Virginia's Reviews > Riot

Riot by Walter Dean Myers
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Aug 27, 2010

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Read in August, 2010

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 President Abraham Lincoln, though with the ability for wealthy to buy their way out of serving in the military. The Irish, mostly poor and unable to escape serving in a war they did not support, took it personally.

The voices of the Irish characters are well done. I could hear the lilt.
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