Scorpions

( 68 )

Overview

Bad Trouble

Lately everybody's messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal's brother Randy's in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack.

All the gang jive?Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it's the only way to cop the bread for Randy's appeal...

The story of twelve-year-old Jamal, whose life ...

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Scorpions

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Overview

Bad Trouble

Lately everybody's messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal's brother Randy's in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack.

All the gang jive—Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it's the only way to cop the bread for Randy's appeal...

The story of twelve-year-old Jamal, whose life changes drastically when he acquires a gun. Though he survives the experience, it's not without sacrificing his innocence and possibly his relationship with his best friend.

After reluctantly taking on the leadership of the Harlem gang, the Scorpions, Jamal finds that his enemies treat him with respect when he acquires a gun--until a tragedy occurs.

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Editorial Reviews

1989 Newbery Award Committee
A book honored for its honesty, realism, and vitality.
(&#151 SLJ.
Once more, readers have Myers to thank for giving them a greater understanding of the difficulty of life in today's inner city.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This Newbery-honor book tells of the predicaments and moral crises encountered by twelve-year-old Jamal. His tenuous home and hood life brings into play choices about joining a gang and using a gun, whilw struggling to fight the tensions of inner city life and to be seen for who he really is. 1996 (orig.
School Library Journal
Jamal, who is pressured to become leader of the Scorpions gang, worries about school, family, and the rough kids on the street. When a fellow gang member gives him a gun, Jamal suddenly gains a new level of respect from his enemies. A realistic look at a boy who wants to do the right thing but gets caught up in the culture of violence. A Newbery Honor selection. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064470667
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 146,086
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Read an Excerpt

Scorpions

Chapter One

"You see anything?"

"No."

"Why don't you go down to the subway?"

"Suppose she come on the bus or take a taxi?"

"She ain't got the money for no taxi."

"She could still take the bus."

Jamal sat in the window and looked down the street. It had rained earlier, and he wondered if his mother had taken an umbrella.

"I'm hungry," Sassy said.

"You ate." Jamal answered his little sister without looking at her.

"You want to watch television?"

"You the one who always want to watch it," Jamal said.

"I just asked," Sassy said. "You worried?"

"Ain't nothing to be worried about."

"Then how come you sitting at the window ever since six o'clock?"

"How come you ask so many questions?"

"I'm gonna tell Mama you being nasty to me."

"Tell her."

"I'm gonna tell her you said that, too."

"I don't care."

"I'm putting the television on," Sassy said.

Jamal glanced at the clock on the wall. It was almost ten thirty. He started to ask Sassy if she had finished her homework, then changed his mind. He looked down into the street again.

At the corner a thin man leaned against the light pole. Jamal watched as the man leaned slowly toward the ground, then straightened up. Jamal knew that the addict would repeat his nodding until he fell asleep. He looked away.

Sassy was watching some stupid program. The television was okay, even if the programs were Stupid. When he got a job, he was going to buy one of those recording machines. Then he and Mama could go and get movies and watch them instead of all the stupid stuff they had on regulartelevision.

He thought about how he would tell Mama he had the money for the recording machine. Maybe he wouldn't even tell her--just go out and buy it for her and bring it on in the house.

Sassy fell asleep on the couch at eleven o'clock.

He moved away from the window and sat next to his sister. Mama would say that he should wake her and tell her to go to bed, but he didn't want to sit by himself.

Somebody had a radio on. Probably Snookie. Snookie always played his radio too loud. Jamal had told Snookie about his loud playing, and he asked Jamal what he needed a radio for if he had to play it so soft he couldn't hear it. Jamal figured a dead person could hear it the way Snookie played it.

Jamal was a little hungry. He had made some potatoes and chicken, but there wasn't too much of it. Sassy had eaten one piece of chicken, and he had had one piece. Sassy said she wanted two pieces because she wasn't going to eat any potatoes, but she knew better. They had to save something for Mama. If he had got the rice from Mr. Evans, he could have made the chicken and rice Mama liked a lot.

