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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,973 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
After reluctantly taking on the leadership of the Harlem gang, the Scorpions, Jamal finds that his enemies treat him with respect when he acquires a gun--until a tragedy occurs.
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published April 25th 1990 by Turtleback Books (first published June 20th 1988)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2008 Lanier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nathaniel
"In a moment that passed so quickly that it was almost a memory before it happened, Tito had turned and run back to the cab."

It wasn't until re-reading a few sections over again, over the phone with this young student's summer reader, that Myers hits you. If you read too quickly you miss some great moments from his seemingly subconscious rhyming within several different characters' dialogues. He perfects this in later novels, but it is still amazing how these little gems help construct their col
Xavier Tanner
Dec 07, 2009 Xavier Tanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jamal Hicks, the main character, is pressured to become leader of the Scorpions gang because his older brother who is 17 was the leader. His brother wanted someone to take that place while he was in jail because he held up a delicatessen and shot a person there. Jamal didn't like a boy name Dwayne, a kid who picks on him, but one time he tried to pick on him but he would not pick on him because he had a gun. Jamal gains a new level of respect from his enemies, but in a bad way. Jamal also worrie ...more
Makiya Dees
May 07, 2015 Makiya Dees rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 27, 2009 Sammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scorpions is about a boy, Jamal that becomes the leader of a dangerous gang in order to raise money to buy a lawyer for his brother. Jamal’s brother Randy was once the leader, until he was arrested for killing a man. Jamal’s family has no idea about him leading this gang, but his younger sister Sassy finds out once she sees that Jamal has a gun hidden. The guys in the gang aren’t okay with their new member, but once Jamal wants out, they don’t make it easy for him. The setting takes place in Ha ...more
Matthew Martinez
Why did i pick this book? well because it looked like a good book to read so i decided to read the back of the book to see what it was about abd sure enough i checked it out. It looked like a book that i would want to read or could read and mainly because i had to pick a book for my project.

The book was really good because it really relates to what is happening on the streets today because kids are having to make life changing actions in a split second and having to deal with a bullys. That co
Jan 11, 2013 Rayne_T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scorpions was a book about a boy named Jamal who lives in Harlem, New York who lives with his mom and his younger sister. Everybody is getting on Jamal about his school work and bullying him. His dad ,his principal and this bully at school. Jamal also has an older brother names Randy and he is in jail. His mom works hard hours to try to get Randy out of jail. Since his brothers in jail Randy sends message to Jamal asking him to take his place in this gang he is in . Jamal joins the gang and one ...more
Jonathan Maduike
Scorpions by Water Dean Myers became one of my favorite books after reading it. The book follows Jamal Hicks, who is pressured to join a street gang called the Scorpions after his older brother gets locked up in jail. He doesn't really bond well with the members in the gang, and wants out, but the members won't let him flee easily. Throughout the story, he questions whether he should stay in the gang and risk being incarcerated or killed by rival gang members, or leaving and getting beat up by t ...more
Sherry Ou Yang
Jamal, joins a gang called the Scorpions after his brother tells him that he is now the leader. Jamal, thinking he now has all this authority and power begins to gain confidence and starts doing things he would have never done before. It isn't until he kills someone and that his best friend, Tito takes the blame for him that he realizes his mistake. Jamal wishes he can take everything back, but he can't. He lost the best friendship that he could ever have and regrets it dearly.

Scorpions is an a
Dec 07, 2009 Qazi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is really good it about a boy and his friend who face challenges as they try to take over a gang that their brother started they meet these 3 guys that will let them be in the gang. but the rising action is as they try to lead the gang these 2 guys follow them to the park and try to kill them but one of the guys die and the to friend spit apart do to the accident that happened in the park that night. at the end they unite but not for long.
May 18, 2009 Im33zy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book right here is an Im33zY classic i will never forget this book! this book right here is about a brother who joins a gang because his brother is in prison and his brother told him not join in it and he did anyway and now he was forced to be the leader and is changing his life into a monster. it's a good book with a lot of drama!
Jun 13, 2012 7703Emil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great plot and book written by Walter Dean Myers, now one of my favorite authors. The Scorpions kept me flipping pages while reading about Jamal Hicks life and his brother Randy, who went to jail on account of murdering someone. The end is very unexpected, and I recommend this book to anyone who likes Walter Dean Myers and whoever knows about street life.
Elijah Ashford
Oct 29, 2014 Elijah Ashford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it is very interesting because it is about a boy named jamal and trying to survive in a gang.
Jan 06, 2017 Kody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theresa Harris
Feb 20, 2017 Theresa Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most memorable part of the book to me is that it's sad. It's true, gritty depression in the best way possible. You can see the misery these young adults face in their living environment. To have to grow up so quickly with gangs, drugs, arrests, and alcoholism in a more ragged place truly shows a huge issue America continues to face to this day. The realism- the poverty, the stress and cracks in character from their difficult situations truly gives this book life, and will show every reader t ...more
Feb 04, 2017 R.L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A middle-grade reader, so not a difficult read for an adult. This story is a bit dated, but the message remains important. A great story set in a culture most folks are not aware of. The characters are well-drawn. The dialogue is paced so that the reader is kept interested.
Christina Potter Bieloh
Very engaging but so sad and just frustrating as you get the sense that Jamal is trapped in his life and can not make the choices (or they really are not available) to turn his life around.
Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers is a look into friendship and Loyalty, and how far some is welling to go to help the ones they love.

