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Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers has written a realistic urban novel that probes a fatal crisis in the life of two boys. Jesse, the book's narrator, and Rise are best friends, but as time passes, Rise grows increasingly alienated and unpredictable. Living in a neighborhood where gang fights and drive-by shootings are almost commonplace, Jesse wonders whether he and hiPrintz Award winner Walter Dean Myers has written a realistic urban novel that probes a fatal crisis in the life of two boys. Jesse, the book's narrator, and Rise are best friends, but as time passes, Rise grows increasingly alienated and unpredictable. Living in a neighborhood where gang fights and drive-by shootings are almost commonplace, Jesse wonders whether he and his estranged blood brother are already doomed. A powerful novel from the author of Shooter and Monster....

Title : Autobiography of My Dead Brother
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060582937
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Autobiography of My Dead Brother Reviews

  • christopher
    2019-05-26 18:20

    Book reviewChristopher Jordan 12/3/08 The book that I have finished is a novel called Autobiography of my dead Brother. This story is by award winning Walter Dean Myers. This story is fiction and the main theme of this story is even your own best friend can change on you by the surroundings as drugs, gun, gangs and the only thing you would have to fall back on is your family. Autobiography of my Dead Brother is based on a fifthteen year old black male name Jesse. This story takes place in Harlem, New York. Jesse has a best friend named “Rise” they’re more like blood brothers because they have known each other since they were three years of age. Jesse lives with his mother and father, Jesse and his father don’t bond that well but get along with each other. Jesse and Rise have to worry about all of the trouble in the streets with all the shootings, gangs, guns, and drug dealing. Jesse Begins to realize that their club the counts is starting to transform into a gang he tries to seek a way out of it. Rise is beginning to change up on Jesse getting involved with gangs, drugs and criminal activities. I think this novel is extremely good and the reason why I say that is because it’s to become really sad and I like that about books. I think the way this book can relate to bigger issues going on now in the present there are more and more teenagers getting with gangs, drugs and criminal activity which cause more deaths on the east coast. I would recommend this novel to anybody especially teens, both boys and girls. I think this story would be best independent. I really enjoyed this book and world love to read to read it again an also Walter Dean Myers other books I give this book 5/5.

  • Carrie Lawler
    2019-05-05 15:40

    Ah, another fabulous book! Set in Harlem, it centers around a group of teen boys that have to make important life choices. The protagonist, Jesse, narrates using first-person pov. Rise is Jesse's "blood brother" who begins to take interest in the gang lifestyle that he and Jesse always said they would avoid. Along the way, Jesse begins creating an autobiography of Rise through sketches. Sketches are thrown throughout the book, along with some comics, that compliment the plot and the characters of the story. I want to use this book in my classroom, as soon as I can get a class set! It provides an engaging way to explore characterization, specifically characters' motives. For example, what made Rise choose the gang route and not Jesse? Also, why is it hard to let friends go even when they turn into someone else? These are important questions for middle school students to critically think about in their lives. I love it and I think my students would as well.

  • Kamrin
    2019-05-08 15:44

    I picked this book up because it's an award winning book, and because I love Walter Dean Myers. This reminds my of Diary of a Wimpy Kid in that it has some graphics, but I wouldn't call it a graphic novel. It is a story about Jesse and Rise. Two blood brothers who are learning how to deal with the fact they're growing up and growing apart. They live in Harlem and are members of a "club" not a gang. When a series of drive-bys start happening around the neighborhood, it separates the two brothers who take different paths. I thought this was a very well written book. I also thought the story was believable and some of my students would totally be able to relate. I could see letting my students read this. Although there is some violence, there is hardly any cussing and no sexual content. This might be a great book to hand to my reluctant boy readers. I has pictures!

