Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cruisers (Book #1)” as Want to Read:
The Cruisers (Book #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cruisers

(Cruisers #1)

3.07  ·  Rating details ·  492 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Eighth grade is hard enough, but when you're a Cruiser, you're really put to the test. The launch of a new middle-grade series from bestselling award-winner Walter Dean Myers.

Zander and his friends, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi start their own newspaper, The Cruiser, as a means for speaking out, keeping the peace, and expressing what they believe. When the schoo
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press
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 The Cruisers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Cruisers

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  492 ratings  ·  150 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Link to the pinterest

The first picture is meant to represent Kambui. He is a very bipolar person, because he often switches on a dime from being Zander’s best friend to becoming a brutal, bloodthirsty fighter. Since the book is told from Zander’s point of view, Kambui is described as a good, reliable friend who is always there for Zander. However, if you judge him completely based on his actions, and ignore Zander’s subjectivity, Kambui is actually quite a terrible person. He is not only verba
Dec 10, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
While it is nice to see Walter Dean Myers writing for young readers about significant issues, this particular book (the first in a new series) was forgettable. Eighth-graders at a gifted school in Harlem are learning about the American civil war. In a mock re-enactment the students are divided into Union and Confederate sympathizers, with “The Cruisers” assigned to keep the peace. Unfortunately the characters lacked any development. While the peacekeepers bonded over their failing grades and the ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book 'The Cruisers' is a good example of friendship, discrimination, and issues in the real world and how we help solve those issues. The theme of The Cruisers is that you should not judge people no matter what their skin color is. My favorite character in the book is LaShonda because she has that careless attitude. LaShonda knows how to stand her ground. Her articles for the school are powerful too.

I connected to the main characters in this book. Since it is about discrimination
Katie Merkel
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love how the book covered real issues, one social and one personal to Zander, the protagonist. The social issue was freedom of speech versus racial sensitivity. Through the characters, Myers showed different attitudes towards the issue and various ways that people often handle or talk about handling it. I really admired the non-violent way that Zander addressed what was occurring in his school. Zander's personal problem was his father threatening to take his mother to court for custody of him. ...more
Dawn Michelle
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore Walter Dean Myers. This is the only book I've ever come across that explains race relations to teenagers. (I think people of all ages should read it, especially television "journalists" and public servants.)

I read this book with a freshman I'm tutoring. It was definitely easy reading for the student, and we both enjoyed it. Also, I think the subject matter really put into context the history and legacy of the civil rights movement. That era seems so far away to the younger se
Angel Jenkins
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really good so far! There are two groups called The Sons Of Confederacy, and The Cruisers. The Cruisers are peacemakers, and the Sons Of Confederacy are just trouble makers. There are two sides taking place in this book. You're either a Southerner, or a Northerner.
Kenneth Wade
Read in 2012
Serena L
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie Menkus
This story about Zander Scott at DaVinci Academy in Harlem is interesting, and I enjoyed this author's views about middle school issues. While I did not make a connection with the characters nor the setting, I continued reading because I wanted to see how the protagonist dealt with his conflict.

Zander likes his school, but he is struggling with his grades because of his parent's divorce. He lives with his mom in Harlem, and is very happy with this arrangement. But his dad lives in Se
Linda V
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I really wanted to like this book more but I felt there were too many things that got in the way. Perhaps it was because it was too brief to develop the characters or plot.

Some of my questions: Why were the adult figures at the school so wishy-washy? How was this "assignment" supposed to help the students develop a better sense of responsibility towards their academic performance? Why did they not set parameters for behavior, or monitor the "experiment"? Zander's mom made me grit my teeth. She
Annette Cullan
I thought this was an alright book, but not my favorite. It is a story of a group of students, Zander, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi, that go to a gifted and talented school in Harlem. They have created an alternative school newspaper to voice their opinions. When their school starts studying the Civil War and slavery they are minority in their predominate white school. Tension arises and they learn what it means to stand up for a cause and what they believe.

