booktalks

young adult fictionThe Cruisers by Walter Dean Myers [pdf : 266k]

Subjects: Freedom of speech—Fiction; Race relations—Fiction; Newspapers—Fiction; Middle schools—Fiction
Book Lists: Civil Rights

Eighth graders Zander, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi are in trouble. Even though they’re students at DaVinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem, their grades are slipping, and Mr. Culpepper, the assistant principal, is ready to be rid of them.

When the school starts a unit on the Civil War, and kids split up into Union and Confederate sympathizers, Zander and his crew are given a charge—to negotiate a peace between both sides before the war actually breaks out.

That’s when Zander comes up with the idea to launch an alternative school newspaper called The Cruiser. What he and his friends learn is that their writing has power to keep the peace, but that words can be weapons, too. Soon everyone at DaVinci is forced to consider the true meaning of democracy and what it costs to stand up for a cause. The power of the press is powerful indeed. (Pick up book) Read The Cruisers by Walter Dean Myers and feel the power for yourself.

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