  • Cassandra
    2019-04-28 12:45

    This book is rather depressing. It is written in first person and is about a teenage African-American boy, named Jesse, growing up in Harlem. He is a pretty good kid and is part of a club called The Counts. His best friends name is Rise, and the book documents how Rise changes and brings a lot of turmoil to the neighborhood the boys live in. Jesse is an artist and he begins drawing pictures of Rise to try to figure out what is going on with him. Rise likes the pictures and asks Jesse to write his biography. Eventually, Rise informs Jesse that he is thinking about getting into drug dealing and working with a gang. Jesse still doesn't understand what is going on, and he knows he doesn't want to be involved in what Rise is getting into. But, Jesse doesn't stand up to Rise and try to stop him either. Eventually, The Counts are called a gang in the newspaper, which causes Jesse's family to really worry about him. Rise continues to get weirder and weirder to Jesse, but he keeps writing the biography and painting his pictures. At the end of the story, Rise is caught by the police because he is suspected of shooting some guys from a gang called the Diablos. Jesse and some other guys are even brought in with him, but it is evident that they were part of an alibi. After Rise is released from jail, he calles Jesse to tell him that he is moving to Florida. Some of The Counts gather to tell Rise goodbye, but when Rise comes over he is shot in the street and killed. The last chapter of the book covers Rise's funeral and Jesse's final thoughts on the entire summer. This book has been challenged or banned in many areas, so it would be difficult to use it in the classroom. It deals with a lot of touchy topics including gangs and drugs. It is a realistic story though and could possibly be used to warn teenagers of the dangers of getting involved in this kind of crime. The only way I would recommend this book to a student would be to run it by the parents first to make sure they would be alright with their child reading it.

  • Steven Jones
    2019-05-25 16:38

    This book is powerful, both in its text and its illustrations. The subject matter is very real (and very violent, if that sort of thing bothers you) but what I like most about it is the honesty. The book is written as more of a journal than an autobiography and Jesse deals with some serious stuff in the book. However, the book is not filled with extreme emotion, but instead Jesse's somewhat complacent attitude about death and violence (although he obviously disagrees with it) is what is so powerful. His emotions and real opinions seem expressed more in his cartoons than his words.I think I could definitely teach this in a class. I think students would definitely read it because it's short, it has illustrations and it deals with subject matters that they can relate to, even if they don't live in a dangerous neighborhood. What I think would be really cool, though, is to teach this in a school where the students do deal with this kind of stuff. While so many young men (and women) want to act tough about stuff like this, Myers' book provides us with a character that is just very honest about his feelings, whether he expresses them in words or pictures. It's a really interesting book and I'd love to discuss it with students.

  • Shae N.
    2019-05-14 13:45

    i thought this was thee best book that i have read so far becuase i can really really really relate to it. in the book these kids are in a gang, that part doesnt relate to me but i know people who are in a gang. one of the kids are trying their hardest to keep out of the gang banging thing and he is also trying to keep his best friend/ brother out of it too. one of the main character decides that he will wirte an autobiography about Rise, his brother. the one reason why i really relate to this book is because two of my friends have pasted away. LaNajah Dupree was going to be a freshman cheerleader for Reed High, but she was at a party and some guy who was a gang banger that wasnt allowed in the party decided that he was gunna start shooting. The bullet hit her in her upper body & she died in the doorway it was the sadest day of 2010.... this book showed me even more how you should always keep your loved ones close and let them know that your love them every chance that you get because you never know when your gonna lose them or if they will ever lose you.

  • Jay Robinson
    2019-05-25 14:25

    Autobiography of my Dead brother is a great book. It relates to kids who are brought up in a negative environment and shows how that type of environment can influence a kid to make bad decisions. Rise was that kid in this book. He hung around the wrong people, and they had a negative influence on him. His bestfriend Jesse was the main character, and the kid that truthfully didn't want to have to deal with gangs and all that trouble, but because his "blood brother" was there, so was he.Rise got too carried away and it was at the cost of his life. This saddened Jesse but brought him to realize that aspect of negativity was out of his life. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels pressured or like they have to do something because their friends are. This is because it shows a relatable character and shows that going along with others isn't always the best thing and can ruin your life.Themes in this book include peer pressure, gangs, and looking at the bigger picture.

  • Caroline
    2019-05-12 13:35

    I've been semi-avoiding any Walter Dean Myers books the past few years because they hit way to close to home, if by home I mean school. Working with the kids that I do and living the sadness, anger, and frustrations of Black youth on a daily basis, I don't generally jump at the chance to read about it for fun. However, this title was one I'd chosen for my classroom library because I thought it sounded interesting and I found it to be an intelligent and insightful portrayal of life in the inner-city. It didn't stereotype characters or play the minstrel, rather Myers' writing paints a sensitive and informed story of two "brothers" trying to define themselves in the midst of socially conflicting values systems. Great read for any adult looking for insight into today's more urban Black youth and great read for any kid wrestling with identity and growing up.

