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Scorpions
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Scorpions
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The Scorpions are a gun-toting Harlem gang, and Jamal Hicks is about to become tragically involved with them in this authentic tale of the sacrifice of innocence and the struggle to steer clear of...
The Scorpions are a gun-toting Harlem gang, and Jamal Hicks is about to become tragically involved with them in this authentic tale of the sacrifice of innocence and the struggle to steer clear of...
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  • The Scorpions are a gun-toting Harlem gang, and Jamal Hicks is about to become tragically involved with them in this authentic tale of the sacrifice of innocence and the struggle to steer clear of violence.

    This Newbery Honor Book will challenge young men to consider their own decisions as they come of age in a complex and often frustrating society.

    Pushed by a bully to fight and nagged by his principal, Jamal is having a difficult time staying in school. His home life is not much better, with his mother working her fingers to the bone to try to earn the money for an appeal for Jamal's jailed older brother, Randy.

    Jamal wants to do the right thing and help earn the money to free his brother by working, but he's afraid to go against the Scorpions. Jamal eventually pulls free of the gang's bad influence, but only through the narrowest of escapes.

    Walter Dean Myers, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, sensitively explores the loyalty and love between friends faced with hard choices. Scorpions is 25 years old, but the issues of poverty and violence make it a timeless powerful read—sadly as relevant as ever.

About the Author-

  • Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Twelve-year-old Jamal feels the weight of the world on his shoulders in this YA novel. His life is one of pressure and harassment with little comfort. An older bully fights him regularly, his brother is in jail, his kid sister tattles on him for sport, and a gang member is recruiting him. Jamal's only saving grace is pal Tito, who stays by his side through his travails. This is a classic story of frustration, the feeling of taking one step forward and two back. Unfortunately, the narration doesn't keep pace. Peter Francis James gives some of the supporting characters distinct identities, but many of the character voices are not varied enough. Further, his pacing of the story is problematic; constant pauses slow the narration to a frustrating crawl. M.B. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 29, 1996
    PW called this Newbery Honor novel about a 12-year-old caught up in the violence of Harlem gangs "realistic, spare and almost unbearably sad." Ages 12-up.

  • AudioFile Magazine In a voice of despair and deep longing, Peter Francis James reads the story of Jamal, trapped in the ghetto and faced with a challenge too immense for any 12-year-old. Jamal must decide whether to assume leadership of his brother's gang, the Scorpions, after Randy is imprisoned for murder. Third-person narration in James's rich, resonant voice contrasts with the contentious whine of 8-year-old sister Sassy; the half-beaten regret of Mama, old beyond her years; the gentle concern of Jamal's best friend, Tito; the surly self-assurance of Jamal's classmates; the drugged-out haziness of Randy's ace, Mack; and the relentless disdain of Davidson, the principal who does not even pretend respect for a child in crisis. The dark fates of children trapped by circumstance reverberate in this masterful performance of the Newbery Honor title. T.B. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2000
    Jamal, who is pressured to become leader of the Scorpions gang, worries about school, family, and the rough kids on the street. When a fellow gang member gives him a gun, Jamal suddenly gains a new level of respect from his enemies. A realistic look at a boy who wants to do the right thing but gets caught up in the culture of violence. A Newbery Honor selection.

    Copyright 2000 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    HarperCollins
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