Amiri & Odette: A Love Story

I don’t typically like poetry.  I don’t really like ballet either.  So Walter Dean Myers’ Amiri & Odette:  A Love Story, which is a retelling of Swan Lake through poetry, was really not for me.

Don’t get me wrong…there were things about it that I liked.  For instance, I LOVED the artwork by Javaka Steptoe.  The illustrations were done with acrylic paint on slabs of asphalt embellished with things like jewelry, bags, and candy wrappers.  I thought these were very unique.  I also liked the setting of the story.  Myers moved the story from the realm of fantasy to the inner city.  The key ingredients to the story were still there (mom throwing a party for her son so he can find a wife, bad guy getting in the way, mistaken identity, etc.), but the setting and characters were more relevant to urban teens.

Like I said, I’m not a big fan of poetry, but I know a lot of my students are, and Amiri & Odette may be just what they’re looking for.  It’s a quick read (took me about five minutes) and has appeal for both guys and girls.

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