  •  Imani ♥ ☮
    2019-05-03 14:26

    One of the best picture books I've ever read. The pictures in this book really helped to even better depict this story. The story starts off in Harlem at a funeral of a local boy. The main character throughout the story talks about his best friend, Rise, a lot and his "gang" I guess u can call it. Rise starts to drug deal and in the end an enemy of his shoots him dead just as he makes the decision to leave dangerous Harlem. The story ends in the main character's drawing of him and his other friend walking from the funeral. I think that if you are not really a "reader" or "bookworm" that this book is the book for u because it has really great pictures. A great from Myers:)

  • Kim
    2019-05-17 15:27

    Utterly relatable characters, real dialog, and the tension between two blood-brother friends who are making decisions about how involved they want to be in the gang lifestyle of their neighborhood make this a stand-out in urban fiction. I listened to the audio version, and narrator J. D. Jackson does an outstanding job of bringing Jesse and his friends and family to life. Walter Dean Myers had such a feel for urban teens, and it shines through in this story.

  • SeanV CLC
    2019-05-22 14:37

    Pretty good book, had a lot of slang language I didn't understand... Reasonably violent, has lots of gang wars, violence, discrimination. It is also reasonably sad.

  • Shanae
    2019-05-26 18:32

    One of the best books I've ever read in my entire life.

  • Monique
    2019-05-12 17:34

    Okay so finished this book last night to get prepared for a booktalk/booktrailer that I think will intrigue my 7th grade classes..Chose this book because though it is older it has many of the themes and issues our young adults are curious about such as extended family, gangs, drugs, police brutality and abuse and of course the tragedy of a murdered young person. This book follows two boys Jesse and Rise as they grow up together since toddlers, become blood brothers and a part of a community club called the Counts. As the boys grow up and they see the people around them change they are forced to make decisions on their life and it is here they grow apart. Rise being the older “brother” seemed discouraged and restless with just surviving and living life and it is after the funeral of one of their friends he begins to hear the draw of the street life and Jesse has to helplessly watch him succumb to the lure of fast money and street credibility. Appointed by Rise to write his biography on account of his comic drawing skills and connection to Rise from the beginning Jesse begins to wonder if he even knows Rise anymore and if he has changed to someone completely different as he dabbles in retaliation, drug hustling and is eventually caught in his life and suffers the consequences of life in the streets. Peppered with Jesse’s drawings and thoughts, this book tells about the internal and external struggles of young black boys who see easy money and friends as an option over the struggle and fight of life without much. Jesse and Rise are characters I think my young men can see themselves in and while this was not my favorite Walter Dean Myers I feel it is an important one that I plan on promoting this year, hopefully thwart some bad intentions and reinforce the sentiment of living and finding a way out of no way so there are no more young black men like Rise who feel the only way is a life of crime and hopefully make readers think about how someone could get caught in a gang, how two boys raised similarly and together could turn out so drastically different and if in Jesse's shoes would you stay friends with Rise why or why not..hope to get readers hooked and thinking about their lives as either a Jesse or a Rise.

  • TheLegend27
    2019-04-30 15:26

    "Autobiography of My Dead Brother", written by Walter Dean Myers, provides a tremendous perspective of the African American people that live in what is best known as "the hood". The book begins at a funeral held at the local church. The main character, Jesse, lost his brother in a drive-by shooting. Jesse, from this point forward, has a change of view. Like his best friend, Rise. Unlike Rise, Jesse's view changes over a long period of time. First being that he is amazingly enthusiastic about art, and he is good at it too. This changes over time as he begins to see Rise as a different person. Rise was not the blood brother that he once knew. Rise was changing, and it seemed like it was for the worst. Jesse's life was beginning to revolve around Rise, because they were both apart of the same club; "The Counts", and Rise was starting to take over the club to start dealing drugs. Because of this, Jesse's home life is affected, and his parents begin to worry that Jesse might end up in prison. Eventually, Rise's dealings get to the point that he ended up hiring a hit on someone, and that caused the entire club to get involved and taken into custody by the local police. Rise was investigated, as well as the other "Counts", and the "Counts" were all released from custody. This dismal event caused Rise to change perspectives, and to leave town. Just as Rise was about to leave, a rival club member walks up to the club and ends Rise's life.The entire concept of the book was excellent, because of the fact that it shows what really happens in these gang areas around the world. The writing was phenomenal, as it uses the main slang that you would hear in those areas. The story itself is great because it tricks the mind and makes the reader think that the story is about Jesse's brother. In a way, it did, because Rise and Jesse made a blood-pact when they were young, and they were brothers ever since. The main story was also genuinely poignant, as it shows how people usually end up dying in these parts of the world. This book was truly a good read, and it should be recommended to all students in grade 10+.

