Monkeyman” is a story from 145th Street, the collection of short stories by Walter Dean Myers. (From Amazon.com review) “Walter Dean Myers's book of interconnected short stories is a sweet and sour mix of the comedy and tragedy of the human condition, played out against the backdrop of the Harlem neighborhood that is centered around 145th Street…Myers frankly discusses the consequences of violence, drive-bys and gang war through his articulate characters, but tempers these episodes with such a love of his fictional community that every character shines through with the hope and strength of a survivor. Changing his point of view from teen to adult and back again through each vignette, Myers successfully builds a bridge of understanding between adolescents and adults that will help each group better understand the problems of the other. [It] beautifully illustrates the good that can come out of a community that stands together.” Summary: An unnamed narrator tells the story of Monkeyman, one of the narrator’s friends and a resident of 145th Street. Monkeyman’s bookishness sets him apart from many of his peers, as does his willingness to interfere with the Tigros gang, which is trying to take over the neighborhood. When Monkeyman prevents one of the Lady Tigros from attacking his friend Peaches with a knife, the Tigros set out to get revenge. Monkeyman appears to accept the Tigros’ challenge to fight, but when he arrives at the scene he shocks everyone, his friends included, by taking a position of non-violence. Monkeyman is injured in the fight and its aftermath, but the narrator discovers that Monkeyman has done this to prove a point, which teaches the narrator some important lessons about courage and community.
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