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3.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  572 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
During a long, hot July in 1863, the worst race riots the United States has ever seen erupt in New York City. Earlier that year, desperate for more Union soldiers, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a draft–a draft that would allow the wealthy to escape serving in the army by paying a $300 waiver, more than a year’s income for the recent immigrant Irish. And on July 11, ...more
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Published September 22nd 2009 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2009)
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Apr 24, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the subject material of Riot and the way in which it portrays race relations, class relations and Civil War politics in a way that isn't black and white. I think that Riot would be a wonderful choice for a youth critical reading circle.

The good things said, however, I didn't particularly like Riot, or at the very least, I was incredibly disappointed since the subject matter has so much promise. I thought that the dialog was heavy-handed and not believable, especially the dialog from the
This would be an excellent book for social studies and doing a cross curricular unit in school. Its a fast read, written in Dialogue form. The author adds the history behind the story at the end including pictures. I would read that part first before beginning to read the story. Riot is set in New York City in 1863 when the Civil war was taking place. A civil disturbance rocks the city as the Irish target the Blacks and the Army is trying to squash the unrest. Claire, is the young 15 year old tr ...more
Feb 05, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Walter Dean Myers was the winner of the inaugural Michael L. Printz award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature for his inventive novel Monster, and his 2009 book Riot has resurrected some of the unusual elements found in that earlier release.

Riot is definitely not your average juvenile novel. The entire story is written in the format of a screenplay, complete with directions about the kind of shots the camera will be taking, annotations for the musical score, fade-ins/outs, and various othe
Kelly Moore
Walter Dean Myers makes an incredibly important contribution to literature for kids. He's always writing about topics that kids really want to know about in a sophisticated yet accessible way.

In this novel he uses a screenplay style like he did for Monster to write about the riots that took place in New York City during the Civil War. It's a part of American History that a lot of people don't know about, and Myers does an incredible job of bringing the experience to life in this book. He doesn't
Matthew Landis
Unique in presentation—told as a fast-moving screenplay—Riot retells New York’s bloody draft riots of 1863 through the eyes of fifteen-year-old, biracial Claire Johnson. The daughter of Innkeepers John (black) and Ellen Johnson (Irish), Myers sets Claire’s search for identity cleverly against the backdrop of a city foaming with racial tension. Angered that Lincoln’s conscription unevenly targets them, poor Irish lash out at the wealthy who can afford the $300 substitution fee and African America ...more
During a long hot July in 1863, the worst race riots the United States has ever seen erupt in New York City. Earlier that year, desperate for more Union soldiers, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a draft–a draft that would allow the wealthy to escape serving in the army by paying a $300 waiver, more than a year’s income for the recent immigrant Irish. And on July 11, as the first drawing takes place in Lower Manhattan, the city of New York explodes in rage and fire. Stores are looted; buildi ...more
Kristi Richardson
“I just wanted to be a human being. I just wanted to be whoever I saw in the mirror, without a race or a place in life."
I wanted to like this book/play about the Civil War race riots in New York City. Maybe because it was written for Young Adults it was too simplistic for me. It's also acted out like a movie, with screen shots and camera angles which takes away a lot of your imagination in a book. I don't like being told what to look at, and who is important. I would rather find my own way.

I al
Brian Hoffmeister
Following the story of the Civil War race riots, the energy and inertia of "Riot" are both outstanding, yet it suffers from some extremely heavy-handed dialogue that made it hard to enjoy. Certainly, the racist overtones where consistent with the parlance of the times, but it also felt lazy and contrived to show only fully black and white situations (both racially and metaphorically), when there were great opportunities to show that some people were good, despite the predominantly bigoted belief ...more
Jg Laaksonen
Riot by Walter Dean Myers is a realistic fiction book that is different then most in the sense that it is written completely in screenplay format. The whole book is in the city of New York around 1863 and spans 3 days from the start to the finish of the book. It focuses on the main character Claire Johnson a young light skinned African American girl and how she deals with the main issue a riot happening all through out the city as a result of the draft. The riot eventually rises to complete anar ...more
Max Willi
Dec 14, 2015 Max Willi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all teens; history lovers
Fifteen-year-old Claire Johnson finds her world being torn apart by the New York City draft/race riots of July, 1863. While Myers gives an excellent overview of this conflict from its inception to its conclusion, Claire's inner conflict steals the show, in my opinion. Like most teens, she wants to be secure in her identity. The riots force her to question her very being, down to her race. The same inner conflict could arise in a contemporary teen under traumatic social circumstances which obviou ...more
Christian Heimes
May 01, 2015 Christian Heimes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the book Riot from Walter Dean Myers deserves a 4 of 5 stars rating.

