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The Resource Amiri and Odette : a dance for two, Walter Dean Myers ; paintings by Javaka Steptoe

Amiri and Odette : a dance for two, Walter Dean Myers ; paintings by Javaka Steptoe

Label
Amiri and Odette : a dance for two
Title
Amiri and Odette
Title remainder
a dance for two
Statement of responsibility
Walter Dean Myers ; paintings by Javaka Steptoe
Title variation
Love story
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Presents a modern, urban retelling in verse of the ballet in which brave Amiri falls in love with beautiful Odette and fights evil Big Red for her on the streets of the Swan Lake Projects
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Illustration
Review
  • Gr. 4-8 Myers’ introduction is an essential part of this moving, contemporary retelling of the classic Swan Lake ballet story of beauty and grace that is threatened by violence. His setting is the Swan Lake Projects, where the street dangers are like folkloric evil spells and the basketball moves are as agile as dance steps. Young Amiri and Odette fall in love, but Odette is already involved with dangerous Big Red. With a rhyming rap beat (“A fight for three so vicious / A victory for love delicious”), Myers tells the tale in four terse acts that climax in Amiri’s triumphant standoff with Big Red, who is armed with knife and gun (“as cold steel flashes, a sharp blade slashes”). The book design, with colored type on dark backgrounds, is too busy, but Steptoe’s collage-on-cinder-block paintings, touched with magical realism, offer beautiful overviews of the neighborhood streets, the buildings, and the basketball court. -- Rochman, Hazel (Reviewed 12-01-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 7, p47)
  • Myers’s (Sunrise over Fallujah ) and Steptoe’s (In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall ) concept, recasting Swan Lake as hip-hop, may sound unlikely, but in their hands it largely succeeds: the ultra-cool, emotionally hot setting gives the story new power. Swan Lake is a housing project, Rothbart represented as Big Red, a drug lord, and Odette an addict; Amiri tries to save her, but fails. 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: “Amiri, be my man!/ Save me if you can!/ If not, let my last pure breath/ Pledge my love to you in wretched death.” 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. It’s easy to imagine them as dancers. The momentum yields at the end, where, in contrast to the stark immediacy of the rest of the work, abstract language softens the tragic conclusion. Ages 12–up. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed November 17, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 46, p57)
  • The acclaimed author uproots the 19th-century classical ballet Swan Lake from its enchanted world of mist-filled lakes and palaces and plunks it solidly down into the dark, danger-filled Swan Lake Projects. The courtly Prince Siegfried morphs into the basketball player Amiri, and the beautiful Odette, turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer in the original, is now under the thralldom of Big Red, the local drug dealer. Myers tells the tale in rap-inspired verse, which appears on the page in different sizes and colors placed for their design values and not for ease of reading. The result strains with the necessity of maintaining narrative symmetry; verse that tries to soar in beat with Tchaikovsky's memorable score is reduced to a plethora of overwrought phrases—"O muffle the drum and mute the horn, / From love's demise, despair is born!" Perhaps Myers would have been better served by Romeo and Juliet, frequently rewritten but more manageable and logical. However, Steptoe's collage-on cinder-block paintings are powerful, haunting and worthy of multiple viewings. His Odette is truly luminous. (Picture book/poetry. 12 & up) (Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
294378
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1937-2014
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Myers, Walter Dean
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 8
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1971-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Steptoe, Javaka
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Novels in verse
  • Love
  • African Americans
  • Ballets
  • Fairy tales
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Amiri and Odette : a dance for two, Walter Dean Myers ; paintings by Javaka Steptoe
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
1 v (unbound) p.
Isbn
9780590680417
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2008011563
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o228300669
  • (Sirsi) o228300669
  • (OCoLC)228300669
Label
Amiri and Odette : a dance for two, Walter Dean Myers ; paintings by Javaka Steptoe
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
1 v (unbound) p.
Isbn
9780590680417
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2008011563
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o228300669
  • (Sirsi) o228300669
  • (OCoLC)228300669

Library Locations

    • Adamsville-Collier Heights BranchBorrow it
      3424 Martin Luther King Jr., Dr., Atlanta, GA, 30331, US
      33.755053 -84.500182
    • Auburn Avenue Research LibraryBorrow it
      101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA, 30303, US
      33.755227 -84.383897
    • Mechanicsville BranchBorrow it
      400 Formwalt St. SW, Atlanta, GA, 30312, US
      33.743728 -84.394866
    • West End BranchBorrow it
      525 Peeples Street SW, Atlanta, GA, 30310, US
      33.74032 -84.42092
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