DARNELL ROCK REPORTING by Walter Dean Myers

DARNELL ROCK REPORTING

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Darnell isn't bad, but he meets his teachers' (and his own) expectations by earning poor grades and getting into trouble for his attitude. After he halfheartedly decides to work on the school paper, he's as surprised as anyone when his offhand idea--making a vacant lot into a garden where the homeless can raise their own vegetables, rather than paving it for parking--is picked up by the local newspaper and widely praised. Spurred by success and by curiosity about the contrasting lives of his dad, who has a good job, and Dad's Vietnam buddy Sweeby, now homeless, Darnell interviews Sweeby and gains insight into the difficulties many African-Americans experience in getting a decent job. Myers gets things right, especially the banter and concerns of kids like Darnell, who, even with real talents and a stable family, may "fall through the cracks" of a school without the resources or will to engage them; and the fate of Darnell's proposal, which is realistically presented as simplistic as well as imaginative. The book itself is not simplistic, as the deftly drawn characters have both strengths and weaknesses. Many readers--and not just those in multiracial, big-city areas like the one depicted here--will recognize themselves in Darnell and his friends. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-385-32096-5
Page count: 106pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1994




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