by Walter Dean Myers


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As the Civil War rages, another battle breaks out behind the lines. During a long hot July in 1863, the worst race riots the United States has ever seen erupt in New York City. Earlier that year, desperate for more Union soldiers, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a draft—a draft that would allow the wealthy to escape serving in the army by paying a $300 waiver, more than a year's income for the recent immigrant Irish. And on July 11, as the first drawing takes place in Lower Manhattan, the city of New York explodes in rage and fire. Stores are looted; buildings, including the Colored Foundling Home, are burned down; and black Americans are attacked, beaten, and murdered. The police cannot hold out against the rioters, and finally, battle-hardened soldiers are ordered back from the fields of Gettysburg to put down the insurrection, which they do—brutally. Fifteen-year-old Claire, the beloved daughter of a black father and Irish mother, finds herself torn between the two warring sides. Faced with the breakdown of the city—the home—she has loved, Claire must discover the strength and resilience to address the new world in which she finds herself, and to begin the hard journey of remaking herself and her identity. Addressing such issues as race, bigotry, and class head-on, Walter Dean Myers has written another stirring and exciting novel that will shake up assumptions, and lift the spirit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606842096
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 105,969
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile: NP (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Walter Dean Myers has received accolades including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, Michael L. Printz Award, National Book Award Finalist, and Newbery Honors. In 2019 he was posthumously awarded the Children's Literature Legacy Award.

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Riot 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
ReplayGuy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A poignant tale of race riots in New York during the Civil War draft era, 1863. There are several examples of racism in this book which is written creatively in screenplay format. This alone makes it a great tool for the classroom as it is ready for reader's theater. Characters are forced to make a choice in difficult times and the endings are not always happy, much like war.
BookSwarm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿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.
ewang109 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Myers, W.D. (2009). Riot. New York, NY: Egmont.Grades 7 and up. Walter Dean Myers¿s Riot is based on the race riots that occurred in New York City in 1863. Lincoln signed the Conscription Act in March 1863. This Act stated that any male citizen between the ages of 20 to 45 years old must fight in the Civil War unless he can pay $300 or provide a substitute. This was an exorbitant amount for a poor Irish immigrant. Many Irish began to resent the rich, those who supported the war, and African Americans. They especially resented African Americans, because they felt that they were risking their lives for their competitors. (There was tension between the two groups, because they both competed for jobs in the north.) In response to the Conscription Act, the Irish murdered African Americans, looted buildings, and attacked the wealthy. Fifteen-year-old Claire Johnson is half-black and half-Irish. Claire is constantly taunted because of her race. She wishes that people would see her and not her skin color. Riot is an interesting play based on true facts. Myers does an excellent job showing the tension between the Irish and African Americans. He provides insight into Claire¿s struggle as an Irish and African American. While the play is engaging, I did not like the ending because it left many aspects unresolved. What happens to Claire¿s best friend Priscilla who is African American? Do the two groups ever reconcile? Despite the many unanswered questions, the play is still interesting. It touches upon themes of love, fear, reconciliation, and resiliency. It would make a great addition to a middle school library.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This would be amazing as reader's theater! This is the story of the New York City draft riots of 1863, when President Lincoln signed the first order for the drafting of soldiers into the Union army during the Civil War. Poor Irish immigrants in the city protested -- violently, because to avoid the draft, you had to pay $300, which at that time was what most of them made for an entire year. Claire is 15, and works in the hotel where her parents (a black man and a white Irishwoman) both work. The hotel is located in lower Manhattan, where the first drawing of names for the draft takes place on July 11 -- and the riots and fires and looting start. Black people around the city are beaten and murdered, and New York is a dangerous place for many days... until the Union Army is recalled to assist the police in restoring order. There are many characters and many sides to the issue within the story: policemen, soldiers, looters, rich, poor, teens and adults. Excellent for historical debates, with reproduced photos, letters and other primary source items from Walter Dean Myers' own collection. Especially good for 8th grade.
MarthaL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Revealing! All students studying the Civil War should read. Written as a screen play.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a deeply researched, fictional account of the draft riots in New York City in 1863, when Irish immigrants took to the streets to protest the new draft law, attacking property, rich people, and blacks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do well in starclan longclaw... &#9786 &#9787
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rests her head on her paws.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hia Red!" He purred.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The boulder explodes! *BOOM!*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slept in the warriors' den. (Going to bed, night everyone, see you tomorrow)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
((i barely have wi-fi so you gotta wait)) He laid on high rock.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rishu Bagga More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
RIOT by Walter Dean Myers tells the story of the beginning of the Civil War, and the 1863 insurgency in New York City. President Lincoln had started a draft to gain more soldiers for the Union Army, but there was a clause in the law that allowed the wealthy to pay a three-hundred dollar fee and hire someone else to go to war in their place. In New York City, tempers exploded into a vicious race riot. Claire is the daughter of a mixed family. Her mother is Irish and her father is black. She has been secure in her identity, but now everything is different. Black Americans are being murdered and beaten, and even a foundling home is looted and burned as the uprising turns into one of the worst race riots in American history. The streets and Claire's neighborhood are no longer safe. And then the soldiers that are called back from Gettysburg to settle the dispute are equally brutal. Claire is considered all black by people she considered friends and they are turning against her for that reason. She begins to question her identity. Great characters and a fast-moving plot kept me glued to the pages. Myers has written this story in the form of a screenplay in an untraditional book, with an unblinking look at racial relations during that time period. It gave an immediacy to the action that most novel forms would not have been able to achieve. It is a very entertaining story, and I painlessly learned a lesson in American history.