Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lockdown” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,569 Ratings  ·  328 Reviews
Walter Dean Myers enjoys speaking with kids in schools and juvenile detention facilities about writing and making positive decisions. He says, "I have enormous faith in young people."

What's it like in juvie jail? Enter the world of fourteen-year-old Reese, who's locked up at Progress juvenile detention facility. Can he get a second chance?
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Amistad (first published February 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lockdown, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lars Guthrie
Nov 14, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Start your story with a fourteen-year-old boy. He’s African-American. His father is not always around, and is abusive when he is. His mother is an addict. Most of the kids he knows are thugs.

He’s doing time for stealing a doctor’s prescription pad. Locked up in a dirty, tough New York juvenile facility, ironically named the Progress Center, he’s trying to walk a thin line between maintaining some dignity and staying meek enough to earn his release.

The story has to be in first person. It has to
Karen Ball
Feb 26, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-challenge
Reese is 14 and in the second year of his sentence at the Progress juvenile detention center. He was arrested and convicted for stealing a doctor's prescription pads, and selling them to a drug dealer. If he behaves and follows all the rules, he might be able to get out early, especially if he gets good reports from his work assignment at a nearby nursing home. If he can't manage that, he'll get sent "upstate" and the prison there is far worse, with much less chance of getting out alive. Reese i ...more
Walter Dean Myers has spent a lot of time with teenagers, inside and outside of juvenile detention centers, and it shows. This book about 14-year-old Reese in juvie lockup is not full of perfect happy endings and miracle cures. Reese isn't a bad guy, though he was born into bad circumstances and has made a bad decision (yes, he's in juvie because he's guilty). It's easy to get dragged down to the level of the most hopeless in juvenile detention and on the streets. Working at a home for the elder ...more
Aug 20, 2015 Imani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "LockDown" was interesting because Walter Dean Myers explains how Reese's situation is difficult and planning on how him and Toon are gonna make their way out of Progress. The reason why Reese is in a difficult situation is because he got caught up stealing meds for a drug dealer named Freddie but the detectives are trying to plant more things on him. When Reese talked to the people that are trying to let him go asks him what he's going to do with his life and says he gonna change his l ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Phoebe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit
Quick read, but has some language. Story of a 15 year old boy who is in jail for stealing a drug prescription pad and trying to figure out how to straighten out his life when he gets out.
Lockdown is my sixth book by Walter Dean Myers. Unlike some of my earlier selections, Lockdown is written in straightforward prose instead of an alternate format such as script or verse. In being about a teenager who is locked up in a juvenile detention facility, Lockdown also makes my third book by Myers which focuses exclusively on street youth. Each new reading selection has heightened my respect for Myers as an author; Lockdown is no exception.

For those who are sheltered from the street life
Perhaps more of a 2.75--how's that for hedging? The story is fairly obvious, no surprises, could be construed as didactic, but wouldn't it make sense for a juvie-based novel to have a message: don't do crimes and don't end up in jail? Well, this one has that message, and it's a good one, but I wish the characters beyond the protagonist had interested me a bit more. On the other hand, it's a pretty good pick for reluctant readers who will be interested in the day-to-day of life and fights inside ...more
Nov 11, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reese Anderson is given an opportunity to spend time helping in a nursing home as a break from an institution he has been housed in for two years. He is being punished for a crime involving drugs. He is only 14. At the nursing home, he meets a resident named Mr. Hooft. Although their relationship is contentious at the start, they eventually get to know one another. It turns out that Reese grows to understand some lessons about life from Mr. Hooft. By the end of the book, the reader feels very ho ...more
Rachel Gilbertson
I really enjoyed this book. It's very informative about the youth of today especially troubled youth. Reading this book was a very eye opening experience. I felt that I was actually in the book itself. Myers does an incredible job. And it was interesting how Myers still wanted readers to keep in mind that the juvenile youth still are good kids. And its must have been hard to remain unbiased during the writing of this book. I'm glad I read it and now I have a new perspective of the youth of today ...more
Lisa Mandina
Sep 02, 2011 Lisa Mandina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, this is the first book I read for the 2012-2013 possible Gateway Award nominees through the Missouri Association of School Librarians. I've already 2 others on the list, but that was a while ago. Anyway, on with this review. It's also the first book that I ever checked out as an e-book from our public library! Very cool. And one other first, the very first Walter Dean Myers book I've ever read. Lots of firsts for this book.

