Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Seventeen-year-old Lil J is in a pickle when his escalating drug habit puts him in trouble with the law. His flight to what he thinks at first is a crack house may be the ticket to turn his life around, when meets "Kelly," a homeless man who uses a television and a remote control to offer Lil J some visionary wisdom, opening his mind to other possibilities for his immediate future. The subtle magical realism in this story makes for an intriguing read.-Vanessa Morris, The iSchool at Drexel University, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Master storyteller and craftsman Walter Dean Myers has combined phenomenal writing, taut pacing, believable characters, street cred, an edge-of-your-seat plot, some urban fantasy, and a twist ending in this irresistible story (HarperTeen/Armistad, 2009), narrated with hypnotic intensity by JD Jackson. Lil J has spent his young life getting deeper and deeper into the drug scene, even though he tells himself he isn't really as messed up as the other guys he runs with. When a tricky drug deal goes bad and an undercover cop is shot, Lil J holes up in a crack house. In this foul-smelling dump, he hears a television. Following the sound, Lil J discovers Kelly, who holds a remote that projects the past and possible future choices on the TV screen. In a surreal, eerily Socratic debate, Kelly challenges Lil J to examine his life, his choices, and his visions of his past, present, and future by asking the question that haunts us all: If you could change something in your life, what would it be? As this compelling, quirky narrative unfolds in a series of flashbacks and possible future scenarios, listeners will be drawn into this provocative urban tale of drugs, despair, and the quest for redemption.-Roxanne Spencer, Western Kentucky University Libraries, Bowling Green (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsberg, West Virginia. When he was three years old, his mother died and his father sent him to live with Herbert and Florence Dean in Harlem, New York. He began writing stories while in his teens. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Army at the age of 17. After completing his army service, he took a construction job and continued to write. <p> He entered and won a 1969 contest sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, which led to the publication of his first book, Where Does the Day Go? During his lifetime, he wrote more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. His works include Fallen Angels, Bad Boy, Darius and Twig, Scorpions, Lockdown, Sunrise Over Fallujah, Invasion, Juba!, and On a Clear Day. He also collaborated with his son Christopher, an artist, on a number of picture books for young readers including We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart and Harlem, which received a Caldecott Honor Award, as well as the teen novel Autobiography of My Dead Brother. <p> He was the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Monster, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. He also won the Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors five times. He died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness, at the age of 76. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)