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145th Street: Short Stories by Walter Dean…

145th Street: Short Stories

by Walter Dean Myers

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Meyers's collection of short stories brings the humor and tragedy of the in the lives of the residents of 145th street. The character in each story lives out the Harlem neighborhood. Big Joe plans his funeral before he dies, Kitty and Mack share their love story, and Angela forsees impending death. The fight works tirelessly to provide for his family, an elderly resident teaches a white police officer of compassion, and a young resident rides the wave of success and good luck. The characters come together for a "Block Party" and share their lives in a very human place. Though the language in the text is gritty and straight-forward and the themes are understated, the text is a good resources for exploring the resiliency of human beings and the co-existence of sorrow and joy.
The History and Purpose of the Short Story
In the curriculum, I use some of the stories as paired readings with excerpts from "A Raisin in the Sun" or "The House on Mango Street" in order to explore multicultural themes. ( )
  sgemmell | Apr 22, 2016 |
A collection of short stories about various young people and their neighbors living in Harlem. Angela’s dreams appear to predict people’s deaths after her father dies. Mack is the confident school jock who loses his foot in a shooting accident; its up to his girlfriend Kitty to bring him out of his depression. Big Joe decides to enjoy his funeral while he’s still alive. Monkeyman stands up to gang members.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Teen book club read. Very interesting discussions. "The Streak" was a personal favorite. "Angela's Eyes" resulted in great visual art projects. ( )
  CommunityLibrarian | Nov 27, 2015 |
So this is my intro to Walter Dean Myers, who everyone recommends to middle schoolers. My son (7th grade) and I read the first two stories. Very urban setting, nothing we could relate to, and the stories were the type that just makes you wonder why we just read that. It's like a kid telling you the story of a shoot out in the neighborhood in great detail (without any better use of language than a kid on the street narrating over, say, a hot dog) and then he concludes describing how it culminated in a dead dog, a dead kid, and some scared cops, and you're like, "Well, that was refreshing." I guess Myers does at least try to show significance at the end of the stories that are a little deeper, but these really are issues that my white suburban kid isn't really interested in right now. Neither of us care to finish the collection. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
This book definitely immerses you in a very specific group of people. quick read. some violence. ( )
  GR8inD8N | Apr 1, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440229162, Mass Market Paperback)

"That's what 145th Street is like. Something funny happens... and then something bad happens. It's almost as if the block is reminding itself that life is hard, and you have to take it seriously." Walter Dean Myers's book of interconnected short stories is a sweet and sour mix of the comedy and tragedy of the human condition, played out against the backdrop of the Harlem neighborhood that is centered around 145th Street. In this 'hood, teens will become acquainted with the mysterious 12-year-old Angela, whose sad dreams seem to predict the future for an unlucky few, and the fast-talking Jamie Farrell, a smooth basketball player who's praying that his streak of good luck doesn't end before he can ask out Celia Evora, "the finest chick in the school." They will chuckle at the affable Big Joe, who wants to enjoy his funeral party while he's still alive, yet feel their hearts tighten when Big Time Henson senses his drug addiction drawing him closer and closer to an early grave.

Myers frankly discusses the consequences of violence, drive-bys and gang war through his articulate characters, but tempers these episodes with such a love of his fictional community that every character shines through with the hope and strength of a survivor. Changing his point of view from teen to adult and back again through each vignette, Myers successfully builds a bridge of understanding between adolescents and adults that will help each group better understand the problems of the other. A worthy and recommended read that beautifully illustrates the good that can come out of a community that stands together. Newbery Honor-winning Myers has written more than 50 books, including Monster and Fallen Angels. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:07 -0400)

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Ten stories portray life on a block in Harlem.

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