It was almost twelve o'clock when Mama got home. Jamal was in the bathroom when he heard the key in the door. He came out as quickly as he could. He saw that Mama had awakened Sassy and taken her into the bedroom.

"How come you didn't tell Sassy to go to bed?" Mama said.

"She wanted to watch television."

"She eat?"

"Uh-huh."

"What she eat?"

"That chicken from Sunday and some potatoes. We saved you some."

Mama went into the kitchen and looked at the food on the stove. She saw that Jamal had cut the potatoes into small squares and put some snap beans in with them.

"Where you get them snap beans?"

"They was in that plastic bowl in the back of the refrigerator," Jamal said.

"You get the mail?"

"Forgot," Jamal said. "You want me to go downstairs and get it?"

"No, I'm too tired to even read it," Mama said. She sat on the wooden chair, crossed one heavy leg over the other, and started to take her shoes off. Jamal liked the way Mama had looked before she had let her hair grow out. To him she had looked like the African women he had seen in magazine, strong and pretty and the same deep brown as he was. Her hair had grown out with patches of gray in the back and one just over her forehead. She looked older than before, before all the trouble with Randy.

"You stayed until five o'clock?"

"I stayed until visiting hours was up," Mama said. "Turn your head."

Jamal turned his head while Mama took her stockings off.

"How Randy doing?"

"I don't know," Mama said. "He still talking like he ain't got no sense, as far as I'm concerned."

"What he say?"

"He talking about how he gonna appeal his case and stuff, and asking me if I got five hundred dollars. No five hundred dollars grew on trees when he was out here in the street, and I sure don't see none growing on trees with him up there."

"He think he can get out?"

"I guess he ain't got nothing else to do up there except thinking about getting out," Mama said. She reached down and rubbed her ankle. "I sure hope this swelling in my feet go down by tomorrow," Mama said.

"You got some work?" Jamal said.

"Mr. Stanton call me just before I left to see Randy. He said he can give me two days this week. He said things may pick up for Christmas, too. Maybe I can get the money for Randy. I don't know."

"That other lawyer said he ain't getting out," Jamal said. "He said he can't get out until he do seven years.

Mama didn't say anything. She took a deep breath that seemed to swell her up, and then let it out slowly.

Jamal was sorry for what he had said, but it was true. Randy got fifteen to twenty years, and the lawyer said that he would have to stay in for at least seven years before he could come out on parole. When he got out, Jamal would be nineteen years old and Sassy would be fifteen. That was a long time.

He imagined Randy getting out, and meeting him. They might even be the same size, Jamal thought. He might even have a mustache by then.

Scorpions. Copyright © by Walter Myers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Scorpions!!

    This book helped me learn new things in life. When Jamal's brother Randy was in jail for robbery and murder, he sent his friend Mack out to persuade Randy's brother Jamal that he should be the new leader in the scorpions now that Randy is in jail. Jamal of course gets sucked in and now him and his friend Tito have become members of the scorpions. This book showed me that people can use pressure as a weapon against you. If you get sucked in because of pressure then you can end up making the worst mistakes in your life. I would recommend this book to any kid in the world that needs to know the right path to go down in life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2009

    my personal thought on the book Scorpions

    although average readers have given this book 4.5 i will give a 5.0
    great reading

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2007

    This Book Stunk It Was a Waste of my Time on Earth

    The book Scorpions was extremely repetitive and predictable. The author would always elude that the main character would dispose of the gun and then he would have him keep it even though the main character knows what he is doing is wrong. He author¿s style was repetitive and it seemed to drag on. A quick summary of the book is Jamal, the main character, brother was put I jail for killing a man. Jamal is only 12 but he is edged on and eventually takes over his brother¿s old position as the leader of a gang called the Scorpions. Since he is so small, a member of the Scorpions gives him a gun. Jamal knows the gun is bad and tries to talk him self into throwing it away but he can¿t seem to do it. This book is directed to teenagers and is in the realistic fiction genera but again I do not recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    I love this book

    I lovthis booj i thank everyone should read it this story tells alot bout life that people do today it well help alot of people plz read tis

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Devotiin

    Well I was thinking about getting this book right? But then I started to loose interist about the book because of everyones comments. But I also did say to myself that you can't judge a book by its color. So I do hope that it is worth it. Wish me luck! Happy reading Nook Lovers.

