Autobiography of My Dead Brother

( 20 )

Overview

The thing was that me and Rise were blood brothers, but sometimes I really didn't know him. . . .

As Jesse fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of Rise, he tries to make sense of the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and loss in a neighborhood plagued by drive-bys, vicious gangs, and abusive cops.

Finalist for the 2005 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

...
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Overview

The thing was that me and Rise were blood brothers, but sometimes I really didn't know him. . . .

As Jesse fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of Rise, he tries to make sense of the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and loss in a neighborhood plagued by drive-bys, vicious gangs, and abusive cops.

Finalist for the 2005 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myster has written a realistic urban novel that probes a fatal crisis in the life of two boys. Jesse, the book's narrator, and Rise are best friends, but as time passes, Rise grows increasingly alienated and unpredictable. Living in a neighborhood where gang fights and drive-by shootings are almost commonplace, Jesse wonders whether he and his estranged blood brother are already doomed. A powerful novel from the author of Shooter and Monster.
Publishers Weekly
In this National Book Award finalist, 15-year-old Jesse chronicles the demise of his "blood brother," Rise, in the titular illustrated "autobiography," and struggles to escape the random violence of his neighborhood. Ages 14-up. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - KaaVonia Hinton
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2005: This novel is framed by the legendary gospel classic, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," and the funerals of young, black teenagers gunned down on the streets of their own neighborhoods. When the novel opens it is clear that Jesse and Rise are growing up and growing apart. They were once blood brothers; now Jesse hardly recognizes Rise and finds it impossible to sketch images of him. This is unfortunate because Jesse has agreed to write an autobiography of Rise's life. Though themes of violence, black-on-black crime, and the coming-of-age of urban black males are familiar in Myers's work, the slow transformation of an innocent social group known as the Counts into a gang thrust into a battle for territorial rights separates this book from others. Teens, some who may by struggling with similar issues, will be on edge while 15-year-old Jesse decides if he will allow his environment and peers to dictate the type of man he will become. The temptation to adopt a destructive mentality is appealing when he feels the pressure to prove his dedication to Rise in order to keep up an anti-establishment facade. Those interested in graphic novels might find Christopher Myers' b/w illustrations appealing. Like his friend, CJ, who finds solace in playing the piano and the organ, it is art that sustains Jesse, something to which Rise does not have access. This premise is also found in other novels by Myers, such as the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Monster. In Autobiography of My Dead Brother, Jesse survives because he clings to what matters most, his ability to draw and write a comic strip (titled Spodi Roti and Wise) notonly about Rise, but also about himself and other black teenage boys seemingly forced into a way of life that can only lead to a premature death.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Fifteen-year-old Jesse lives a clean and relatively careful life in contemporary Harlem. His best friend and honorary brother, Rise, is two years older and plays life faster and looser. The boys belong to a social club inherited from the men of the older generation. The Counts aren't a gang and the members tend to have a variety of aesthetic interests. Jesse is devoted to cartooning and sketching while C. J. is a fine musician. Rise, however, it seems to Jesse, has begun to lead a second life that doesn't include him or The Counts. Myers's story of urban violence and wasted youth unfolds inexorably, but the relationships among his characters-Jesse and his frightened parents; C. J. and Jesse; a local cop and the neighborhood boys; Jesse and a love-starved but sexually knowing girl-are nuanced and engaging rather than predictable. The black-and-white artwork throughout includes both realistic sketches of Jesse's friends and a cartoon-strip take on Rise, adding a dimension that expands readers' views of Jesse's world and of the conflicts presented to the boys. This novel is like photorealism; it paints a vivid and genuine portrait of life that will have a palpable effect on its readers.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jesse and his friend C.J. are trying to come to terms with "the violence that blows through our community like the winds of winter." With a friend carrying a gun, another dealing and one in jail for robbery, Jesse sees first-hand what drugs are doing to his Harlem home. "Sometimes," he says, "the corner of 149th Street looked like an ad for some desperate Third World country," or a vision of hell from Dante's Inferno, which Jesse is reading in school. The autobiography Jesse is making of his best friend Rise, with photographs, drawings and cartoons, shows Rise changing as he gets involved with gangs, and the cartoonish character of Spodi Roti represents Jesse himself as he questions his life and community, looking for answers. The innovative illustrated novel format is effective, essential to Rise's autobiography and to Jesse's own quest for understanding. Though the story is starkly realistic, there is always hope in the gifts of Jesse the artist and C. J. the musician, of schools and churches and of caring parents. (Fiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060582937
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Edition description: Reprinted Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 151,066
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told; Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; the New York Times bestseller Monster, which was the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was the 2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.