  • Claire
    2019-05-08 18:35

    My 10th graders really got into this book. Lovable characters, interesting story, creative style.

  • Sue Mosher
    2019-05-18 17:21

    Really interesting story, sad in places, but inspiring, too.

  • Lydia Mann
    2019-05-08 13:50

    High praise for a tough topic, covered with grace and kindness. I cared deeply for these kids, and was glad to get to know them through this tale.

  • Augustus Duravcevic
    2019-05-11 17:28

    Really loved this book, I like Walter Dean Myers.

  • Kaethe
    2019-04-27 13:30

    Autobiography of My Dead Brother - Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers I had trouble relating to the text, probably because it was so realistic. The art got me through. I would probably have enjoyed it more thirty years ago when I liked harsh truths, and didn't have kids. Library copy  

  • Christie
    2019-05-04 17:35

    While this wasn't a book I particularly enjoyed, I absolutely see its merits. Autobiography of My Dead Brother is the story of 15-year-old Jesse who grows up in a violent New York neighbourhood. He's smart, talented and although he's got all the typical teenage issues - he's not going to make decisions which adversely impact his life.His best friend is Rise. Rise is seventeen and he and Jesse have been friends since they were little."His mother likes to tell me that when Rise first saw me, he was scared of me. She said they had a puppy and a turtle and he liked to play with them both, but when he saw me he started crying....I didn't remember any of that, but me and Rise grew up to be really close. He was more than my best friend - he was really like a brother."Myers' novel opens, Jesse and his friend C.J. are at the funeral of their friend, Bobby, who has been killed in a drive-by shooting. While Jesse and Bobby are horrified by the event because, after all, Bobby wasn't doing anything, just sitting on his stoop, Rise thinks Bobby "went out like a man." It's an early indication that Jesse and Rise might be heading in two different directions.Rise wants Jesse, an artist, to draw his autobiography and so the reader starts to see Rise through Jesse's very focused lens. We see his "funny way of walking, with one shoulder higher than the other"; we see Rise's home life (he lives with his mom and aging maternal grandparents); we see Jesse start to feel the troubling disconnect between him and Rise. Myers also captures the adults in this book very well. None of these kids come from uncaring families. While some come from single parent households, all the parents work and care and even the police are painted as fair and reasonable human beings. But there still manages to be trouble for Jesse and his friends. The book is interesting; the drawings are great (done by Christopher Myers, the author's brother) and Myers certainly writes authentically about the experience of - in this case - African American kids who just happen to live in a neighbourhood where crappy things happen. Ultimately though, this is a story about the friendship between two kids which unravels over time.I know a lot of boys would really enjoy it.

  • Smaileh
    2019-05-11 14:46

    Jesse is a young African-American teen growing up in the 'hood. Rise is an older boy who has been Jesse's friend since forever; they even did the blood brothers thing when they were little. Well, Jesse was too scared to actually cut his finger but when he fell and scraped his knee, Rise cut his finger and they mingled blood then. They are as close, if not closer, than actual brothers. But lately, Jesse has been noticing a change in Rise.Jesse and his friends have a social club, the Counts, which has a 40-year heritage. But when Mason joined the Counts, he seemed bent on taking it over and turning it into a gang. When Mason went to jail for robbing a bodega, Rise began following in his path, trying to become the group's leader and trying to take it in a direction that worried Jesse. The bodega that Mason robbed is firebombed. Did Rise have anything to do with it? Did Rise drop a dime on a Diablo in retaliation for a drive-by? Just what is going on with Rise?Jesse is a good kid, struggling to grow up in an atmosphere that keeps him worried and nervous all the time. He takes refuge in his art, just as his friend C.J. takes refuge in his music. Rise had been a good kid, too. Only a few years before, he had talked about how drugs and crime were doing no good for their neighborhood, so why was he now talking about taking that path?Walter Dean Myers has written another powerful novel (but, really, were you expecting him to do otherwise? This is Walter Dean Myers we're talking about.) Christopher Myers contributes the portraits and comics that Jesse draws in the novel. These pen and ink drawings not only illustrate parts of the story, but expand on them, such as the panels showing a drive-by shooting. Like Jesse, I felt nervous and anxious through much of this book. From the title, you know that things will not end well for Rise, but the stress was affecting everyone. Jesse's dad, in particular, is feeling the strain and lashes out in a way that is shocking but also, sadly, understandable. I have hopes for Jesse and his life after the end of this book. I would like to think that he will grow to be a good man himself.