Kyler Lopez
This book follows four teenage students as rhey investigate why one of their classmates was buying drugs. This is a story about what it's like to be a misfit in school and is a good book about friendship. This book would be good for middle school students and for students that feel like they don't belong.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very inspirational and educational in various ways! I really enjoyed this book! I recommend this book to the young ones with a vivid imagination and the lesson I pulled from this book is: It's never to late to make a change.
Galion Public Library Teens
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Review by C.M. : "A good book with some funny parts. At first a little hard to get into."
Katie Fitzgerald
This review of the entire Cruisers series was originally written in the summer of 2013.

Recently, my library received a brand-new copy of the fourth Cruisers book, Oh Snap! Though I have always noticed the books as I shelve them, I had never taken the time to read one. I also noticed - and confirmed in the catalog - that none of the titles in the series were really circulating that much. (And not just at my branch - system-wide!) I decided right then to take all four books home for the weekend a
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
"If I'm going to have a fight I got to see the win in it so I'll know what I'm fighting for."

—Zander, The Cruisers, P. 32

With this book, Walter Dean Myers has launched a new series that I think holds a lot of promise. Zander Scott and his three friends Kambui, LaShonda and Bobbi are students in eighth grade at the Da Vinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented, in Harlem, New York. When the school's principal calls Zander and his three friends (collectively known as "The Cruisers
Hosea Karr
The Cruisers
By Walter Dean Myers

The cruisers genre is realistic friction base on friend and friendship, school life. The book was took place in Harlem, New York. Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12 1937, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. For some reason his mother died when he was three and his dad was very poor so his father give him away to Harbert Dean. He was real good writer in high school. However he about to drop out but on of his teacher advised him to keep on writing
The Cruisers is by prolific author and poet Walter Dean Myers. It is more accessible to a younger audience–upper elementary and middle school as opposed to high school/young adult–than his usual work. It is appropriate for grades 4-8, depending on the dynamics of each particular group/individual reader(s). The main character is in 8th Grade.

This book looks at race and slavery as kids in the middle school divide into North & South for a Civil War project. This particular plot is not un
Devon G
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Author: Walter Dean Myers

It's modern day, and the Cruisers are given the task to settle a war between the North and South in a school event taking place in the historical period of late-colonial times. The Cruisers (a newspaper team)have to succeed in keeping the peace or they face being expelled. Most of the members in the Cruisers are African American, making this more then just the grade. The Cruisers must make their moves cleverl
Zander Scott and his friends, Kambui, LaShonda and Bobbi are students at the DaVinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem. Unfortunately, their grades are slipping and Mr. Culpepper, the assistant principal, is just waiting for the opportunity to kick them out of the school. Part of the problem is their alternative newspaper, The Cruiser, which allows them to present their own unique point of view to the rest of the students. They are given one last chance to stay. The school has begun ...more
Destinee Sutton
This is a book about a school assignment. Sounds boring, right? Well, I think it managed to be as interesting as a book about a school assignment can be. See, there are these 8th graders: Zander, Kambui, Bobbi and LaShonda, collectively known as "The Cruisers" after an alternative school newspaper they produce. The Cruisers, all of them smart but unmotivated when it comes to school, are assigned to play the role of peacekeepers in a kind of mock Civil War going on at their school. The kids playi ...more
Ellie Fater
"When you don't name something you can't deal with it unless everybody is agreeing to it." Walter Dean Myers is known for addressing social issues through an adolescent lens in many of his books, which is why I like him as an author and why I picked up The Cruisers. This book is the first in a series by Myers, and I think it addresses the issue of race in a healthy way. The students in the story are part of a simulation that is meant to help them understand the Civil War. However, the reenactmen ...more
Josh Guydon
The book, The Cruisers is about a handful of African-American students who attend the Da Vinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem. In the beginning of the story, we are introduced to the main character named Zander. Throughout the book, Zander expresses how he loves the subject English, and how he would like to write screenplays one day. Zander faces lots of adversity, like losing motivation with school, and dealing with the fact he might have to move to Oregon because his mother can ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

DaVinci Academy in Harlem is focused on gifted and talented learners. Unfortunately, Zander Scott and a few of his friends are not making the grade. They haven't been performing up to their potential lately, and the principal is about to make an example of their lax study habits by kicking them out. The four friends must find a way to prove themselves.