Christopher Myers is a graduate of Brown University and the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Studio Program. He is the acclaimed illustrator of Love: Selected Poems by e.e. cummings; Harlem: A Poem, a Caldecott Honor Book; Jazz, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Blues Journey, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. He is also the author-illustrator of Black Cat and H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination, both Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books; We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; A Time to Love: Stories from the Old Testament; Looking Like Me; Wings; and Fly!

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Read an Excerpt

Autobiography of My Dead Brother


By Walter Myers

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Walter Myers
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006058291X

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
Lord, I am so tired
Yes, I'm weak
And yes, I'm worn . . .

Lord knows we are tired today as we gather here in fellowship and sorrow, in brotherhood and despair, for the going-home ceremony of fourteen-year-old Bobby Green." Pastor Loving rocked forward as he spoke. "Lord knows we are tired of burying our young men, of driving behind hearses and seeing the painted letters of remembrance on the walls of our neighborhoods.

"As we close this chapter of young Bobby's life, let us send our prayers with him to the other side." Pastor Loving, a big, dark man, wiped the sweat from his forehead with his handkerchief. "Let us send our prayers with him so that maybe one day those left behind will finally be able to do what we hope for him -- to rest in peace without the violence that blows through our community like the winds of winter. This loss chills the heart and challenges the soul, and yet we must keep on. To young Bobby's parents I extend my hand and the promise of a just God who will heal the heavy heart and rest the weary soul. As you leave the church today, stop and pass a word to Bobby's grieving mother, Louise, and his grieving father, John. Let them know that in the middle of darkness there is and will always be the everlasting light of Christian faith. Amen."

The gospel choir started singing softly, and row by row they left their seats. Bobby's mother was crying and leaning against an older man I didn't know. It was all the same, the gentle whirring of the fans, the familiar scent of the flowers, the hymns that filled the spaces between the people mourning Bobby. I looked over to where C.J. was still sitting at the organ. He looked small in front of the dark mahogany instrument. The people in the first row had started filing past the casket. My mom took my hand and squeezed it.

"I don't think . . ."

"It's okay," she said softly.

I slid out of the pew and made my way toward the back of St. Philip's Episcopal.

On the steps the cool evening breeze carried barbecue smells from the Avenue. I watched as some young kids ran down the street to an ice-cream truck. It had been hot all day, and the few drops of rain that fell didn't cool things off at all.

"It's a shame for a child to go so young like that," Miss Essie Lassiter was saying. "It should have been somebody old, like me. Jesse, do the police have any idea who it was who shot him?"

"No, ma'am."

"That's the terrible thing about it," Miss Lassiter said. "First there's one shooting, and then there's a shooting getting even with that one, and people don't know when to stop."

"Yes, ma'am."

Bobby had a big family and they could afford only one official funeral car, so not too many people were going out to the cemetery. I watched as Miss Lassiter, who went to everybody's funeral, got in one of the cars. A moment later they were pulling away from the church.

C.J. came up to me and he was looking teary-eyed. "You want to go over to the park?" he asked.

I said I'd go, and just then Rise came over. We told him where we were going and he said he'd come along. We walked the first part of the distance to the park in silence, and then Rise started kidding C.J. about not playing any jazz at Bobby G.'s funeral.

"You should have played like they used to down in New Orleans," Rise said. "Everybody would have talked about it."

"And my moms would have been all over my head," C.J. said. "I asked her about playing some jazz, but she said that Bobby's parents might not like it."

"Yeah, well, he went out like a man," Rise said.

