A powerful novel of drugs, violence—and second chances. Dope Sick, from two-time Newbery Honor winner and five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers, belongs on reading lists beside Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Dear Martin by Nic Stone.
A drug deal goes south and a cop has been shot. Lil J's on the run. And he's starting to get dope sick. He'd do anything to change the last twenty-four hours, and when he stumbles into an abandoned building, it actually might be possible. . . .
Elements of magical realism intensify this harrowing story about drug use, violence, perceptions of reality, and second chances.
This ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers earned multiple starred reviews and was described as "vivid," "nuanced," and "intriguing." Booklist said: “Myers’ narrative strategy is so inherently dramatic that it captures his readers’ attentions and imaginations, inviting not only empathy but also thoughtful discussion.”
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."
Using both harsh realism and a dose of the fantastic, Myers (Game) introduces an inner-city teen in the jaws of a crisis: 17-year-old Lil J is holed up in an abandoned building, believed to have shot an undercover cop in a drug bust, while police officers assemble in the street below. As he searches for a way out, Lil J is stopped by Kelly, an eerily calm vagrant who invites him to "cop a squat and check yourself out on the tube." Kelly's TV not only plays scenes from Lil J's life but projects what will happen if he sticks with his current plan: suicide. Shocked, Lil J considers Kelly's question, "If you could take back one thing you did... what would it be?" Aided by Kelly's TV, Lil J revisits pivotal moments and wrestles with his fate. As expected, Myers uses street-style lingo to cover Lil J's sorry history of drug use, jail time, irresponsible fatherhood and his own childhood grief. A didn't-see-that-coming ending wraps up the story on a note of well-earned hope and will leave readers with plenty to think about. Ages 14 up.
Very well written novel
Well written, good story but a little short, surprised me at the end.