  • Romelo Mangum
    2019-05-20 14:20

    The book that I’m reviewing is Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers and was published in 1998. The main character, Jesse, is a teen aged male that lives in the slums of Harlem, New York City. He Narrates his everyday life and how he escapes his struggles by drawing and painting. He’s in a youth group called the Counts and the leader “Rise” wants Jesse to draw pictures for his autobiography. Jesse agrees to do it, but soon finds out that Rise is now a drug dealer and not the person he grew up with. Jesse doesn’t know how to deal with it and he waits too long. After a while, everything is turned upside-down and blood is shed. I don’t like the writer’s style in this novel. If you want a book that is narrated like how a teenager talks, then this style is good for you. I don’t like this style because it makes the book too easy. Sometimes the narration is jumpy and seems to switch topics out of nowhere. Walter Dean Myers did a great job of making the characters in this book believable and realistic. We all know a character like Rise; Someone who thinks they have life all figured out, they think they’re the head honcho, but when something goes down, they’re nowhere to be found or they’re scared and hiding in the corner hoping that everything would go back to the way they were. A weakness in this book is the plot movement. It moves really slow until the climax and the just drops off at the end of the book. Another thing I don’t like about the plot movement is that the plot jumps from one idea to another, without a transition. I enjoyed reading this book because I like books about life in the ghetto and how to deal with it because I can relate to it. It’s interesting reading about how different people deal with problems. I also like the violence and gang activity in this book because I’ve gotten used to seeing it on the street and in the news and the music that I listen to depicts gang life. I recommend this book to people who like reading about violence, drugs, and how to cope with them.

  • Jen
    2019-05-23 20:25

    Lit. class review:This title was nominated for the National Book Award in 2005, but has otherwise gone unnoticed by the rewards committees. II was interested in reading one of Myers’ less known books. It is illustrated by his son, Christopher Myers, who won the Caldecott Award for another of their collaborations. The illustrations are a mixture of gritty and cartoon-like comic book sketches. I wonder if the images will be used to advance the story or simply to expand upon it.p. 72 – Jesse is a black teenager living in Harlem. The book starts with the funeral of a boy named Bobby Green who was killed in a drive-by. Jesse and his friends are pretty straight – he’s an artist, C.J. is a musician, his blood brother Rise has the brains. But he and Rise have been drifting apart as Rise seems to be going in a new direction. The book is filled with Jesse’s sketches.p. 152 – I thought this was going to be about a kid working through the death of one of his friends. Rather, it’s a kid watching one of his closest friends become a stranger to him – walking down a path they both swore they’d never choose.Myers’ writing style is hard to follow at times, but he slips in little nuggets of truth here and there that cause the narrative to slow down a bit and invite the reader to ponder some of what these characters are up against. Even though this book deals with a heavy subject, it is pretty mild. I’d recommend it to kids as young as 13 or 14, depending on life experience. It would probably appeal to boys more than girls. My one concern is that for a kid who is already thinking gangs are the answer Rise’s hopelessness might reinforce what he is feeling.From one of Jesse's comic strips. Created after his dad hit him one night.Spodi: Wise, how come when poor people don't have answers to their questions, they always turn to violence? ...If they don't see a future for themselves, they want to beat up the boy child. Why they got to be beating on things?Wise: 'Cause they ain't got no airplanes to drop the bombs, Spodi. And that's the word.

