by Walter Dean Myers

In a personal memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking and unforgettable,

Myers weaves the details of life in Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s , his

loving home life, Bible school, street games, and his vibrant neighborhood. He

spent much time getting in trouble or on the basketball court since he was quick

tempered and usually ready for a fight. Secretly, he was a voracious reader and

wanted to be a writer. He would check out books from the library and bring them

home in a paper bag so other boys wouldn’t tease him.

Commenting on his early teen years: “By this time there were two very distinct

voices going on in my head, and I moved easily between them. One had to do

with sports, street life, and establishing myself as a male. It was a fairly rough

voice, the kind of in-your-face tone that said I wouldn’t stand for too much

nonsense either on the basketball courts or in the streets. The other voice, the

one I hid from my street friends and teammates, was increasingly dealing with the

vocabulary of literature.” p. 92

Growing up poor and realizing the racial and class struggles surrounding him, he

began to doubt himself and his values and whether he would have a successful

future. He attended high school less and less, and turned to the streets and his

books for comfort. This is his story of how he found himself and came to be one

of the most popular young adult authors. - Mary Boyd (Retired librarian - IISD)

Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers Digital Book Trailer


National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. 2012. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. <>.

W., Krista. "Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers Digital Book Trailer." YouTube. N.p., 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. <>.