The book is about the time, where the Civil War rages. Claire and her family have to get through a rough time US-History. Big race riots, a big protest that can become violent, between Irish and Black begin to happen. Claire’s main problem is that she can’t find herself. With an Irish mum and a Black dad, Claire has a tough time keeping herself together.

The book came into my hands at the right time. I just finished lear
Aj Berry
May 01, 2015 Aj Berry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love Historical Fiction books so maybe that’s why I love Riot so much. Reading historical events can be boring, but if it’s over something you like then it pretty good. Riot is basically during the time period when the Civil War is going and President Lincoln puts out the New York Draft. The Irish immigrants are rioting because they have to go to war. And who would want to be in New York while they are having the riots? Exactly nobody, but 15 year old Clarie Johnson gets caught in this ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Mckenna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book really had potential. I thought it was unique and creative of Walter Dean Myers to write it with a screenplay format at first, but reading it, I was disenchanted.
The emotional scenes might have moved me if an actress was performing them on-screen, but I don't have enough imagination to really emphasize with the characters when reading this format. Any attempt of depth this book displayed truly irritated me, and I could only imagine my 10 yr old sister enjoying it. If I weren't reading
Angel V
Feb 21, 2015 Angel V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished the book named "Riot" and the review is positive. I recommend the book because it has a good amount of action and the details of what is happening is told very well. The main character which is Claire Johnson is African-American and Irish and has to deal with race riots in New York City in 1863 and that is when action happens around the middle of the book. You don't know what will happen to Claire or her family and friends and that makes you want to read more of the book. The book is ...more
I can't remember where I got RIOT. I want to say it was at a closing Borders. That sounds about right.

I was a little surprised when I opened the book to find it in script format. Granted that set-up made it an even fast read than what it was but I think even if it were set up in prose style I would have run right through it. It's set during the draft riots in New York City during the Civil War and for the most part it focused on one character, Claire, who's of mixed descent and has a hard time c
Carrie Shaurette
This fast-paced novel portrays the passionate race riots that took place in New York City during the Civil War. When Lincoln calls for a draft that includes loopholes for the wealthy, the poor Irish immigrants take their anger to the streets. A diverse cast of characters, including Irish immigrants, African Americans, Civil War soldiers, and policeman, struggle to work through their own complex emotions during the four days of violence. At the heart of it all is Claire, a 15 year old with a blac ...more
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Jun 24, 2010 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Riot by Walter Dean Myers recounts the New York Draft Riots that occurred during the summer of 1863. One of the main characters is Claire who is fifteen years old. She has fair skin and is commonly viewed as a white girl, but she has a black father and an Irish mother. She is proud to admit she is part black despite others warning her against it. Amidst all of the rioting, she struggles to understand the reasoning behind it all. Throughout the book, several conflicts are presented in multiple po ...more
This is not a summary on Riot. It's on a book called Carmen