"Yo, Rise, the brother got wasted in a drive-by," I said. "He was chilling on his stoop when some dudes lit up the sidewalk. I don't even think they knew who they shot."

We got to the park and sat on a bench. C.J. was talking about how Bobby was worried about getting into a good high school.

"We were just talking about that the other day," C.J. said. "He was saying that if he got into a good high school, he was going to bust his chops so he could go on to college. Bobby was cool."

"When your time comes, you got to go," Rise said. "That's all sad and everything, but that's the word, straight up."

"Maybe I should have played something special," C.J. said.

C.J. is the same age as me, fifteen. He was raised in the church and had been playing piano and organ for as long as I knew him. He wanted to play jazz, but his moms said he should stick to classical and gospel. We had talked about him sticking in a little jazz at Bobby's funeral, and I thought it would have been cool. I really didn't know Bobby's parents, though. Maybe they wouldn't have liked it. But there were so many funerals going on, it almost seemed you needed something to make them different.

"Y'all hear there's going to be a meeting of the Counts tomorrow?" Rise asked. "For what?" C.J. had fished half of a candy bar from his pocket and was taking the paper off of it.

"It should be about Bobby G.," Rise said. "But Calvin is calling it, so I don't think it's going to be about anything, really. Dude is just swimming upstream and don't know where he's going."

On the far side of the park some guys had set up steel drums. They started playing some reggae, but real soft and it sounded good, almost like a pulse coming out of the darkness.

"You know, it's hard when somebody gets wasted," Rise went on. "Bobby G. was good people and everything, but that's why you have to make your life special every day. You never know when your time is up. Ain't no use in being down about it."

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
Lord, I am so tired
Yes, I'm weak
And yes, I'm worn . . .

Lord knows we are tired today as we gather here in fellowship and sorrow, in brotherhood and despair, for the going-home ceremony of fourteen-year-old Bobby Green." Pastor Loving rocked forward as he spoke. "Lord knows we are tired of burying our young men, of driving behind hearses and seeing the painted letters of remembrance on the walls of our neighborhoods.

"As we close this chapter of young Bobby's life, let us send our prayers with him to the other side." Pastor Loving, a big, dark man, wiped the sweat from his forehead with his handkerchief. "Let us send our prayers with him so that maybe one day those left behind will finally be able to do what we hope for him -- to rest in peace without the violence that blows through our community like the winds of winter. This loss chills the heart and challenges the soul, and yet we must keep on. To young Bobby's parents I extend my hand and the promise of a just God who will heal the heavy heart and rest the weary soul. As you leave the church today, stop and pass a word to Bobby's grieving mother, Louise, and his grieving father, John. Let them know that in the middle of darkness there is and will always be the everlasting light of Christian faith. Amen."

The gospel choir started singing softly, and row by row they left their seats. Bobby's mother was crying and leaning against an older man I didn't know. It was all the same, the gentle whirring of the fans, the familiar scent of the flowers, the hymns that filled the spaces between the people mourning Bobby. I looked over to where C.J. was still sitting at the organ. He looked small in front of the dark mahogany instrument. The people in the first row had started filing past the casket. My mom took my hand and squeezed it.

"I don't think . . ."

"It's okay," she said softly.

I slid out of the pew and made my way toward the back of St. Philip's Episcopal.

On the steps the cool evening breeze carried barbecue smells from the Avenue. I watched as some young kids ran down the street to an ice-cream truck. It had been hot all day, and the few drops of rain that fell didn't cool things off at all.

"It's a shame for a child to go so young like that," Miss Essie Lassiter was saying. "It should have been somebody old, like me. Jesse, do the police have any idea who it was who shot him?"

"No, ma'am."

"That's the terrible thing about it," Miss Lassiter said. "First there's one shooting, and then there's a shooting getting even with that one, and people don't know when to stop."

"Yes, ma'am."

Bobby had a big family and they could afford only one official funeral car, so not too many people were going out to the cemetery. I watched as Miss Lassiter, who went to everybody's funeral, got in one of the cars. A moment later they were pulling away from the church.

