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Extended Audio Sample Scorpions Audiobook, by Walter Dean Myers Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,217 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Dean Myers Narrator: Peter Francis James Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9780061782114
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The Scorpions are a gun-toting Harlem gang, and Jamal Hicks is about to become tragically involved with them in this authentic tale of the sacrifice of innocence and the struggle to steer clear of violence.

This Newbery Honor Book will challenge young men to consider their own decisions as they come of age in a complex and often frustrating society.

Pushed by a bully to fight and nagged by his principal, Jamal is having a difficult time staying in school. His home life is not much better, with his mother working her fingers to the bone to try to earn the money for an appeal for Jamal's jailed older brother, Randy.

Jamal wants to do the right thing and help earn the money to free his brother by working, but he's afraid to go against the Scorpions. Jamal eventually pulls free of the gang's bad influence, but only through the narrowest of escapes.

Walter Dean Myers, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, sensitively explores the loyalty and love between friends faced with hard choices. Scorpions is 25 years old, but the issues of poverty and violence make it a timeless powerful read—sadly as relevant as ever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Myers constructs a scene and plot which are very believable and frightening to contemplate.”

    The Horn Book

  • “A book honored for its honesty, realism, and vitality.”

    Newbery Award Committee

  • “A realistic, spare, and almost unbearably sad story.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A realistic look at a boy who wants to do the right thing but gets caught up in the culture of violence.”

    School Library Journal

  • A Newbery Honor Book
  • An ALA Notable Book for Children
  • An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • A 1989 New York Public Library Book for Teens

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 1/28/2014

    " I thought this was a great book about the ghotto. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tommyg | 1/15/2014

    " If you are into Realistic Young ADULT books then I recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisbeth Solberg | 12/27/2013

    " My first reaction was lukewarm, but then I read it with my students and they enjoyed it so much that my appreciation deepened, especially for the humor and dialogue. It took me another read to catch the metaphor in the title. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rory M. | 9/14/2013

    " A cautionary tale and more yet more than that. What happens when a gun falls into the hands of a scared 12 year old and his best friend living in Harlem? Myers' book explores a youth succumbing to his life circumstances and being victimized in most ways by the system. Jamal's youthful naivety make it hard to believe him a bad person, however, can we have hope for his future? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alec | 9/13/2013

    " It is about a boy who's name is Jamal and he lives in New York City. Jamal's brother is in the hospital because he got stabbed at jail so Randy's friend Mack asks Jamal if he would become the new leader of the Scorpions which is a drug selling gang. Jamal excepts the offer so he can pay for Randy's attorney and Jamal finds that he makes a big mistake. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed | 9/13/2013

    " Not the best from a great writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 N.alex Terrero | 8/30/2013

    " This book is great at the begining of the book it just gets you in to the conflict. which is great cause it makes you want to read more and makes you wanna no whats going to happen next. Reccommend!!!! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lindsey | 8/7/2013

    " I didn't like this book at all. It was so depressing and predictable that I literally had to force myself to read it. I do think middle grade and high school reluctant boys would love this book and it was for that reason that I read it. Definitely a good book to put in front of a kid who struggles in school and feels like the odds are against them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Bass | 8/3/2013

    " This book is okay. It isn't that good because the story was pretty good but the way they describe it makes it kind of boring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 3/19/2012

    " about a boy named named Jamal and he joins a gang. he gets in many problem. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carlos | 11/9/2011

    " This was a great book about teens and gangs. I felt bad for Tito and Jamaal. They got mixed up in trouble from gang pressure. I love how the author writes books about real life situations that teend face. The theme of the book is to make good choices or the bad choices can ruin your life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Davionglover | 9/5/2011

    " its a good book to reAD "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 5/15/2011

    " I had to read this book for the YA Lit class I took in college. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Carvajal | 4/28/2011

    " I like this book because there was a lot of violence. There was a kid named Jahmal and he went into this gang but he didnt want to be in the gang because of the trouble it will cause. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hugocnca | 3/27/2011

    " I just finished the book. The ending was very intersting. NOw I Will Began by telling you that Jamal's Friend Tito shot a guy from the crew named Scorpions.He shot a guy and killed him so he then had to go to Puerto Rico or else he was going to get charges of what he did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/3/2011

    " This book is okay. It isn't that good because the story was pretty good but the way they describe it makes it kind of boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edwin | 2/2/2011

    " cool book about a young kid taking over a gang its cool i think people should read this book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheyenne | 1/8/2011

    " This was an amazing book. I LOVED IT!???? I would tottaly read it again anyday, anytime. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shanice | 12/6/2010

    " I recommend this book because it talks about a boy who is worried about his mother and his little sister,and it help you to see that your life is not so bad after all because Jamal have to work to support his family and we don't. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 10/27/2010

    " about a boy named named Jamal and he joins a gang. he gets in many problem. "

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About the Author
Author Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers (1937–2014) was the acclaimed author of over fifty books, primarily for young adults. His notable works include Fallen Angels, Monster, Crystal, and Scorpions. He won numerous awards for his works, including five Coretta Scott King Awards for African American authors. He also won the first Michael L. Printz Award for his book Monster. In January of 2012 he became the Library of Congress’ National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

About the Narrator

Peter Francis James is an accomplished actor on both the stage and the screen. His theater credits include roles in On Golden Pond, Much Ado about Nothing, and August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. His many film and television credits include Jahfree Neema in Oz, Raymond Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Guiding Light, Law & Order: SVU, and Third Watch. James’ audiobook narration has won him nine AudioFile Earphones Awards.