  • Urie Louissaint
    2019-05-15 12:25

    This book has a start like I have never encountered in a book before. It starts of in a church, with people mourning a death of a young male who was shot and killed in the neighborhood. It continues on about a relationship about two friends, one of which is a character named Rise he is older and begins to change as a person throughout the story. Even the relationship between him and Jesse, the character to basically narrates the story. He describes their relationship as a brotherly type feel, they even preformed the blood- brothers ritual, as little kids. Life came and shifted things when the leader of their group the counts went to jail and asked the remaining members to scared the witness at the Bodega, so he wouldn't testify. Rise thought about doing the job, but soon changed his mind when a police officer visited his house. He soon took over the group, the other members questioned his actions, but Jesse stood up for him, but even he questioned his motives and actions, and their relationship grew weak. That didn't change that Rise still trusted Jesse, and Rise told him is ideas, Jesse seemed to understand everything he was saying and Rise was pleased with him. Jesse then met up with Calvin to talk about about how Rise was different and analyzing what changed about him, one questioned if it was because he was getting old, but not only that he was starting to look different by changing hair styles. Even though I'm not done with this book, I feel like i already know what is going to happen in this story, because I play what I am reading in my head as I am reading it, and usually I am on the ball with making predictions in movies as well as books. Even though books are more in-depth and vast in information and descriptions, which makes books more interesting, it allows you to feel the moment of the text with imagination. I will be sure to updated this soon

  • Calvin
    2019-05-25 18:42

    Book Review:I truly enjoyed reading this book I have just finished by Walter Dean Myers. The book is "Autobiography of my dead brother" It is a fiction novel and has won awards. I believe the main theme of this book is about how close people even your best friend can switch up on you so easily because of the influence of drugs, gangs, and struggle to live, but the one thing you can always rely on to come through to support you is family. "Autobiography of my dead brother" had a setting in Harlem, New York. The main character is a young fifteen year old African American teen named Jesse with his best friend named Rise. Jesse and Rise have been friends since they were very young and always got each other. Jesse lives with both his parents but struggles to get along with his dad. Jesse is part of a gang known as the "Counts." He realized the gang is starting to change because of the constant worry of shootings, violence, drugs, and gang life so he tries to find a way out of it. Unfortunately, Rise decides to go down the wrong path and change up on Jesse.I would say this book is really good because it has great illustrations to help explain the book, the language and setting really set the mood for the book, and it teaches a good moral. This book really shows the real life dangers because more and more teens are getting into the gang life and this novel will show the dangers of it. Especially on the east coasts.I can relate to this book as I have best friend named Austin and we have been friends since grade 7. We are neighbors and we never switched up on each other I know that when I am in a hardship I can always fall back and rely on him for support.I would rate book a 4/5 because it can show real hardships and what you'd have to go through if you choose the wrong path. I would recommend this to teens 13 and above both boys and girls who are looking for an interesting book leaving you wanting more.

  • Jonathan Nonnemacher
    2019-05-08 15:50

    "Autobiography" is another good story written by Walter Dean Myers. In my opinion, Myers is one of the best writers - within the urban realism genre and just teen writing in general. Another book by Myers, "Scorpions" was required reading in 8th grade, and I still remember liking that book a lot."Autobiography" is about Jesse, a teen in Harlem with a talent for art. He struggles with two conflicting paths ahead of him - staying on the straight and narrow, or being pulled into a world of drugs, violence, and gangs. Jesse and his best friend Rise are self-proclaimed bloodbrothers to each other. But when Rise starts to change his attitudes about life, Jesse is unsure what to make of it. Jesse also hangs out with a group of other friends, most notably C.J. I'm split on how I feel about titles that make it easy to tell what the ending of the book could be. I feel it takes a little suspense of the story away. However, the plot is more about Jesse and his emotions, rather than Rise. The book was an enjoyable read, particularly with the illustrations. I enjoyed the themes of this book, and how even among all the negative things that surround the characters, there are redeeming qualities. Jesse and C.J. both have talents that can help them rise above their situation (art and music, respectively). I also sensed a possible subtle theme about parents. Jesse had both parents present in his life, while Rise's dad was nonexistent. I'd be interested to see if other readers of this book agree.One thing that bothered me was that I didn't feel the relationship between Jesse and his dad was resolved appropriately. An incident happens between the two that causes deep division, and when other plot elements come to the forefront, this subplot took a backseat but never got resolved.Recommended for high school students. Great read!