Carmen: Carmen is the girl in the neighborhood-the city even-who draws every guy's attention, she's hot as the soaring temperature. When Carmen falls for Jose she's sure he's not like the other guys she's around every day--he's not a gangster, in trouble with he law. Jose seems like a good guy.
But Jose has a temper. When Escamillo comes to town, the rapper, producer, singer, businessman has every one's attention. And Carmen has his. Car
Karen Ball
Jun 05, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would be amazing as reader's theater! This is the story of the New York City draft riots of 1863, when President Lincoln signed the first order for the drafting of soldiers into the Union army during the Civil War. Poor Irish immigrants in the city protested -- violently, because to avoid the draft, you had to pay $300, which at that time was what most of them made for an entire year. Claire is 15, and works in the hotel where her parents (a black man and a white Irishwoman) both work. The ...more
This book just reassures me why i keep reading Walter Dean Myers books. This book is a great pickup to read and it is perfect for learning parts of history around the time of the Civil War. It is also good for school students to read for history or for a project. This book is mainly about a 15-year-old girl named Claire. a black Irishman that passes as a Caucasian in New York. This book is written in screenplay just like his other hit book "MONSTER". Although this book cover is not filled with a ...more
Zach T
Jun 02, 2013 Zach T rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How would you like to be a slave? I sure wouldn't, African Americans had it very harsh back then around 1860s. I have currently finished the book Riot by Walter Dean Meyers. In this book the author describes the relationships between whites and African Americans. The author focuses a lot on the events of the New York Draft Riots. In the book Riot, the main character is Claire. Claire is the daughter of a black man and an Irish immigrant mother. The second book in the series Found was similar to ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-books
Riot is the first book I have read by Walter Dean Myers, which is kind of surprising since he is a "legend" in the teen fiction world. I chose Riot because, after reading the summary in the book jacket, I realized I had never heard of this major riot that took place in New York City during the Civil War. Aside from that, I also found the text of the book interesting in that it is written like a movie script. I thought if I liked the book, it would be one I could recommend to readers looking for ...more
Nov 23, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Learn something new every day” is a favorite expression of my dad’s and, I have to say that by reading RIOT, I certainly did learn something new. While I was aware of the terrible poverty, especially of the Irish immigrants and the newly-freed African Americans; the huge class divisions between the haves and have-nots; and the deep-seated bigotry and racism that ran rampant around the time of the Civil War (and, unfortunately, for years after), I didn’t know about the race riots that erupted ov ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Grandma Bev for

RIOT by Walter Dean Myers tells the story of the beginning of the Civil War, and the 1863 insurgency in New York City.

President Lincoln had started a draft to gain more soldiers for the Union Army, but there was a clause in the law that allowed the wealthy to pay a three-hundred dollar fee and hire someone else to go to war in their place. In New York City, tempers exploded into a vicious race riot.

Claire is the daughter of a mixed family. Her mother i
Julio Gomez
Sep 15, 2013 Julio Gomez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent book to teach in concert with a unit around the Civil War, especially since it follows the fictional story of a fifteen-year old young girl named Claire who is the daughter or a black father and Irish mother during the New York draft riots that occured in 1863. Myers takes readers back to the year 1863 in the United States, exploring the turbulent race relations between Americans in New York City through the lens of a young girl who does not fit in on either side. As re ...more
Ryne Steinacker
Mar 03, 2012 Ryne Steinacker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engl-420
[Note: Spoilers ahead!]

I bought Riot because 1) it was at a castoff book sale in my local library, and 2) I had heard good things about Walter Dean Meyers. I had high expectations for the book, and while those expectations were not met, it was still a pretty good (and very quick!) read.

Written in the style of a film script, Riot chronicles the events and repercussions of the New York City draft riots in 1863. Most of the novel follows a young girl named Claire, the daughter of a black man and a
It’s the summer of 1863 in New York City. The Civil War is well underway, dividing not only the nation but its people. A federally instituted draft only incites the brewing conflict faster. Angry Irish immigrants flood the streets, looting stories and attacking blacks whom they blame for many of their problems. The army has been brought in to put the riots down, but violence still abounds. Caught in the midst of this, fifteen-year-old Claire is confronted with the difficulty of having both Irish ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Gabbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Heart Rating: <3 <3 <

Another English book picked out for our Civil War unit. It was a really quick read with 164 pages. In the form of a play script. It had some good information about the Civil War, but I would've like if it had been longer. Claire is a half irish/ half -black teenager who could "pass for Caucasian." In New York, there aren't many problems with racial injustice because of the Emancipation Proclamation. Claire doesn't realize that she'd be treated differently if she t
Patience Thomas
Aug 07, 2010 Patience Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first learned about this story from an article in School Library Journal. The article discusses Riot and Monster both by Walter Dean Myers as good springboards for Readers'Theater in the classroom. The use of students reading in many voices helps to hook reluctant readers. I listened to this book as an audio tape. What really impressed me and drew me in was that it was read by a full cast like a screen play. The story took place in NYC in 1863 during the horrendous race riots which involved th ...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...

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“I think that if we can't go back, then we should try even harder to go forward. And I do want to go forward, to a place where loving someone because they have a gentle smile and a friendly hello is as easy as it once was.” 17 likes
“I just wanted to be a human being. I just wanted to be whoever I saw in the mirror, without a race or a place in life. What is so wrong with that?” 8 likes
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