C.J. came up to me and he was looking teary-eyed. "You want to go over to the park?" he asked.

I said I'd go, and just then Rise came over. We told him where we were going and he said he'd come along. We walked the first part of the distance to the park in silence, and then Rise started kidding C.J. about not playing any jazz at Bobby G.'s funeral.

"You should have played like they used to down in New Orleans," Rise said. "Everybody would have talked about it."

"And my moms would have been all over my head," C.J. said. "I asked her about playing some jazz, but she said that Bobby's parents might not like it."

"Yeah, well, he went out like a man," Rise said.

"Yo, Rise, the brother got wasted in a drive-by," I said. "He was chilling on his stoop when some dudes lit up the sidewalk. I don't even think they knew who they shot."

We got to the park and sat on a bench. C.J. was talking about how Bobby was worried about getting into a good high school.

"We were just talking about that the other day," C.J. said. "He was saying that if he got into a good high school, he was going to bust his chops so he could go on to college. Bobby was cool."

"When your time comes, you got to go," Rise said. "That's all sad and everything, but that's the word, straight up."

"Maybe I should have played something special," C.J. said.

C.J. is the same age as me, fifteen. He was raised in the church and had been playing piano and organ for as long as I knew him. He wanted to play jazz, but his moms said he should stick to classical and gospel. We had talked about him sticking in a little jazz at Bobby's funeral, and I thought it would have been cool. I really didn't know Bobby's parents, though. Maybe they wouldn't have liked it. But there were so many funerals going on, it almost seemed you needed something to make them different.

"Y'all hear there's going to be a meeting of the Counts tomorrow?" Rise asked. "For what?" C.J. had fished half of a candy bar from his pocket and was taking the paper off of it.

"It should be about Bobby G.," Rise said. "But Calvin is calling it, so I don't think it's going to be about anything, really. Dude is just swimming upstream and don't know where he's going."

On the far side of the park some guys had set up steel drums. They started playing some reggae, but real soft and it sounded good, almost like a pulse coming out of the darkness.

"You know, it's hard when somebody gets wasted," Rise went on. "Bobby G. was good people and everything, but that's why you have to make your life special every day. You never know when your time is up. Ain't no use in being down about it."

Continues...


Excerpted from Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Myers Copyright © 2005 by Walter Myers.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    H

    Very good book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Ben10

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    Ben10 was

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Kind of good

    Not that cool i like the kindle fire better

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Autobiography of My Dead Brother - A Powerful Story

    I read Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers over the summer. The book was a very believable, emotional, and true-to-life story about teenage boys growing up surrounded by gangs, drugs and violence.
    The book begins with the funeral of a fourteen year old boy, Bobby, who was killed in a drive-by shooting as friends gather at the neighborhood church to mourn and discuss how common gang violence has become in their neighborhood. The story is told by the main character Jesse, who takes on the project of writing an autobiography of his best friend Rise's life through pictures. Rise and Jesse grew up together, but their friendship is being pulled apart by Rise's decision to join a gang and deal drugs. Jesse struggles with doing what's right versus sticking by his "blood brother". Jesse tells of his confusion with Rise's behavior, his growing friendship with C.J. who he has more in common with, and his frustration at not being able to "save" Rise.
    I think the book is very realistic because it discusses how young men struggle over what is right and what is cool. Jesse sees how easily bad choices can be made and what the consequences are. At Bobby's funeral, Rise says "he went out like a man", while C.J. points out, "I still don't want to get shot for nothing". Later in the book when Jesse asks Rise about his decision to join a gang, Rise answers "This is about real life, not about no dreams and stories". The characters are very believable and they convey what it is like to be a teenager growing up in an urban neighborhood today. Jesse must face questions from his father about his involvement in crime, the police about gang activity, and Rise lecturing him on why it's right to deal drugs.
    Jesse draws a comic strip in the book to portray his inner conflicts in dealing with situations. The illustrations of Rise and this comic strip bring the story to life and make it even more powerful.
    These drawings along with Myer's use of urban slang and settings make the book real, and I highly recommend it to other teenagers. I even think adults could learn something about how young adults think and struggle with choices if they read it. I think the book scores a perfect 10!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    Autobiography of My Dead Brother

