This groundbreaking novel in verse from Walter Dean Myers—two-time Newbery Honor winner and five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner—is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story set in Harlem. Share this one with readers taken with books by Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, and Elizabeth Acevedo.
Whether read at home or in the classroom, and alongside the original inspiration or on its own. Street Love is sure to spark opinions and conversations.
"This verse novel, in which entire poems dazzle readers with rhyme and rhythm and voice, finds Damien, a straight-A student, headed for Brown University. But he falls in love with Junice, a girl whose mother has just been incarcerated for selling drugs, and his direction could change. Readers enjoy multiple perspectives on this romance and the decision Damien makes." (Kirkus starred review)
"Hip-hop fans, readers of poetry, and hopeless romantics will respond to the emotional vibrancy of this powerful work." (VOYA)
Your first love is totally wrong for you.
Do you follow your heart?
Or do you run away?
Walter Dean Myers was a New York Times bestselling author, Printz Award winner, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, two-time Newbery Honor recipient, and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Maria Russo, writing in the New York Times, called Myers "one of the greats and a champion of diversity in children’s books well before the cause got mainstream attention."
About 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.
"Adult and young-adult aficionados of Myers’s work will find this new offering revisits issues close to the author’s heart: place, race and the court system , values for boys of color, and love of the community. This verse novel, in which entire poems dazzle readers with rhyme and rhythm and voice, finds Damien, a straight-A student, headed for Brown University. But he falls in love with Junice, a girl whose mother has just been incarcerated for selling drugs, and his direction could change. Readers enjoy multiple perspectives on this romance and the decision Damien makes." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The realistic drama on the street and at home tells a gripping story. Readers will want to reread the lines they loved.” — Booklist (starred review)
“This deeply felt, poignant story is told in deft strokes, with memorable language. Both male and female YAs will be able to relate. The tale’s brevity and evocation of strong emotions will give it appeal to reluctant readers as well.” — KLIATT (starred review)
"Myers's compellingly readable novel in verse unfolds through an array of characters, all linked by Damien Battle and Junice Ambers—who both live in Harlem but come from very different worlds." — Publishers Weekly
"The swift flow of these short poems carries readers along in thoughts, conversations, and scenes as Damien and Junice’s romance begins. Hip-hop style phrases feel like Shakespeare telling of these African-American teens in Harlem, struggling to keep it together. Intellect meets Street as true love conquers all. This is a quick and satisfying read, simple and timeless." — School Library Journal
"The lovers' fate will undoubtedly spark lively and thoughtful discussion." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"The novel transforms the Romeo and Juliet story into an episode from the here and now. The novel's format allows the reader to peer directly into the thoughts and feelings of the main characters. Hip-hop fans, readers of poetry, and hopeless romantics will respond to the emotional vibrancy of this powerful work." — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“The beauty of this Romeo and Juliet…a story of blind hope and pure young love (possible, here, even for the bruised and jaded).” — Horn Book Magazine