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Amiri and Odette: A Love Story

Amiri and Odette: A Love Story

by Walter Dean Myers Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

Acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers explores the sweet, sharp, spark of love between two teens, in a modern retelling of the Swan Lake ballet.

Set on the asphalt of a housing project and the concrete of a basketball court, this compelling work by Walter Dean Myers is delivered with rhythms that twist, hover, pounce, and inspire. For Amiri and Odette, love is hard when the streets are mean. Their dance for two becomes a fight for three, and their only chance is to hold fast to the power of being together as one. Part poem, part love story, part rap and rhapsody, Amiri and Odette: A Love Story is a celebration of two hearts that beat forever. Accompanied by the collage-on-cinder-block paintings of Javaka Steptoe, this genre-breaking volume sets a new stage for a classic story.

"...Steptoe's collage-on-cinder-block paintings, touched with magical realism, offer beautiful overviews of the neighborhood streets, the buildings, and the basketball court." — Booklist

"The ultra-cool, emotionally hot setting gives the story new power. Myers”s words carry the force of blows; Steptoe's collages teem with bodies colliding and overlapping. The language swings from pop lyric to Shakespearean, sometimes in the same breath. Steptoe gets gritty, working directly on slabs of asphalt, a street effect intensified by the graffiti-like use of multicolored and multisize fonts in the text. His figures are shadowed with ghostly blue; they leap, ward off blows, embrace, argue." — Publishers Weekly

Interest Level
Grades 7 - 9
Lexile Measure
Scholastic Inc.
Number of Pages
Myths and Legends, Poetry, Songs, Verse

About the Author and Illustrator

Walter Dean Myers Walter Dean Myers is the beloved author of such children's and young adult books as Fallen Angels, Somewhere in the Darkness, Slam!, and Harlem, among many more. His many awards include two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Michael J. Printz Award.
Contributor Image Alt Tag Javaka Steptoe Javaka Steptoe is the award-winning artist of many books for young people, including In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, an NAACP Image Awards nominee and winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. His most recent title is Amiri and Odette: A Love Story, written by Walter Dean Myers

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