The Scorpions is a tough Harlem gang, and Jamal Hicks is about to become involved in this gang from the sins of his older brother. Pushed to his limits by a bully named Dwayne , and being told everyday by his principle Mr. Davidson that he won't amount to anything and will only end up dead or in a prison , Jamal is having a difficult time staying in school, and stayi
Feb 11, 2013 NebraskaIcebergs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever held a gun? If you were suddenly to find yourself in possession of one, what would you do? Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers is an empathetic portrayal of Jamal, who finds himself in this situation. Just as well-crafted is the gradual way in which Myers intensifies the conflict: Jamal goes from punching the class bully to wielding a gun to escape a fight. Scorpions is worth the Newbery Honor it received and should invoke thought from all who read it.

In some ways, Jamal is a typical ki
Oct 09, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walter Dean Myers creates amazing characters. Jamal is the protagonist who has some large conflicts going on in his life. The book does not cheese out at the end; rather, Myers provides realistic resolutions to the conflicts. The book has some humor, but it fit with the mood of the story. I experienced quite a range of emotions reading this novel.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alicia  Neely
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Angel Torres
Apr 04, 2014 Angel Torres rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Myers purpose in writing his book, Scorpions, is to make the audience aware of the causes that can happen in different situations. By that I mean that he used characters in certain situations that involved actions that can be considered as crimes. For instance when the speaker was talking to the boy Tito, he had shouted out that he raped a girl and she replied with a “so what” because she had no idea what that meant. The speaker, Jamal, was no older than 13 and Tito was no older than 13. So to m ...more
Sep 25, 2016 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our 7th graders at school are reading this novel, which is how I came by it. It's a good book--interesting characters who are, for the most part, decently deep and believable (aside from, perhaps, the older boys in the gang) but it did kind of lag in the middle and didn't seem to have the profound impact on me that I thought it would have. I feel like when I was in 5th grade, The Outsiders was the school-appointed 'gang book' and this is an alternative - not a new generation's book, as this was ...more
Whitney Price
English 425 Submitter’s name __Whitney Price_____
Book Bank Book Bank subject: classic

Reference information:
Title Scorpions
Author Walter D. Myers
Publisher HarperTrophy Year 1988
# of pages 216 Genre Fiction
Reading level Interest level 14-16 year old boys
Potential hot lava:
Gangs, drugs, violence, language

General response/reaction:
I personally did not really like it. The way they talked kind of reminded me of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I do think that boys would like it over girls. It was
In this gripping urban tale, 12-year old Jamal is a protagonist growing up with many chips stacked against him. His single mother struggles to balance the duties of rearing 3 children (one of whom was recently imprisoned for murder) with the various responsibilities of life in the ghetto, where even finding steady employment is difficult. In the first chapter, while awaiting his mother's return from visiting his brother in prison, the
stresses of Jamal's life are made plainly clear: He tries to
Brian Murray
This was acceptable. Walter Dean Myers has done much better, though. It's forgettable at worst.
Hasan Aladwan
Mar 05, 2013 Hasan Aladwan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel was a very good book and a great choice of book. If you like action and heart racing books, this is the book for you. This book is mainly towards preteens to adults. I personally enjoyed reading the book myself. I chose to read this book because it seemed interesting. It talks about violence in gangs. Jamal is a seventh grader who no one likes at school. Mostly everyone picks on him, especially Dwayne. Throughout the story he faces many problems. He only lives with his mother ,Mrs. Hi ...more
Oct 31, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The genre of the book is fiction. I chose to read this book because it seemed interesting. It talks about violence in gangs. Jamal is a seventh grade who no one likes him at school. Mostly everyone picks on him, especially Dwayne. Throughout the story he faces many problems. He only lives with his mother Mrs. Hicks and sister Sassy Hicks. Jamal has an older brother named Randy. Randy doesn’t live with them because he is in jail for killing someone. One day his mom was telling Jamal how she wants ...more
Plot Summary

Jamal is a twelve-year-old African American teen, coerced into gang life by Scorpion gang member, Mac, and Jamal’s older brother Randy, whom is in jail for killing a man. Randy was the head of the Scorpions, but since he is in jail he is no longer able to play that part. Some of the gang members are happy about Jamal, whom is quite a bit younger than the other members, taking over. Other members are upset about this. Jamal, himself, is unsure if he wants to get involved. However, bec
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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...

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“It's a hard life sometimes and the biggest temptation is to let how hard it is be an excuse to weaken” 49 likes
“Sometimes when things get hard, we tend to set our sights on what's hard, that difficult thing that keeps us upset, and we turn our back on our strengths. ” 30 likes
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