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Bad Boy

A Book Talk of Walter Dean Myers Biography, Bad Boy

Gillian Liedke

on 5 June 2013

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Transcript of Bad Boy

An Autobiography by Walter
Dean Myers Bad Boy Born in 1937, Walter Myers is a young, aggressive, african american boy who's only home is Harlem, New York. He lives a simple life with his adopted parents, Florence Dean and Herbert Dean and his two older sisters, which he was always envied. Walter was finishing the last semester of his senior year in a panic. Although he wanted a miracle to happen, he still spent most of his time reading. One day in late May, Walter decided to go back to school but when he got there, school had ended and graduation was over. His dreams were over. What will Walter do now that his hopes and chances of a better life are over? Climax The theme of this story is "Look ahead and keep moving forward".
This is the theme because no matter what happened in Walter's life, he just kept moving forward no matter what happened to him and continued on with his life. I recommend this book for older teenagers and adults because it is a bit more serious of a book since it is an auto biography.

My rating of this book was a 6.5 out of ten because many moments out of his life were interesting but if sometimes felt repetitive.
I liked this book for the most part but I did not like how he crammed the next twenty year period after his school life into the final chapter
This book is 206 pages and took me about 5 school days to finish it, averaging about 41 pages per day. Recommendations If you looking for a good book to read that is interesting at a historical and educational level, read "Bad Boy" from Walter Dean Myers. "All in all, it had been a great journey and not at all shabby for a bad boy. The setting Walter remembers that the greatest time of his young life was with his mother. She was the one who taught him to read by teaching him how to read out of her "True Romance" magazines and some classic comics. When Walter started the first grade he could read on a second grade level but he could not speak well enough and did not realize that he had a speech problem until the second grade. His first major incident was when another student in his class started to make fun of him of his poor speech in front of the class and Walter hit him in the face and was sent to the principal. The rest of second grade was very notable. Once a week, speech specialist came in to help Walter but it frustrated him. To his words, he was good at many other things but it seemed like his speech was something important to everyone else, which aggravated him and pulled down his behavior even more. When school started again in September, Walter planned to be on his best behavior for the year and met a new friend in his class named Eric Leonhardt who was a young, white, blonde boy. Walter's behavior had been very satisfactory until an incident after Easter. Walter was in an argument with a boy in his class nicknamed "Bunny". After pushing him into a closet, They started a fight and Bunny nearly knocked by when he panicked and started to punch him before running out the door. Due to what his teacher heard about him from other years, she blamed Walter and threatened to send him to reform school. The same day after that incident, Walter went home for lunch with cramps where Bunny hit him. After he complained about feeling sick, his mother brought him to the hospital. What was thought that Walter was just sick, actually turned out that he had to have his appendix removed and had to leave school for the rest of the year. Over the summer between third and fourth grade, Walter met his biological father, George Myers. In addition to that they tried hang a kid in a church and became very interested in sports. The fourth grade was no better than the third grade for Walter even after being moved to a new school. When his teacher made him read aloud, the other kids in response laughed at him, which caused him to lose his temper. When his teacher made him read by himself because of his behavior, he realized that he actually liked reading. During the sixth grade, a big turn happened for Walter. Mr. Lasher Reformed Walter. He taught him that the world needs more smart black boys. In addition to that, he did two important things that year. First, he put Walter in an all day speech therapy class once a week. Secondly he convinced him that his reading ability and good test scores made him special. With Mr. Lasher, many things improved with Walter. After several major incidents with his family, everything started to change. Walter's Uncle Lee was killed which shocked his father unbearably and caused a year long depression. After that, Walter realized that the world did not revolve around him and that he was only a small part of the world. When Walter entered junior high, he was accepted into a rapid advancement class with all the kids who were, smart. He also had his first brush with learning about slavery and racial differences. His friend Eric asked him to come to a party but he was denied the right to come because he was black.
Walter's ninth grade teacher, Mrs. Finley, taught him about many types and styles of writings. Mrs. Finley had high hopes for Walter and she was one of the first people who noticed his talent. After the ninth grade, Walter applied to Stuyvesant High School and was accepted to start studying there. Stuyvesant High School was a difficult school the standards of all the classes were very high for everyone. The school times went from noon to five thirty which took up all of Walter's social life. The first year at Stuyvesant was a challenge because he was not accustomed to studying. Walter put his faith in the Dogers winning the world series and when they lost, he was crushed. Walter began to encounter more gang
activity. He finish school and threw away his final report card,
hoping to do better next year. Rifts started to form between Eric
and Walter because of racism. He wondered where and how he
would fit into a society that basically didn't like him. "Knowledge. Voice. Action." Black Youth Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2013. "LEARNING ABOUT WALTER DEAN MYERS." MYERS PAGE. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2013. "The YA Book Log." BAD BOY by Walter Dean Myers at. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2013. Finding jobs as a young black boy was challenging in a racially prejudice community. Looking for colleges was also a difficult because of his race. Walter's family was struggling economically and his mother put her faith in the lottery. While Walter was saving up for a typewriter, his mother lost nearly all of their money on the lottery and the rest of it on alcohol, for she had become depressed. Walter had started to do so poorly in school that he stopped going. This was the beginning of a low point in his life. "Ching Chow Daily Gallery." Ching Chow Daily Gallery. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2013. Every morning Walter's mother would read the comic Ching Chow, Which supposedly gave lucky numbers Walter had skipped school for three weeks in a row before the last term of his junior year at high school. Walter was hoping to be able to receive a scholarship in a sport for college. while on his way to a morning basketball practice, he dispersed a gang beating a young man named Frank who became a friend of Walter. When school restarted in September for his Senior year Walter made a resolution to approach school with confidence and do it once and for all. This lasted for three weeks before he started to stay out of school again. School became a disaster. Simple formulas and problems eluded him and his attendance and marks were both horrible. If it was not for his English class, he would have never returned to that school. She enjoyed his writing and praised his work. He had not sent any applications to colleges and he was in a near panic. His mother went to school with him as a request from his school and she realized just how many days he had missed. It was nearly thirty days in total. Walter was pronounced officially disturbed due to his condition of scarlet fever when he was eight. Frank put Walter in many bad situations and after convincing him to help him transport drugs, he decided that he did not want to live the same life as Frank. Walter was sent to a therapist named Dr.Holiday. On one of their sessions she asked him if he liked being black. He said yes but he started to question what that really meant to him and the society. The book "Bad Boy" is the first person auto biography of Walter Dean Meyers that takes place in Harlem, New York from 1937 until 1968. From his humble beginnings to his disappointing life, he was really, a bad boy. The other main characters in this story was Florence Dean, Walter's foster mother of Native American descent who is tender and loving enough to spend the time to teach Walter how to read and whose voice was soft and sweet in their Harlem kitchen.
Next is Mr. Lasher. He was the one who taught Walter first that the world needed more smart African Americans and he also taught Walter to use more restraint in his actions. Since this was an auto biography, there was no clear antagonist but the main conflict was individual v.s society because Walter was always in trouble with the school system and most of the issues that he ran into was school related. The other reason is because throughout the story, Walter encounter the effects of racism on him and the rest of the world around him.
Could I relate to any of the characters? No, not at the least. I could not find anyone out of this book that stood out as being someone like me. Theme
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