List of Related Books
American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
American Library Association Quick Pick
By Michael F. Fonash
Walter Dean Myers’ novel
a coming of age novel about an inner- city youth who must deal with reality
and his future, when all he can see is his the here and now, which revolves
around his ingenious basketball skills. Slam has teachers and family
around who are concerned for him and his future, and these individuals
push and challenge Slam to achieve not only on the court, but in the classroom
as well. Myers’, in the novel, attempts to use the street jargon
of the inner- city to re- create an experience that is as real as possible
for his readers. Myers’ also recreates Slam’s basketball moves and
high- flying artistry on the court with words for his reading audience.
This book can satisfy all readers, but I suggest that Secondary teachers
make this mandatory reading for students who have outstanding illusions
regarding their future and athletics.
By Lisa LeCompte
Dean Myers was born in West Virginia in 1937 but spent most of his childhood
in Harlem. He was raised by foster parents and had both a happy and
a horrific life throughout his adolescent years. He began writing
poetry and short stories as a teenager and acquired an early love of reading.
He is now a writer of both children’s and young adult literature.
Myers dropped out of high school in 1954 and joined the army. He held many positions with various agencies including the New York State Department of Labor, the post office, a rehabilitation center, and a transformer company. Throughout this time, however, Myers was still writing for magazines and periodicals. The turning point in his writing career came when he won a contest run by the Council on Interracial Books for Children with his book Where Does a Day Go? in 1969. He received his degree from Empire State College in 1984. He has since supported his wife and four children with his writing in the area of children’s and young adult literature. In addition to writing he also volunteers at schools in Jersey City where he presently resides.
Myers feelings towards the young adult novel are as follows: “The special place of the young adult novel should be in its ability to address the needs of the reader to understand his or her relationship with the world, with each other, and with adults. The young adult novel often allows the reader to directly identify with a protagonist of similar interests and development. It is this language of values which I hope to bring to my books. I want to bring values to those who have not been valued, and I want to etch those values in terms of the ideal. Young people need ideals which identify them, and their lives as central guideposts which tell them what they can be, should be, and indeed are.”
by Brooke Coalter
English - The class will recreate the basketball scenes. This will give everyone an idea at how much skill Slam really possessed. It will also give students an idea at how words described the actual game. There are two ways that the class can recreate these games. One way is to have students in the class recreate the scenes - or - request to see the schools basketball team play basketball according to the scenes.
Creative Writing: Write about what happens to one of the characters in Slam! in about five to ten years after the book ends. Example of questions that can be written about: Does Slam get into the NBA? Does he marry Mtisha? What happens to Mtisha? How about Ice, does he stay a dealer or does he give up that life? You may even write about one of the lesser characters that exist in Slam's life.
Social Studies: This book shows the life of Slam outside of school as well. Do some research about Harlem and then write whether what is described in the book is close to reality. You may want to look at some pictures that show Harlem, before decided what your opinion is about this area.
by Erinn Crowley
Purpose: To truly understand Slam as a character, let’s learn more about Harlem, where he grew up. Harlem is the north most region of New York City. It is an area filled with a mixed history. While today, it is images of a crime infested area stick in people’s minds. This Web Quest will help student dismiss all the stereotypes of a special part of New York Culture.
How: Student’s will be spilt up into three groups. Two will deal with Harlem’s rich history and the third group will deal with its present state.
one: History from
On this web site students will choose decades, they can pair up or do it alone. They must find 5 events in the decade and explain how they relate to one another and why it is significant towards the time period.
two: The Harlem Renaissance: the History
and The Artists
One student will explain what exactly the Harlem Renaissance is.
Other students will have to pick short stories or painting and explain how it relates to Harlem Renaissance.
Three: Harlem Today
The students will read this article, summarize it, and then project their ideas of the future for Harlem.
of Related Books
By Brooke Coalter
Other books written by Walter
Brown Angels: An Album of Pictures and Verse. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
Crystal. New York: Viking 1987.
Darnell Rock Reporting. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994.
The Dragon Takes a Wife. New York; Scholastic, 1995.
Fallen Angels. New York: Scholastic, 1988.
Fast Sam, Cool Clyde and Stuff. New York: Viking, 1975.
The Glory Field. New York: Scholastic, 1994.
Hoops. New York: Delacorte, 1981.
The Legend of Tarik. New York: Viking, 1981.
Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary. New York: Scholastic, 1993.
Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid. New York: Delacorte, 1988.
Mop, Moondance, and the Nagasaki Knights. New York: Delacorte, 1992.
Motown and Didi: A Love Story. New York: Viking, 1984.
The Mouse Rap. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.
Now Is Your Time: The African-American Struggle for Freedom. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
One More River to Cross: An African American Photograph Album. New York: Harcourt Brace,1996.
The Outside Shot. New York: Delacorte, 1984.
The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
Scorpions. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
Shadow of the Red Moon. New York: Scholastic, 1995.
Somewhere in the Darkness. New York: Scholastic, 1992.
Won't Know Till I Get There. New York: Viking, 1982.
The Young Landlords. New York: Viking, 1979.
A third Slam! Book Study-http://faculty.salisbury.edu/~elbond/slam2.htm
Walter Dean Myers-http://www.carr.lib.md.us/mae/myers.htm
Walter Dean Myers- http://www.virginiahamilton.com/pages/walter_dean_myers.htm
Walter Dean Myers Web Site Design-
More of Walter Dean Myers' Books-http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/special/kay/myers.html