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Eighth grade is hard enough, but when you're a Cruiser, you're really put to the test. The launch of a new middle-grade series from bestselling award-winner Walter Dean Myers.
Zander and his friends, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi start their own newspaper, The Cruiser, as a means for speaking out, keeping the peace, and expressing what they believe. When the school launches a mock Civil War, Zander and his friends are forced to consider the true meaning of democracy and what it costs to stand up for a cause. The result is nothing they could have expected, and everything they could have hoped for.
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Walter Dean Myers is the 2012 - 2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He is the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author an award-winning body of work which includes, SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, SLAM!, and MONSTER. Mr. Myers has received two Newbery Honor medals, five Coretta Scott King Author Awards, and three National Book Award Finalists citations. In addition, he is the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Gr 5-8–Because of what they've written in their alternative newspaper, The Cruiser, four eighth-grade friends are given an assignment rather than suspension. Classmates at the DaVinci Academy, a school for talented and gifted students, Zander, LaShonda, Kambui, and Bobbi are to be peacekeepers during a Civil War unit and prevent another war from breaking out. They use their newspaper to raise awareness and eventually ease tensions between the opposing factions, a group of white athletes who call themselves Sons of the Confederacy and a large population of African-American students and others who don't want to associate themselves with racist sentiments. Adding to the tension is the threat of expulsion if the friends can't prevent the fighting; their grades have been slipping and the administration is beginning to doubt their dedication to such a prestigious and competitive school. In the end the group prevails, but an assignment asks them to consider what would have happened if there had been no Civil War, and the students are reminded of the complexity of the situation, then and now. Once again, Myers integrates difficult and significant conversations into his work. The Cruisers, the first in a promised series, is marketed to a younger crowd than Monster () or Shooter (), for example, but is no less honest and raw. The premise is promising.Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
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