Kate's Reviews > Bad Boy: A Memoir

Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers
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Acclaimed young adult author Myers (Monster, Shooter)describes his childhood and teenage years in Harlem, couching his narrative in family history and sensitive reflections about sports, books, school, racism, and getting into and out of trouble on a regular basis.

I love Myers' crisp, straightforward style, and his reflections about his growing-up years are poignant, especially his battle with a speech impediment and his growing awareness of racism as a system embedded in institutions. I appreciate that Myers does not rely on overly dramatic action sequences to move the plot forward, instead spinning leisurely yarns, almost as though he is repeating events as they came to mind.

Overall, though, I did not enjoy Bad Boy as much as Myers' fiction. At times the pacing is tedious and the stream of consciousness disjointed. Certain facts or observations are repeated over and over, which I found distracting. Still, Myers' autobiography and his way of relating it are clearly important, and I would recommend this book to readers looking for a slow ride down a lazy river – with a few surprising twists and bends along the way.

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