Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff [NOOK Book]


Stuff doesn't know anyone when he first moves to 116th Street. But all of that changes when he meets Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Gloria. Stuff and the gang grow close that eventful year, and nothing is ever like it again. That's the year modern science gets them all in jail; Stuff falls in love and is unfaithful; and Cool Clyde and Fast Sam win the dance contest-almost.

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Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff

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Stuff doesn't know anyone when he first moves to 116th Street. But all of that changes when he meets Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Gloria. Stuff and the gang grow close that eventful year, and nothing is ever like it again. That's the year modern science gets them all in jail; Stuff falls in love and is unfaithful; and Cool Clyde and Fast Sam win the dance contest-almost.

New to 116th Street in New York, a young boy soon makes friends and begins a year of unusual experiences.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Alternately funny [and] sad, but always very natural and appealing. (School Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101657249
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/1/1988
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 745,444
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • File size: 310 KB

Meet the Author

"I came to Harlem from West Virginia when I was three, after my mother died. My father, who was very poor, gave me up to two wonderful people, my foster parents.

"Thinking back to boyhood days, I remember the bright sun on Harlem streets, the easy rhythms of black and brown bodies, the sounds of children streaming in and out of red brick tenements. I remember La Marqueta, in East Harlem, where people spoke a multitude of languages. I remember playing basketball in Morningside Park until it was too dark to see the basket and then climbing over the fence to go home.

"From my foster parents, the Deans, I received the love that was ultimately to strengthen me, even when I had forgotten its source. It was my foster mother, a half-Indian, half-German woman, who taught me to read, though she herself was barely literate. I remember her reading to me every day from True Romance magazine. Eventually, I was able to read magazines or newspapers to her. My father and my grandfather used to tell me stories. My father would tell scary stories. My grandfather's stories — he was a very religious man — were Old Testament, God's-gonna-get-ya kind of stories.

"I read a lot of comic books and any kind of thing I could find. One day, a teacher found me. She grabbed my comic book and tore it up. I was really upset, but then she brought in a pile of books from her own library. That was the best thing that ever happened to me.

"Books took me, not so much to foreign lands and fanciful adventures, but to a place within myself that I have been exploring ever since. The public library was my most treasured place. I couldn't believe my luck in discovering that what I enjoyed most — reading — was free.

"I was a good student in that I could read well, but I was a behavioral problem. I had this very severe speech difficulty, and I arrived in school ready to conquer the world, but no one could understand a thing I was saying. That was very frustrating for me, and I responded by being angry.

"One of my teachers decided that among many of my speech problems, I couldn't pronounce certain words at all. She thought that if I wrote something, I would use words I could pronounce, so she said, 'Why don't you write something yourself? Whatever you choose to write.' I began writing little poems, and they helped me because of the rhythms. I began to write short stories, too. My writing was about the only thing I was praised for in school.

"By high school, I'd identified my own 'avenue of value' as an intellectual, because I couldn't speak well and had a limited social life. But I knew my family couldn't afford college for me. So I dropped out of high school at age 15. I was brought back to school, but I dropped out again at 16, and on my seventeenth birthday I joined the Army. When I got out of the army, I didn't have any skills, I had no confidence, and I had that speech problem. So I loaded trucks. Then I worked in the post office, and I wrote at nights.

"I wrote for magazines, I wrote adventure stuff, I wrote for the National Enquirer, I wrote advertising copy for cemeteries. Then I saw that the Council on Interracial Books for Children had a contest for black writers of children's books. I won the contest and that was my first book — Where Does the Day Go? Eventually I got into writing for teenagers. Actually, I had done a short story about teenagers. An editor read the story, thought it was the first chapter of a novel, and asked how the rest of it went. That sounded like opportunity banging on my door, so I made up the novel on the spot and I got a contract. That was my first YA book, Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff. It changed my life because I had no real education, and I needed something to validate myself. I needed to find value, and publishing gave me that value.

"I so love writing. It is not something that I am doing just for a living, it is something that I love to do.