    Devotion143

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Qyi .

    Jhiy. Sbm

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Keino wallace

    This was awsome and i loved it u should get ummm its basicly a good book if you were raised in harlem it might relate to you minorities out ther :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    I recomend

    It was a good book.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    action pack greatness

    this book is the best and the auther of this book is coming to my school!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    i dunno ?

    alrighty first of all i will be readin this book in class. ive been lookin at the reviews and it looks like it sucks. and im the type of person who aint like books, but i also am white living in a ghetto neighbor hood so maybe i can relate well thats bout it so bye !

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    it was an okay book

    I didnt like the book because jamal friend wants jamal to join a gang.Also i didnt like how jamal brother is setting a bad inflence to jamal by joining an gang.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    it was a great book

    the book is about a guy named jamal and his friend crazy mack he wants him to run crack on the streets and also run his gang called the scorpions. and his brother is in the slam.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2007

    The lost Teen

    Scorpions By Walter Dean Myers Setting: Manhattan This book will keep you occupied until you finish. In this book you will find a boy named Jamel. Jamal is trying his hardest to make the right desicions but continues to get do the wrong things.His best friend Tito by his side Jamal Crazy Mack has a idea that he should take over his older brothers gang the scorpions. I highly recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Best Book In The World

    This book really understands me. I hate to read but this is my all time favorite book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    Scorpions was a excellent book!

    I really enjoyed Scorpions. It was a book about a twelve year old boy named Jamal. Jamal is trying his hardest to make the right desicions but continues to get caught up. Only having his best friend Tito by his side Jamal struggles with school, family and the streets. So much is being expected of him from his mom, his teachers and Crazy Mack, the leader of his new gang Scorpions, wants him to take over Jamal is just overwhelemed. SO sit back and enjoy the life, trial and tiems of young Jamal's struggle to try to make it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    shanhay harris opionion

    jamiel is a twelve yer old boy. who's brother name randy is locked up.his dad comes around every know and then. his mom workers extra hours jus so she can get extra money.sassy is his is always getting on his nervs. his friend tito isnt' sure what he want to but he doen't what to lose his best friend so he's down with jamiel.mack is a scorpions member and he want jamiel to become a leader of the scorpions.every other member in the scorpions thinks that jamiel is to small to be leading any gang.mack gives him a gun.with the gun jamiel gain a hole lot of respect from the members in ths scorpions. mack says with that gun u can get the money for randy appiel.tito doesnt thinks that jamiel should take the gun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2006

    Scorpions

    I like the book Scorpions. I recommended this book to everyone who likes to read. Jamal,was a execellent character. He did what he thought was right. But bring a gun to school was a bad idea. There moto in the ghetto was 'You Got To Take What The Street Put Down.' Everyone seems to be getting on Jamal's case. Jamal's bestfriend name was, Tito. Mack wants Jamal to take over as the leader of Scorpions.Jamal doesn't want to be the leader of Scorpions. He does not want anything to do with the gang. He wants to get Randy,his brother out of prison. He wanted to get some money for Randy's appeal. Please go out and buy this book,'Scorpions'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2005

    Such an awesome BOOK !

    I thought this book was great. It seemed so real and I could relate to it so well. I recommend this book to anybody who loves to read. Layfield Rocks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2005

    Keep'n It Real

    I love this book because I can relate to it,my life use to be sort of like this story. This was the first whole book that I ever read.I love the grammer and all because I kinda talk like that and I hear people talk like that almost every day.Even that characters and the food they ate are kind of how my life was and still is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2005

    3 Stars

    I read the book and thought it stunk! The grammer was awful and the violence was over the top. But, I loved the describing of certain things. Over all I would give it a C.

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