Book Review: Riot by Walter Dean Myers | Rm 146
"Learn something new every day" is a favorite expression of my dad's and, I have to say that by reading RIOT, I certainly did learn something new. While I was aware of the terrible poverty, especially of the Irish immigrants and the newly-freed African Americans; the huge class divisions between the haves and have-nots; and the deep-seated bigotry and racism that ran rampant around the time of the Civil War (and, unfortunately, for years after), I didn't know about the race riots that erupted over the draft (I have since remedied this hole in my education).The story itself is written in screenplay format with a multitude of characters who come from all backgrounds, providing readers with a variety of perspectives. The main character, Claire, is stuck right in the middle--not too rich, not too poor; a black father and a white mother; and both black friends and Irish friends. Having never faced true adversity, she's never really had to define her beliefs or face her background and roots. Until the riots. The focus on dialogue creates an immediacy that puts the reader right in the middle of the action and allows a glimpse into the minds of variety of characters. The format of the story, without the detailed descriptions found in a traditional novel, makes the actions of the people involved all the more powerful and urgent.I'm always for on the lookout for amazing historical novels that will keep my students' attention while immersing them in past. RIOT by Walter Dean Myers does just that. In fact, as soon as I finished reading it, I ran it right over to my social studies teacher so I could share it with her. It's exactly the type of historical novel students can truly benefit from--and enjoy.
Riot by Walter Dean Myers - Fantastic Fiction
Fifteen-year-old Claire, daughter of a black father and Irish mother, finds herself torn between the two sides. Faced with the breakdown of her home, Claire must find the strength to cope with the new world in which she finds herself in, and to begin the journey of remaking herself . Setting Riot by Walter Dean Myers took place in New York City during the summer of 1863. Protagonist The protagonist in Riot is Claire, she is a 15 year old girl who is half-irish(mother's side) and half-black(father's side). She is very beutiful and smart. She is a kind-hearted girl who doesn't undertsand where she fits in this riot. Antagonist The antagonist in Riot is not a sole charectar but it's the war and the riots and the war between the whites and blacks. Claire was fine before the war but know she feels like she doesn't know she is anymore. Is she black, is she white, is she both? Conflict The conflict in Riot is that Claire finds herself torn between the 2 warring sides, her city is being destroyed and worst of all she doesn't know where she fits in in all of this. All of this is forcing her to find her identity and rediscover who she really is. Theme One of the biggest and most present themes in Riot was finding ones self. This is a big theme because throughout the whole story Claire was contemplating in her mind who she really was, where she really belonged etc. My Opinion I did not like the book very much mainly due to the fact that it's written in a screenplay format which really takes away from the incredible story. Other than that I thought it was a great book, kept you on the edge of your seat at all times. Walter Dean Myers Myers was born on the 12th of August 1937 in West Virginia. He was given away as a kid to be looked after by a man and his wife in Harlem. His life was centered around the Church. He was smart but dropped out of high school and joined the army when he was 17.
Riot by Walter Dean Myers. 2011 Historical Fiction this novel is for young adults. Riot is about the 1863 draft riots in New York. Zinn Education Project