This book reminded me of a few that I read for the Gateway award last
Oct 18, 2010 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this on the National Book Award finalist list for 2010, I thought - "Another Walter Dean Myers book?" Yawn. However, this book was a pleasant surprise. Myers is controversial. Some have criticized his work for perpetuating stereotypes - here is another book about a black teen who is incarcerated and, through his period of imprisonment, he learns to turn his life around. Myers defends his work by saying that he calls it as he sees it. This is, in fact, the reality for many inner city b ...more
Myles Messner
Oct 19, 2014 Myles Messner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Walter Dean Myers' story, Lockdown, he tells the story of a young teen who just wanted to help his family but made the wrong choices trying to help. Reese, a nice young boy wanted to help his mother by helping her pay for stuff at home. Him being young, and living In a bad location, came upon wrong choices. He would steal from doctors and sell stolen pills to people on the street. He was caught by the police and brought to a juvinial detention. He will do anything to get home early to make hi ...more
It seems as though the more books I read, the more interesting they become. Previous books that I've read were interesting, but after reading "LockDown" by Walter Dean Myers, it sparked my attention that to me, was really enticing, and made me to a point, not wanting to put the book down for an instant or stop reading at all because that's just how interesting the book became as I started reading it. To me, "LockDown" by Walter Dean Myers was an inspirational story that motivates young adolescen ...more
Lockdown. Walter Dean Meyrs. New York: HarperCollins: 2010. 247pp

This would would the second book that I read from Walter Dean Myers and it was an excellent book. The main character is Reese, he is a teenager in juvenile jail. Reese had committed the crime of stealing prescription pads from a doctor office to later sell them to a drug dealer. Sentenced to 32 months in progress Reese had to face multiple obstacles to no get in trouble. He was given multiple opportunities to make himself a better
William Kinnard
Mar 26, 2014 William Kinnard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reese once lived out in the world with the rest of society, but he’s now a criminal living in a correctional facility. Being in the Progress facility has made Reese realize one thing; that once he gets out, he never wants to go back. While at Progress, Reese is put into a work-release program. A couple days every week he will work at a nursing home. If he’s good in the program, that’s just one step closer to freedom for him. He makes a friend while working at the home, and elderly man named Mr. ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger-readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chloe Sanders
I really enjoyed this book! The story of Reese was something I could relate to on multiple levels. I got into some trouble as a teen and have a best friend who went to prison for selling illegal substances. This book made me realize how sometimes getting into trouble often makes us a stronger individual; how your eyes are opened by the trials that we are faced with. The story was really great because this kid Reese gets into trouble for selling a prescription note pad to a drug dealer, and when ...more
Diane Ferbrache
I always read Myers' books and always buy them for my high school library. This one is not his best, but should appeal to teen boys. It's the story of Reese, who's stupid mistake has landed him in Progress -- a juvenile detention facility. Here he is given the opportunity to turn his life around or take the path so many young African-American boys seem to take -- from petty crimes to an endless cycle of violence and then prison. There are some stereotypical characters here, but Myers' purpose se ...more
Jun 19, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Teenage Reese, serving time at a juvenile detention facility, gets a lesson in making it through hard times from an unlikely friend with a harrowing past.