    Autobiography of My Dead Brother is a clever read written by Walter Dean Myers. This book is a roller coaster ride. Autobiography of My Dead Brother is set in Harlem, NY in the ¿hood¿. There is crime all around and life is lived in fear. Jesse (the main character) is an artist who is part of a gang called the Counts. Recently one of the members of his gang goes to jail, which spurs a collection of events about his gang and another. Jesse then vents his emotions through his artwork. This book is well-written and flows well. Autobiography of My Dead Brother is a thriller, as the entire book is packed with drive-bys, shootings, and action. For example, there was a bus drive-by early in the story. Also, there is a gang meeting near the end. The setting is brought to life by Myers, who conveys the overall feel of the characters very well. The plot is that Jesse and his friends get involved way over their heads because of one of their members being jailed and one of Jesse¿s closest friends becoming a drug dealer. The main message is that life is short and you should savor every minute of it. In conclusion, I recommend this book to anyone looking for some action or entertainment. The issues covered in this book include gangs, drive-bys, teenagers and more. Christopher Myers¿s illustrations help bring the story to life. I give Autobiography of My Dead Brother four stars out of five.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Good is that it

    I loved this book it is interesting and talks about ife that can actually happen but what happened to the the fictional characters brother but not by blood it was good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Is this actually a biography

    Is this a biogtaphy I cannot tell if its real

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    Inside Look at Gang Life

    Walter Dean Myers is an extremely talented author, and his work is well portrayed in his book Autobiography of my Dead Brother. Walter portrays the characters in his book to be average kids growing up in the city around bad influences (Gangs, violence, drugs, etc.) and shows the fight between getting pulled in and living above the influence. Myers demonstrates friendship in this book between the main character, Jesse, and his best friend, Rise unlike other books portray. This book begins somewhat with Jesse¿s friend rise telling him he wants to make a move and start dealing drugs for another gang, despite what he would tell Jesse in their youth. Rise starts to get involved heavily and Jesse becomes concerned about Rise. When drive bys start happening close to Jesse¿s house, he knows it¿s because Rise is getting deep and other gangs want Rise dead. With the help of C.J., Jesse gets through most of the many twists and turns of this book, but in the end, a tragedy befalls upon the characters of the book. I thought this book to be an excellent demonstration of what it¿s like growing up in a poor area of the city and all the issues associated with it, the biggest being gangs in this book. Jesse and his friends had this group called the Counts. It wasn¿t so much a gang as it was a club, but Rise realized that. He wanted to ¿move on and stop playing games.¿ So one day Rise called up Jesse and told him he need to start making money and said he was going to go work for another gang selling drugs, but he still wanted to be associated with the Counts, and because of that, everyone else got into Rise¿s trouble. Whenever something bad happened, and Rise was involved, such as one of the shootings that took place, police (or Officer Sidney) always shows up at Jesse¿s house to ask him about what¿s going on because they know Rise is the culprit. There is an event that happens at the beginning of the book involving a kid that was in the Counts and robbed a convenient store and ended up in jail. This is what kicks off the idea to move on for Rise. The book was written well in the sense of it being easily read, but I thought that the whole deal about the store being robbed at the beginning and wanting revenge, I thought that should have just been dropped. It didn¿t really fit into the book well, to me that is. I think that a bit more detail to some of the characters could have been added in place of that event. I would recommend this book to kids, maybe half-way through eighth grade/going into ninth. This is a good book, but I don¿t think it would appeal to an older audience. The violence and content I would say isn¿t suitable for younger children, but if we we¿re dealing with kids in an environment like the one in the book, I would recommend it to them because of the messages that come out of it about avoiding bad crowds. Rating: ***1/2 stars

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    A Realistic Look at Inner City Teens

