17-yr-old Anthony "Spoon" Witherspoon is returning to Harlem after seven months at an exclusive prep school. It's with mixed feelings that he's left New York City in the first place to finish high school in the hallowed halls of the mostly white, very preppy New England school - but now that Spoon is back home, he realizes how much he's come to like his prep-school life and new friends. He's missed his girlfriend, though, and is shocked to discover upon his return that the bright young poet she was when he left has become a drug addict.
Praise for The Beast
"Myers's descriptions of the streets and people — the bright, clean, working-class hope and the slate-gray bankruptcy of drugs and crime — are photographically authentic and dizzyingly musical... The language is simple and clean; the plot unfolds seamlessly; and the characters emerge shaky, worldly wise, and cautiously optimistic." — School Library Journal