sure if teens will be interested without having seen the play or movie. Reading it felt a bit too much like a school assignment.
Tweller83
Oct 19, 2012 Tweller83 rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tweller83 by: Publisher 10-12
This turned me off from the beginning. I'm not sure why except i didn't feel connected to any of the characters. It is told in a play format which turned me off as well.

And I like Walter Dean Myers' other books I've read. Sigh...
Gabrielle
I usually love Walter Dean Myers, and I love the idea of this book, but I just couldn't get into it. I'm thinking it would be good as a read-aloud (and I wouldn't mind seeing it performed), but reading it was a bit of a struggle.
Sarah
Think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the Carmen novella by Posper Merimee, seen the Georges Bizet opera, or seen one of the movies before reading this book.
Tameka
I love the story of Carmen and Myers' adaptation is nice, but I don't like how it reads like a screen play. And the narrative of this book never mentions that it reads this way.
Anni
I thought that maybe, even though I thought Carmen the opera was boring, that a modern retelling would be more interesting, but it wasn't. So I stopped reading it.
Elsa
I personally don't like to read plays. I vaguely remember the story of Carmen and I think kids who aren't into theater will have a tough time with this one.
Jonathan
Powerful updating of iconic opera into modern day Spanish Harlem, complete with after text about the opera, musical scores, etc. Interesting read.
Donalyn
I liked the premise of the book-- a modern day retelling of the famous opera, Carmen-- but the story lacked character development.
Ann
I was so not impressed with this book and I can't think of one teen that I would really want to recommend it to.
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13291
pseudonyms:
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
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“We all think we're different, but when it comes around, we end up needing the same things. Somebody to love us. Somebody to respect us.” 10 likes
“Love came to me, but it
Just wasn't for me.
It touched my heart and left it
Lying on the shore, and
Love smiled at me, but it
Just wasn't for me.
It glanced my way with pity, but
I soon knew it had other plans.
Once again my heart was broken;
I was all alone to
Mourn.

―Carmen, singing the reprise to "Love Has Flown Away”
5 likes
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