Riot
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Riot

3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  455 ratings  ·  148 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
Audio, 0 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jennifer
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...more
Josiah
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...more
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...more
Mckenna
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...more
Donna
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...more
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
Bryan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela
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
Kalonji
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...more
Karen Ball
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
Colin
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
How would you like to be a slave? I sure wouldn't, African Americans had it very harsh back then around 1860´s. 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
Jessica
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
Mary
“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 TeensReadToo.com

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...more
Julio Gomez
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
[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...more
Rachael
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
Gabbie
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...more
Patience Thomas
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
Betsy
From what I could gather, this was a really good book, but I chose to listen to it instead of reading it with my eyes. It's written as a screen play, so it was bit hard to follow (at least for me) in the audio form. I am not in the habit of reading plays. I watch them, but read them? No... not since my freshman year in college when I took a theater course have I READ a play. Further, I've NEVER listened to one minus the visual component, and that was a real challenge for me, even though I listen...more
Rachel
My biggest problem with this book is that it's too short! Myers starts a few days into the riots, but I think he lost a lot of climatic tension that way. It would have been interesting to see more build-up. Still, though, even Myers' average books are better than most!

In the style of a screenplay, Myers outlines the racial tensions - born of economic frustrations - of the 1863 riots in New York. Clare, our protagonist, must grapple with the issue of identity when her very being prevents her from...more
Anthony
i have just began reading this novel and so far i beleive its a very good book. I have only reached the beggining where the scene is explained. Also where the gangs are explained and the goal they are going for. In which it is to det rid of all the minoritys. This book is a quick read and i would recomend it to anyone who is into old western novels.

10/26/11
In this novel i have seem be progressing through quickly. This novel has been seeming to be a quicker read then alot althers of Myers novels....more
Talia
This story is centered around the Draft Riots of 1863 in New York City. Teenage Claire, who is half black and half white, must survive the riots, but also wants to find identity and be proud of who she is.

I enjoyed hearing about this story that I didn't know much about. The topic itself was unnerving and interesting, that history keeps repeating itself over and over again (the whole "they took our jobs! Let's blame them for our problems and kill them !" thing). I liked the movie script aspect of...more
Christina
Interesting time period to cover in a YA novel--the riots in 1863 when the Union Army drafted men in a lottery, including many poor Irish immigrants who couldn't afford to pay their way out of it (getting a substitute like rich "swells" did). The Irish also resented the blacks in the New York City Five Points slum area, for (they felt) taking away jobs that the Irish would have gotten. This erupted in three days of looting and shooting (Army boys fired on crowds). This story is told in script fo...more
Cathy
This was my first book that I've read by Walter Dean Myers. I cannot believe that I'm a teen librarian and this is the first time I've read him! I have a book discussion group and for Black History month everyone had to choose a book with a black main character. I though "What the heck?, Why not?"
It was in play format, which I thought would be interesting. Unfortunately, I found myself referring to the list of characters too often. I couldn't remember who was who and since many of them weren't g...more
Desirae
A very interesting book. I was particularly interested in the part that the Irish played in the riots. I have always heard of the Great Famine in Ireland but I had no clue how many died of starvation. Over a million people! That is absolutely mind blowing. What an awful way for so many to die. The riots reminded me of the French Revolution and how they dragged people out in the street for public execution. I know its not even on the same scale but that's where my thoughts wandered to. Then I tho...more
Dorothy
Although I enjoyed the fact that Riot highlights a forgotten aspect of the Civil War and takes a closer look at the draft riots in NYC, I found the book overall a bit boring and hard to follow. I liked the idea of a girl who is caught in the middle of the feud between Black and Irish people, especially since she is both and can pass for white; however, I just could not connect to Claire. I appreciated her story, but I didn't think that this book made me invested i what would become of her. I did...more
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Junior High/High School

Format: Audio Book

Book Links "Lasting Connections" (2009)

Written as a screenplay for a movie (a format similar to Monster), the teenage daughter of an African American man and an Irish woman finds herself in socially, emotionally, and physically threatening circumstances during the Irish immigrant protest of the Civil War draft. Torn by conflict, chaos, and extreme racial tension, she struggles to make sense of the injustice and he...more
Virginia
In 1863, a half-black-half-Irish girl lives amid escalating racial tension in New York. This historical novel chronicles a horrific episode in American history. It's written in screenplay format, which I don't particularly enjoy, but I did enjoy the realistic look at the lives of the characters.

The streets of NYC erupt with violence as Irish immigrant gangs riot against the blacks they view as taking away their job opportunities. The trigger for the riot was the institution of the draft by Pres...more
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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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“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.” 16 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?” 5 likes
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