Motown and Didi: A Love Story

Motown and Didi: A Love Story

5.0 5
by Walter Dean Myers
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Motown lives in a burned-out building one floor above the rats, searching out jobs every day, working his muscles every night, keeping strong, surviving. Didi lives in her cool dream bubble, untouched by the Harlem heat that beats down on her brother until only drugs can soothe him. Didi escapes, without needles, in her tidy plans and stainless visions, etchings of

Overview

Motown lives in a burned-out building one floor above the rats, searching out jobs every day, working his muscles every night, keeping strong, surviving. Didi lives in her cool dream bubble, untouched by the Harlem heat that beats down on her brother until only drugs can soothe him. Didi escapes, without needles, in her tidy plans and stainless visions, etchings of ivycovered colleges where her true life will begin. Didi can survive inside her own safe mind, until Motown steps into her real world and makes it bearable. Together they can stand the often brutal present. What about the future?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440957621
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
07/09/1987
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
4.22(w) x 6.92(h) x 0.51(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Born in Marinsburg, West Virginia in 1937, Walter Dean Myers is one of the premier authors of books for children. His mother died very early in his life–an event that propelled him into experiences that later influenced him to write. It was difficult for Myers' father to raise eight children alone, and eventually, a nearby couple, Herbert and Florence Dean, took in three-year old Walter and moved to Harlem, New York. "Harlem became my home and the place where my first impressions of the world were set," says Myers.
 
As a child, Myers went to school in his neighborhood and attended bible school almost every day of the week. Myers had a speech impediment which made communicating difficult for him, and often found himself in fights, defending himself against kids who taunted him. After a while, one of this teachers suggested to his class that they could write something to read aloud. Young Myers began writing poetry to give voice to his thoughts and feelings, and at age sixteen, won a prize in an essay contest and a set of encyclopedias for a long narrative poem. Later, his father bought him a used typewriter, which he used to churn out a seemingly endless stream of stories.
 
Along with the many things he was discovering about himself, Myers was also learning how to survive. One day he had the courage to break up a fight between three gang members and a kid who had just moved into the neighborhood. He became a marked man–and felt his life was in danger.
 
For example, once, he was sitting in the tree in Morningside Park, across from the building he lived in, reading O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, when some gangmembers spotted him and surrounded the tree. Myers jumped to the ground, flashed a stiletto in order to fend them off, and made a mad dash for his building. He escaped, but he never forgot the incident. Later he enlisted in the army, got married, had a child, went through a turbulent creative struggle, got divorced, got married again–and during all of this, kept writing, whether his work pleased him or not.
 
But Walter Dean Myers' life is not the story of a tormented, embittered artist. Rather it is the story of a gifted, complex person committed to sharing that gift with young readers. Myers' stories and novels paint a powerful picture of the pressures of growing up on big city streets. Yet, he emphasizes close relationships, trust, and personal growth.
 
It seems that one of Myers' greatest struggles was to understand what type of writer he wanted to be. As the years passed and his books became more and more popular, Walter Dean Myers came to believe that his work filled a void for African American youths who yearned for positive reading experiences and role models. He frequently writes about children who share similar economic and ethnic situations with his own childhood. "But my situation as a parent did not mirror that of my childhood," he says. "While my parents were quite poor, my children are thoroughly entrenched in the middle class experience. To them African prints go well with designer jeans, pizzas go down easier to a reggae beat, and shopping malls are an unmistakable part of their culture."
 
It is clear that Myers' understanding of both the world he was raised in and the world of his children allows him to bring an authority to his work that resonates with his young readers. It is one of many attributes that has made him one of the most important children's and young adult authors writing today. Among his many honors are two Newbery Honor books for Scorpions and Somewhere in the Darkness. He is also a two-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for Now Is Your Time! and Fallen Angels. In addition, Myers has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature.
 
Myers' novel, Darnell Rock Reporting, is a warm and humorous story about thirteen-year-old Darnell Rock–a boy who works on his school newspaper. The book is sure to appeal to reluctant readers. Myers' recent picture book, How Mr. Monkey Saw the Whole World, is a cautionary fable about a watchful monkey who sees that a greedy buzzard gets his comeuppance.
 
Myer’s recent work, 145th Street: Short Stories (A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book) captures the heartbeat of one memorable block in Harlem, New York. These powerful, often gripping stories range from humor and celebration to terror and grief.
 
Walter Dean Myers, the father of three grown children, lives with his wife in Jersey City, New Jersey.
 
 
 


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Motown and Di Di bravely depicts the lives of black teenagers in 1980's Harlem. Walter Dean Myers fabricates two unforgettable lively characters through bona-fide speech and gritty life experiences. Motown and Di Di are two Harlem teenagers with big dreams that are constantly challenged by the woes of inner-city life. Motown lives in abandoned buildings and struggles to support himself with day jobs. Di Di wades through Harlem alone and careful not to get caught up in the fruitless life everyone around her has become accustomed to. She has dreams of exchanging the project apartments for a dorm room at a university. Their two discrete lifestyles intertwine through a series of unfortunate events that are almost customary in the borough. Myers tackles drug addiction, inner-city violence, and family issues through lucid, eloquent language all while weaving together a genuine, sincere love story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book about two lovers against junkies, threats,and danger. They both go through many obstacles in the streets of Harlem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh my god, this is a good book! I recommend this to everyone who is going through rough times or living in the ghetto and trying to make it. This is a must read, it was a page turner! I finished in a day! I'm in summer school, so i was looking for a book to read because i go to KIPP Academy an while looking Motown and Didi the title caught my attention. Read this book 4 real!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. It made me feel like I was right there in the streets dealing with their problems. The book was so realistic. There was never a dull moment in the book. And it had you wondering when Motown and Didi were going to get hooked up and what was going to happen to Tony. How the book came to an end shocked me because I would have never figured it out. This a book that will have your eyes glued to the pages!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is the best i ever read about a troubling man and he finds a nice helpfull woman. i am really interested in this book. i could not put this book down. i like tha characters in this book and i like the theme and the story how you get out of hard and tough situations.