  • Matt
    2019-05-09 16:45

    This book was about a fourteen year-old boy named Jesse who lives in a beat down, gang infested and dangerous neighborhood. It takes place around present time. Jesse is a young African-American boy who belongs to a club called the counts. He is an only child, but he has a friend, named Rise, that he considers a blood brother. In this book Rise asks him to write his biography and illustrate. Jesse is an extremely good artist. The book starts off at a funeral for a child that was killed in a drive by. As the book moves on the counts get more involved in gang affairs. Rise changes in many ways and he starts talking about gang wars and drug dealing while Jesse is still writing his book. Jesse is becoming scared for Rise and more crimes are being committed by the Diablos around Jesse’s neighborhood. Rise takes over their neighborhood. Then the Counts have a meeting with the Diablos, but the Diablos set them up and tried to kill them but three Diablos were shot and killed. This causes the police to question Jesse and his friends. The day Rise was supposed to leave he shows up in a limo to say goodbye to Jesse, but the Diablos drive by and shoot him. In the end Rise dies in Jesse’s arms and Jesse promises him that he will finish Rise’s biography. I really liked this book. I thought it was a story that has a deep meaning. For me to understand it fully I would have to read it again. I think it was very well written and a good story. Also I think it tells the whole truth about how life is for African-Americans that live in bad neighborhoods. Because I liked this book so much I would recommend it to ay young adult reader.Word Count: 300

  • Erin
    2019-05-23 14:30

    I was lucky enough to meet Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers (who drew the artwork for this book) and they both signed my copy! Walter Dean Myers grew up in Harlem, and I can't help but wonder how much of this story is based on actual events and how much of this story is complete fiction...Told from the first-person point of view of Jesse, a 15-year-old boy who "fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of his blood brother, Rise, and his comic strip, Spodi Roti and Wise, as he makes sense of the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and loss in a neighborhood where drive-bys, vicious gangs, and abusive cops are everyday realities." This story takes place during the summer months, when tempers are as hot as the city streets, and nobody has anywhere better to go than the stoop.What struck me most about this book was the way in which Myers realistically portrays the biggest obstacle that I came up against time and again as a teacher in the inner city: some of my kids felt that there was no real future for them outside of the street life. Jesse and his friends are trying to figure out for themselves whether it is worth trying to avoid trouble, or whether they should embrace trouble and make the most of it. As you can tell from the title, this decision can be a deadly one.The story is skillfully told, and the artwork adds an authentic sense of depth to Jesse's character. I was extremely moved by this book, and I would recommend it to anyone familiar with urban issues, or to anyone who has an open mind and wants to learn what growing up in the inner city can really be like.

  • Josh Raziyev
    2019-05-20 13:31

    The book I read is the "Autobiography of My Dead Brother" by Walter Dean Myers, the story goes as two kids: Jesse and Rise, they considered each other blood brothers and made a pact not to get into the gang life even in the rough streets of Harlem. I found this part really powerful because in the book, people joined gangs to feel a part of a family and a part of something more in life, but beaches they made this pact, it proved that they didn't to be a art of a gang because they were all ready a part of there own family and they were brothers. Over the course of the story Rise begins to take interest in the gang lifestyle and Jesses begins to scre tch him in the book which makes the book more relatable, the pictures show Jesses feelings towards his"brother" joining a gang and these sketches help the reader follow along with story which made me love this book even more.Towards the end of the book the author release some of the motives that made Rise wanna join a gang, Jesse continues to reject his feelings towards gangs despite Rises attempts to convert the club their both a part of to a gang, by the end of the story. Rises ends up seeing the sketches that Jesse is drawing and asks him to write his biography, Sadly at the end of the book Rise dies and this is the first time a book has made me cry, this is why I think this book is one of the best books I've ever read. If a book can bring feelings out of you, then that means you really enjoyed it and I really enjoyed this book

  • Jake B
    2019-05-01 15:24

    Right from the title of the book, Autobiography of my Dead Brother, instantly caught my attention. The more I read this book by Walter Dean Myers, the more I couldn’t stop reading. It is an emotional book with an unsuspecting twist that would make anyone who read this book love it. The story of each character can leave an emotional feel on the reader. This book is told through the mind of Jesse, the fifteen year old main character. The book opens dramatically at his best friend’s funeral. Jesse and is other best friend, Rise, have to stick together in the streets to make sure they both don’t get hurt. Throughout their struggle in the streets, they have to make some tough decisions about what’s “cool” and what is right with the gang they were in. Morally, they both knew what their gang wanted to do was wrong, but they didn’t want to be left in the streets with just them two. They faced some decisions that required an answer. These types of situations led up to the ultimate choice for the boys to stay in the gang or be known as traitors.In all, this book moved its way to my most favorite books. It is a great book with emotional characters that you actually feel for and characters that you don’t care for in the story. I would recommend this book for everyone, especially for the ones who would enjoy a phenomenal book with an un-expected twist that will get you on the edge of your seat.