While browsing in Barnes and Noble today, I happened upon a display of Love Story (Amiri And Odette) by Walter Dean Myers in the Teen section of the store. The gorgeous cover drew me in, and I was curious to see what a picture book aimed at teens would be like, so I picked it up and began to page through it. Before I knew it, I was completely enwrapped in the story and could not put it down.
This is a gorgeous book. The illustrations by Javaka Steptoe are in mixed media and the contrast of colors in each page is just stunning. And the poem, the love story of Amiri and Odette (based on Swan Lake) is breathtaking. In the poem, a boy searches for his love among the Swan Lake projects, only to find that she belongs to an evil street lord who means her harm. It is only through perseverance and undying love that the girl is returned to the safety of her one true love. It is a gorgeous book and I can’t wait to get it into the hands of my students.
I think this will appeal to some of my “cool” readers, those who live and breathe New York and hip-hop. What a fantastic way to infuse poetry into the lives of students who don’t always think of poetry as the coolest type of writing. I’ll be sure to share their reactions to the book when we get back to school!