They are given the opportunity when the school begins a un
Aug 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle
A book about contemporary, academically gifted African-American kids that doesn’t back down from talking about being contemporary, academically gifted African-American kids in a mostly white school environment. And it’s for tweens. And it’s funny. Rara avis indeed.

This is actually the first of a series about four friends, the Cruisers, who are a mix of genders, ethnicities, interests, and ambitions. This little book is a breeze to get through but it clocks in at just over 100 pages, so libraria
Erin Forson
Nov 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Cruisers
by Walter Dean Myers
I hate to say it, but I wish I had “cruised” right on past this slim little novel. The DaVinci school for gifted and talented students is in the midst of a Civil War assignment where a group of African-American students (The Cruisers) are charged with using the school newspaper to illustrate the types of things that were said and that some people believed during the Civil War. By doing this, the principals of the school hope to get the kids more in tou
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had a category for "books based on historical events that make you think about current events and would be good simply for teaching the thoughts that come up" but I don't. I really don't think a typical kid would be very interested in this book, but from a teacher's perspective, I am really excited about it.

The events of the Civil War and all the reasons behind it are mirrored in the actions of the teenagers in the book. The power of words and the fact that you can't "just throw spit,
Rachel Grover
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-678
**Used as a booktalk book**
I really enjoyed this book. While it was short, it gave a look into a group of outcast students who go to a gifted and talented school in Harlem who embark on a school-wide project immersing themselves (and taking sides!) into the Civil War. They find out along the way that some of the race issues from the Civil War are still prevalent today and work together to discuss their impact. I was surprised how it ended. This book is appropriate for today because despite
Kenzie Keppner
May 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-356
I really did not enjoy this book very much. I wouldn't say it was terrible but I wouldn't say it was good either. I found that I had to force myself to read it just to get through the book. I didn't feel like I could relate to any of the characters but that could be because I'm white and the book deals with racism. I also felt like a modern day school wouldn't have allowed what happened in the book. This book is written for the younger side of young adult literature. I just felt like it wasn't e ...more
Abby Johnson
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blogged
The Cruisers are four friends at the Da Vinci School, a school for gifted students in Harlem. None of them are living up to their potential and their principal gives them one last chance to prove themselves. The school is participating in a Civil War reenactment, dividing up the students between the Union and Confederate factions. The Cruisers are charged with negotiating peace between the two groups. But when words start to fly, things get way more complicated than any of them could have imagin ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Theme Projects 2016: Leo Chao's review 1 5 Feb 03, 2016 05:29PM  
Theme Projects 2016: Serena's Project: "The Cruisers: 1 10 Feb 03, 2016 09:29AM  
Realistic Fiction 1 1 Nov 23, 2014 03:50PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Friendship For Today
  • Dark Sons
  • The Doomsday Box (Shadow Project, #2)
  • Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus ...
  • The Seventh Level
  • Nice and Mean
  • Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968
  • Grandma's Tiny House: A Counting Story!
  • Sugar
  • Standing Against the Wind
  • Leaving Gee's Bend
  • I, Emma Freke
  • The Garden of My Imaan
  • Chess Rumble
  • My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood
  • Grandma in Blue with Red Hat
  • Ellen's Broom
  • The Sweetest Sound
See similar books…
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 w

Other books in the series

Cruisers (4 books)
  • Checkmate (Cruisers, #2)
  • A Star Is Born (Cruisers, #3)
  • Oh, Snap! (Cruisers, #4)
“If I'm going to have a fight I got to see the win in it so I'll know what I'm fighting for.” 2 likes
More quotes…