(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Upon his arrival in the country, Richie is sent to the American base at Chu Lai in South Vietnam. He spends the greater part of his tour of...

(The entire section is 165 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The first-person narrative brings an immediacy to the action and descriptions in the novel. Through Richie's observations and commentary,...

(The entire section is 178 words.)

Social Sensitivity

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Myers's novel deals with social issues of current importance and concern in society: the morality of war, racism, and classism. The most...

(The entire section is 576 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Bishop, Rudine Sims. Presenting Walter Dean Myers. Boston: Twayne, 1991. Brief monograph meant to introduce readers to Myers and his work, providing serious analysis of the novels and of young adult literature generally.

Burshtein, Karen. Walter Dean Myers. New York: Rosen, 2004.

Goff, Stanley, and Robert Sanders. Brothers: Black Soldiers in the Nam. Novato, Calif.: Presidio, 1982. Study of the experience of African American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Provides useful context for Myers’s novel.

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Walter Dean Myers: A Literary Companion. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2006. Extensive study of the author’s life and work, emphasizing literary analysis of those characteristics of his fiction that are of particular interest to young adult readers.

Jordan, Denise M. Walter Dean Myers: Writer for Real Teens. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow, 1999.

“Walter Dean Myers.” In Writers for Young Adults, edited by Ted Hipple. Vol. 2. New York: Scribner, 1997. Overview of Myers’s career and his place in the young adult canon.

“Walter Dean Myers: Fallen Angels.” In Civil Rights Movements to Future Times. Vol. 5 in Literature and Its Times: Profiles of Two Hundred Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influenced Them, edited by Joyce Moss and George Wilson. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. Study of the place of Fallen Angels in American literary and cultural history, as well as of the Vietnam War and its influence on the book and on American culture.

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Richie has dreams of going to college and becoming a writer, yet, he forgoes these to join the army. Why does he feel this is his only...

(The entire section is 321 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Myers has created a world and populated it with characters from a variety of places and backgrounds. Even though this world is different...

(The entire section is 178 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Myers's fiction focuses on the experiences of young African Americans in society. His characters live in large cities where many of the...

(The entire section is 458 words.)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

"Celebrating Literacy: The Language of Freedom." Reading Today 9 (1992): 1. This article provides an account of Myers's talk to the...

(The entire section is 306 words.)