    I think that the story, Autobiography of my Dead Brother, by Walter Dean Meyers is a realistic and powerful story of gang violence, drug dealing, and trying to survive in a rough inner-city neighborhood. In the story Jesse, the main character, is growing up in a poor, rough neighborhood in Harlem, New York. Jesse is faced with many problems as some friends become victims of drive by shootings and his best friend, Rise, joins a gang and begins to deal drugs. Things only get worse when a club that Jesse is in, The Counts, starts to get pulled into the life of other inner city gangs. As things become more violent, Jesse becomes more confused and depressed. He pulls away from Rise and starts to hang out with his other friend, C.J., who is a talented musician who also tries to not get into the life of a inner city kid. At the end the most shocking thing happens that you will never expect. Read this story, and you will find out what will happen. This book is an intense story with lots of action that draws the reader in. For instance, the story starts with the funeral of a 14 year old boy. That just makes you think what happened and you instantly want to keep reading to find out. Also, there is a time in the story when the police shoot their guns and everyone thought it was a drive by shooting, so Jesse and his friends run for cover. That only makes the police think that they¿re hiding something, so they go and hold a gun to Jesse¿s head. When that happened, I was thinking if Jesse was going to get shot by the police. One other thing that happened in this story was when Jesse got called into the police station to be investigated by the cops. That made me think if they did something wrong and if Jesse, who was one of the very few kids who tried to do good things, would have to go to jail. Over all, there was a lot of heart stopping moments that happened in this book. Although the plot repeats, it is an easy read so you should not have a problem with getting through the slower parts. This author writes in first person, which is better because it makes you feel like that you¿re part of the story, and you actually are faced with the problems the character is facing. Next, I think that the characters are realistic because just like some kids that live in the city today get into drugs and gangs, so do the kids in the book. The message in this book is complicated. Although the violence never ends, kids like C.J. and Jesse can escape because of their families and their art and music. The other message is that if you get into drugs or gangs, the result will almost always be bad. Over all I would give this book 4 stars out of five because it had a good idea but at some times it was just a bit boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2008

    Incredible Book

    Autobiography Of My Dead Brother is a book written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers. It has a very interesting story line and very good artwork thrown in by Christopher Myers. It¿s about a 15-year-old guy named Jesse living in a city plagued by crime and murder. His blood brother, Rise has been undergoing many changes lately. He used to be about not doing drugs and following the law, but now he¿s been getting into trouble. He's been thinking about dealing drugs, and took over his area¿s streets and he took over a black community group called the Counts. Jesse, not understanding why, is trying to figure all of this out for himself, gets caught up in it. He is nearly shot in a drive by, has a gun pulled on him by white cops, and worst of all, is standing right next to Rise when he is shot by a punk named Little Man. Jesse is a 15-year-old guy who tries to figure out why Rise is changing, we see the novel through his point of view. He is also an artist and we see his artwork in the book. (It¿s really by Christopher Myers.) This includes paintings, doodles, and even his Spodi Rodi and Wise comic strip. But the reason the comic strip is important is he projects himself as Spodi Rodi, and he projects Rise as Wise. He is a kid with morals, he goes to church, and he¿s pretty easy going. Rise is an 18-year-old guy that is undergoing changes in his perspective on life. He used to be about not doing drugs and no gangs but suddenly he takes over a group called the Counts, buys his area¿s rights to the street, and starts talking about dealing drugs. He used to be chill but now he¿s been getting real serious about everything. When he is thrown into jail for a while he decides it¿s time to run off to another city in Florida. That¿s when he is shot by Little Man. CJ is a 15-year-old guy and is Jesse¿s best friend. He is an artist like Jesse, except his art is music. He plays the organ at church and that¿s usually where he is found in the book. He and Jesse and a few other dudes played in a Cuban band to earn some money in the novel. He apparently can¿t deal with his problems so he often turns to Jesse for help. And when he¿s nervous he eats a lot which is why he¿s fat. Here is a small quote from the comic strip Spodi Rodi and Wise that Jesse draws after Rise is killed: ¿Oh Wise, where the answers be hiding? Are they shining bright lights in the sky? Grains of sand on the beach? What you saying when you don¿t answer, Wise? Keep looking? Word.¿ Now, the reason I found that to be an appropriate choice is because in this strip, Wise is dead and Spodi is at his grave with RIP written above it and 3 candles on the ground. And because Spodi seems to want to keep looking for the answers, I think Jesse will too. I strongly agree on most of the views in this book, it shows all of the main characters (except Rise) against drugs, alcohol, and murder. The only problem I see in the book is that if you¿re not used to talking to people that use heavy slang, you¿d have trouble reading the book. There are many ideas in this book that have been around for a while, so it¿s no surprise in some parts. It doesn¿t really relate to my life in a specific way, it¿s about a teenager living in a crime-ridden city, so I don¿t see the relation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2007

