Autobiography of My Dead Brother

Finalist, National Book Awards 2005 for Young People's Literature

Autobiography of My Dead Brother, by Walter Dean Myers book cover, 2005
ISBN 9780060582913
Walter Dean Myers, Photo credit: Constance Myers
Walter Dean Myers

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Jesse fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of his blood brother, Rise, and his comic strip, Spodi Roti and Wise, as he makes sense of the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and loss in a neighborhood where drive-bys, vicious gangs, and abusive cops are everyday realities.

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One assumes that Myers—black, male, striding through America’s cauldron—could create nothing less than Autobiography at this point in our history, when child violence introduces such lasting devastation. Myers speaks to that through this moving account of two black youngsters, one an aspiring artist and writer, the other merely ‘aspiring’. Close as brothers through childhood, they are separated finally only through choices, changes, and violence. Touching and impactful, Autobiography cannot fail to intrigue, and hopefully influence youngsters with its poignant statement of two roads taken.