The Cruisers (Cruisers Series #1)

The Cruisers (Cruisers Series #1)

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by Walter Dean Myers, Kevin R. Free
     
 

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Eighth grade is hard enough, but when you're a Cruiser, you're really put to the test. The launch of a new middle-grade series from bestselling award-winner Walter Dean Myers. Zander and his friends, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi start their own newspaper, The Cruiser, as a means for speaking out, keeping the peace, and expressing what they believe. When the school

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Overview

Eighth grade is hard enough, but when you're a Cruiser, you're really put to the test. The launch of a new middle-grade series from bestselling award-winner Walter Dean Myers. Zander and his friends, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi start their own newspaper, The Cruiser, as a means for speaking out, keeping the peace, and expressing what they believe. When the school launches a mock Civil War, Zander and his friends are forced to consider the true meaning of democracy and what it costs to stand up for a cause. The result is nothing they could have expected, and everything they could have hoped for.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—The Cruisers attend the DaVinci Academy for the Gifted and Talented in Harlem, but Zander and his crew—Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi—don't fit in. Although they are academically talented, their grades are poor, and they are given one last shot to redeem themselves. While the school participates in a Civil War recreation, the Cruisers are given the job of peacekeepers and must arrange a peace between the sides—or be expelled from school. When a group starts to use historical documents to promote slavery in the Southern states, the school is thrown into an uproar. Zander and his friends create an alternative school newspaper, "The Cruiser," and learn about the power of words. Walter Dean Myers's short, yet powerful novel (Scholastic, 2010) is narrated by Kevin Free whose youthful tone and measured pace perfectly reflect Zander's voice. Amidst his narrative, Myers has included articles and editorials from the various newspapers at the DaVinci Academy, and Free does a good job of reading them. Content, performance, and length all make this audiobook a great choice for reluctant middle school readers, especially in urban areas.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Children's Literature - Maggie Chase
Zander, LaShonda, Bobbi, and Kambui are dubbed "The Cruisers" because they seem to be just going through the motions in this highly competitive school, and the assistant principal, Mr. Culpepper, seems to bear a grudge against them for that reason. He and the principal challenge them to be the peacekeepers in the annual North-South simulation that involves taking sides for the Confederacy or the Union; their continued enrollment in the school is riding on their success. The blurb on the jacket, provided by the publishers, is misleading. It says the students in this story start an alternative school newspaper in response to the eighth-grade simulation. The newspaper already exists before the controversy has begun; the Cruisers just continue to use it to get their message across. Secondly, the regular school newspaper, The Palette, publishes some very incendiary, racist articles to incite controversy, yet when the Cruisers decide to fight back peacefully by wearing signs around their necks, all hell breaks loose and they are attacked by Mr. Culpepper in a way that does not make sense relative to everything else that has happened. It simply does not ring true. And we never hear what is happening in the classroom, so there is no context for this simulation. Any school that would dare to conduct this kind of simulation would have rich, supportive discussions in the class to help students make sense what was happening during this era of U.S. history. The students seem to be managing the entire project out in the halls and in the cafeteria. As an educator, I found many aspects of the book to be too contrived to be believable and the action in the story a little hard to follow at times. Reviewer: Maggie Chase

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441863287
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Series:
Cruisers Series, #1
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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