AMIRI & ODETTE by Walter Dean Myers

AMIRI & ODETTE

A Love Story
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

The acclaimed author uproots the 19th-century classical ballet Swan Lake from its enchanted world of mist-filled lakes and palaces and plunks it solidly down into the dark, danger-filled Swan Lake Projects. The courtly Prince Siegfried morphs into the basketball player Amiri, and the beautiful Odette, turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer in the original, is now under the thralldom of Big Red, the local drug dealer. Myers tells the tale in rap-inspired verse, which appears on the page in different sizes and colors placed for their design values and not for ease of reading. The result strains with the necessity of maintaining narrative symmetry; verse that tries to soar in beat with Tchaikovsky’s memorable score is reduced to a plethora of overwrought phrases—“O muffle the drum and mute the horn, / From love’s demise, despair is born!” Perhaps Myers would have been better served by Romeo and Juliet, frequently rewritten but more manageable and logical. However, Steptoe’s collage-on cinder-block paintings are powerful, haunting and worthy of multiple viewings. His Odette is truly luminous. (Picture book/poetry. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-590-68041-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2008




WORKS BY WALTER DEAN MYERS:

Children LOCKDOWN by Walter Dean Myers
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Adult 145TH STREET by Walter Dean Myers
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Adult THE JOURNAL OF JOSHUA LOPER by Walter Dean Myers
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Adult MALCOLM X by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers

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