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Saturday, 21 February 2009

Amiri & Odette by Walter Dean Myers and Javaka Steptoe

Amiri & Odette
Walter Dean Myers (Author)

Javaka Steptoe (Illustrator)

Scholastic

ISBN 9780590680417


Madeleine L'Engle always insisted that stories were real and had power - power to help and inspire or power to hurt. This is a story of that power struggle in the lives of youth. It is masterfully written. It is the retelling of the classical story of Swan Lake, in an American setting in the Swan Lake Housing projects.

The story is told in poetic style, and the lyrical format adds to the intensity of the story. The illustrations are raw, visceral and powerful. They are painted and collaged onto actual pieces of asphalt. Combined it makes for a very intense experience reading the book.

I could see this done as a dance piece on Dancing with the Stars with Twitch playing Amiri, Will playing Big Red, and Odette being played by Katie. The piece would be directed and choreographed by Mia Michaels.

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