"I get up early, between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. I have a vest that I wear that weighs 20 pounds, and I walk with that about five miles a day. I'll try to get home by 7:00, shower, and start to work. I try to get ten pages done. Once I do my ten pages, that's it.

"When I work, what I'll do is outline the story first. That forces me to do the thinking. I cut out pictures of all of my characters, and my wife puts them into a collage, which goes on the wall above the computer. When I walk into the room I can see the characters, and I just get very close to them. I rush through a first draft, and then I go back and rewrite, because I can usually see what the problems ahead of me are going to be. Rewriting is more fun for me than writing is.

"My ideas come largely from my own background. I write a lot about basketball, and I've played basketball for years and years. I was in the army and I wrote Fallen Angels. I lived in Harlem, and I write about Harlem. I'm interested in history, so I write about historical characters in nonfiction.

"If I accomplish what I set out to do, then I'm happy with the book. If I've compromised, then I'm unhappy. Ultimately, what I want to do with my writing is to make connections — to touch the lives of my characters and, through them, those of my readers."

Since winning the contest run by the Council on Interracial Books for Children with his book Where Does a Day Go? in 1969, Walter Dean Myers has supported himself, his second wife, and four children with his very prolific writing in the area of children's and young adult literature. He volunteers at schools in Jersey City where is presently lives. He received his degree from Empire State College in 1984.

Myers explains his feeling for the young adult novel, "The special place of the young adult novel should be in its ability to address the needs of the reader to understand his or her relationships with the world, with each other, and with adults. The young adult novel often allows the reader to directly identify with a protagonist of similar interests and development." He is a compassionate, introspective person who believes, "It is this language of values which I hope to bring to my books. . . . I want to bring values to those who have not been valued, and I want to etch those values in terms of the ideal. Young people need ideals which identify them, and their lives, as central . . . guideposts which tell them what they can be, should be, and indeed are."

Following his success with young adult literature, Meyer has branched out to include topics of nonfiction including black history with his recent Now Is Your Time! and The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner, an 1880's historical setting. Both have been received with much acclaim.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    I have literally read this book at least 5 times a year for the last 8 years. This book is amazing and opened my eyes to this amazing author who is now my absolute favorite.

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

    Posted January 24, 2007

    Great Book

    I remember reading this book in the 6th grade, and as a college student, i still remember how great this book was, and i think every kid should have the chance to read it. Waltre Dean Myers is an excellent author as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2006

    Best Book Ever

    This book is an awesome book because it's shows the feelings of all the Characters like Gloria, Francis (Stuff), Cool Clyde, and Sam as well as the other gang. Some parts are hilarious which make you really Laugh. Like when they were dancing and the guy kisses Clyde (Claudette) with a french kiss. It looks nasty from another point of view however. There are also other parts that seem strange when Binky's ear got bit off and ended under the car... Some parts include a lot of sadness like when Clyde's father dies but somehow the Gang supports it's members and conforts them to get back into their old happy selfves by forming a Group called 'The Good People' which are meant to not hard but instead help the community. Then cokmes where Carnation Charley one of the dancers beaten get this Drug Addiction and the gang try to help as good as they can but that puts them in jail but Francis's (Stuff) Father tries to make them belive that they are innocent. It is also pretty funny how Francis got his name Stuff by lying at first saying he could dunk a bastketball but then they knew he couldn't but he hanged out with them and they accepted him anyways. Other parts where like Clyde was failing his academic course but his mom and the gang support him so he can try to suceed which he eventually does at the end of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2003

    Great Book!!!

    I read this book when I was in the seventh grade. I can recall it being a page turner and filled with things of this generation among young people. I strongly recommend this book to all readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2002

    The best "bad in the day" book!

    I loved this book! It tought me alot of things. It related to alot of things i had to face. This story will especially touch your heart by streets survival,sex,money,and drugs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2002

    A Great Book For Children

    Well in my language arts class we had to read fast sam cool clyde and stuff and the book brought back memories of things I've seened on the new it was very good and thoughtful but at the end it turned out to be crazy and very amazing to me. I loved that book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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