    Incredible Book

    I would recommend Autobiography of My Dead Brother to any reader, whether they be young adult or adult. It is very real, and you get drawn into it because it is so realistic. A boy named Bobby Green gets shot in a drive by shooting the boys realize that gang violence isn¿t a joke and the world they live in is real and violent. It could be your life in an instant it is a very real account of what goes on in the world today. It shows that friendship can shine through even the darkest places in life and can even save a life. Jesse tries to make Rise realize that he won¿t have a life if he turns to drugs. It shows how easily young men in rough areas can be drawn into selling drugs and violence just by making one bad decision.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    Autobiography of My Dead Brother

    I thought that ¿autobiography of my dead brother¿ was a good book. The reason I think it was a good book was because of the way the write makes it same like this stuff in the book really happened and you get so into the book of the things that happened in the book. I would recommend this book to people who like these kinds of interesting books. If I had a chance to rate this book I would rate it with five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    The book an Autobiography of my Dead Brother is a great book it has friend related and even gang related. I will give this book five stars out of five stars why? Because it is one of the greatest books I have ever seen. My favorite part of the story is when the drive by¿s pass by the hood and start shooting and I like it because that¿s when all friends gather around together to help each other specially the one that got shot. This book tells us that when friends spend time together friendship becomes stronger! Autobiography of my Dead Brother is a very exiting and good book take some time and read it. I recommend it to everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    The book Autobiography of my Dead Brother is a very good book about a couple of boys¿ lives in the ghetto. In the book a kid get shot and his friends see the horror of this tragedy and they are tired of their community and want to have a good life. On their way to success some go the hard but good route and others the easy but bad route 'GANGS'. I recommend this book to many adults but not kids because in the book the characters use too many slang words and the kids will not understand them as much as an adult will. In the book Walter Dean Myers is trying to say that gangs will encourage you to sell drugs and pack heat 'guns', which that will only lead you to 6 times 9 jail time or 6 feet underground in a coffin. So read this book if you want to know how life really is in our ghetto communities. I sure don¿t think it a piece of cake.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I give this book Autobiography of My Dead Brother five stars out of five this is a good book about real life. What is going up in our neighborhoods every day and how these things are affecting teenagers. In this book there is a kid name Jesse almost like everyone has friends that are in drugs and gangs and that takes those friends away from him. The author gives an example that friendship can overcome everything and every time a friend is in trouble you have to be there for that friend. This book is about loyalty and friendship, so if anyone will like to read about friendship this is the book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    Autobiography of My Dead Brother

    I would recommend Autobiography of My Dead Brother to children from ages 12-17. The reason I say these ages are because these are major points in your life where you may need to read something like to open your eyes to what is going on around you. People may be stealing, killing, or even drug dealing and are trying to pull you into it. What this book does is let you know that what you do has an effect on you as well as your community and there are better and righteous ways to making money. The point that Walter Dean Myers makes in Autobiography of My Dead Brother is that earning your own money through hard work & creativity is better than stealing from someone who has worked hard and has put their best foot forward.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    Autobiography of my dead brother I rate Autobiography of my dead brother 4 stars because it was very fulfilling and their was a great deal of achievement all through the book. When I first started reading this book I couldn¿t put it down. This book had action packed events in it, like when Bobby green gets killed by a drive bye shooting and they were showing respect for him in the church. I wouldn¿t change anything about this book accept for the fact that their could have been a better ending for the book. I recommend this book to all parents, grownups, Young adults, and to all kids. This book teaches a very important lesson about the choices you make and how they could affect others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

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