I was actually pretty surprised at this book. Having missed (to my embarrassment) Myers' other acclaimed teen books, I didn't know what to expect when I picked this one, but I anticipated lots of teen angst and platitudes about life on the streets. What I got instead was an in-depth, honest, open story about one kid trying to put his life toget
Angel V
Apr 12, 2015 Angel V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Lockdown" is an interesting book about a 14 year old boy named Maurice Anderson nicknamed Reese who spends 3 years in juvie jail for stealing prescription pads from a doctor and giving them to a drug dealer. He meets a man named Mr. Hooft while being forced to work in a senior citizen center and even though Mr. Hooft dislikes Reese at first, he gets along with him later in the book. This book does have some parts that make you want to skip like Reese and his friend Play talking to each other wh ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Parvoneh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Walter Dean Myers' most celebrated books for good reason. The plot is much tighter than some of his other works and the morality less overt. Some of WDM's novels try to teach a lesson through cautionary tales (Dope Sick, Outside Shot) or try to create model characters for readers to mimic (All the Right Stuff, The Game). In Lockdown, Myers allows individuals to make mistakes and still be whole, to struggle while also being somehow hopeful that things could change. Reese is a compe ...more
Roger Byykkonen
Lockdown is a realistic look into the life a teenager who is in a juvenile correction facility. Reese made a bad choice and was arrested. He is trying to figure out life and how to stop making the wrong choices while at the facility. He shows promise so he is allowed to go to a nursing home for a work release program. After meeting Mr. Hooft, he befriends him and learns some extra lessons on how to make it through his troubles. This was a book which should interest anyone looking at a troubled l ...more
Nov 28, 2010 Jewell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gritty, coming-of-age tale about a young boy trying to navigate the juvenile detention center and his life. Nominated for a National Book Award, I think the judges were celebrating how fully realized the characters are. The plot could have been stereotypical but it's not. Won't add any spoilers; but I do recommend this book.
Jun 28, 2012 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Intermediate readers.

Appeal: Very interesting read. A real and unique look at life inside juvenile hall. Students that may be at a personal crossroad should read this book.

Awards: 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Honor.
May 23, 2010 Thea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for adolescents. My students really enjoyed it.
*Marsha,Marsha,Marsha* It's always Marsha

real world look at the life of kids whose choices are near to nothing. MEYERS is a master if this genre
Mar 22, 2015 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
March 22, 2015

Maurice is a very young boy and it motivated to get out of prison. He is 14 and dreams to be in the streets one day and not cuffed. First, he is motivated to be a free person. He wants to have a job of his own and be a free person. He doesn’t want to work for someone and be controlled by someone. “When I got there, a delivery guy was bringing packages and kidding around with the receptionist. I thought I would like to do that, have a regular job and kid around with people I met.” (
07NinaH Hawkes
Book review as Argument: Putting the “Lockdown” on trial.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a desire to prove that the book “Lockdown” is a definitely a book to keep you wanting to read it, and keep your interested through the whole book. Although it was more of an adult book, it was book that could easily relate to some kids, or even help kids learn about reality, and how cruel it can be out in the real world. It teaches you how life can be if you put yourself in a bad position, and have
Jun 22, 2017 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This YA book is centered around Reese (short for Maurice), a teen in juvy who in his heart, is thoughtful, caring, and wants a better life. The book shows how systemic oppression and social pressures work against Reese's better nature and describes the struggle of making good decisions and staying cool with so many obstacles (gangs and violence inside detention, adults that don't understand you, racism and poverty, drug abuse, etc) that seem more powerful than you. Ultimately, the book has an ex ...more
Lori Mcmullen
Jan 28, 2017 Lori Mcmullen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a teenager goes to jail, you hope for some soul searching, and perhaps that "come to Jesus moment." Walter Dean Myers delivers on both, subtly. I was drawn in and repelled by the violent actions of the characters and their guards. For Reese, the main character, attitude is key to survival, both in and out of jail. Setting your mind right to deal with life; finding hope. This is a book I will pass on the my students.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rikers High
  • Dark Water
  • The Legend of Buddy Bush
  • Planet Middle School
  • Keeping the Night Watch
  • My Name is Not Easy
  • Mare's War
  • Warriors in the Crossfire
  • Bamboo People
  • We Were Here
  • The Firefly Letters
  • Outrunning The Darkness (Urban Underground #1)
  • Zora and Me
  • A Certain October
  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
  • Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: a Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix
  • The Interrogation of Gabriel James
  • Touching Snow
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Each time I think there is no place lower to go, I find that there is at least one place that will mess you up worse than you were.” 23 likes
“Everything in life is made up...You make up that you are happy. You make up that you are sad. You make up that you are in love. If you don't make up your own life, who's going to make it up for you? It's bad enough when you die and everybody can make up their own stories about you.

—Mr. Hooft”
More quotes…