CARMEN by Walter Dean Myers

CARMEN

Age Range: 13 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

As he did with Swan Lake in Amiri & Odette (2009), Myers takes a classic story and gives it a new twist and fresh voice. This time, it’s a spin on Bizet’s Carmen, which in turn was based on a short story by Mérimée. The elements are essentially the same as the opera, but they are updated to an American urban setting: present-day Spanish Harlem. Carmen is an 18-year-old factory worker, feisty and freedom-loving, the “brightest star in their universe.” She loves falling in love, but she is too independent to ever belong to a man; for her, there’s no por vida. José is not a soldier here, but a love-obsessed police officer; and Escamillo is not a bullfighter, as in the opera, but a 28-year-old rapper-turned-filmmaker who fancies himself “knee-deep in fantastic!” Ego as much as romance is the tie that binds here, and camp passion and operatic melodrama—with a hearty dash of Shakespearean sexual humor and innuendo—are the ingredients that make the story work. Factory workers and business owners, police officers and computer hackers, hip-hop and Bizet bring the stage alive in a script that comes complete with stage directions and cued sound effects. A perfect match with Jen Bryant’s The Fortune of Carmen Navarro (2010), a prose refresh of the same classic tale, and a great choice for high-school theater productions. (Drama. 13 & up)

Pub Date: April 26th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60684-115-0
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Egmont USA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2011




WORKS BY WALTER DEAN MYERS:

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

MORE BY WALTER DEAN MYERS

ChildrenINVASION by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers
ChildrenOH, SNAP! by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers
ChildrenDARIUS & TWIG by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE FORTUNE OF CARMEN NAVARRO by Jen Bryant
by Jen Bryant
AdultROMIETTE AND JULIO by Sharon M. Draper
by Sharon M. Draper
ChildrenBEASTLY by Alex Flinn
by Alex Flinn