Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Discussion for Kids: Harlem Summer - 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

With the exhibit Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist in full swing, the Nasher will explore jazz through children’s and young adult literature.  We invite your family to enjoy Harlem Summer, a jazz-era coming-of-age story, with us.  A group discussion of the book will take place at the museum during DPS spring break.


Harlem Summer, by Walter Dean Myers, follows Mark Purvis, a teenager in Harlem in 1925. While Mark would rather play jazz music with his friends, he feels the pressure to get a summer job.  Run-ins with Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Alfred Knopf have Mark elated to meet the great figures of his time. However, his financial reality connects him to gangster Dutch Schultz and complicates Mark’s summer, all as he experiences the frenzy of a jazz musician’s life.


Myers, a Harlem native, has written over 80 children’s books.  The author has received two Newbery Honors and is a five-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award. In 2012, the Library of Congress named Myers the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.  Covering topics from the Harlem Renaissance to modern interpretations of Swan Lake, Myers attributes his prolific writing life to his sheer love of stories. “As a writer, I absorb stories,” Myers says, “and allow them to churn within my own head until I find a way of telling them that fits both my time and temperament.”


Intended for students and their families, this book discussion will be on Wednesday, April 16 at 11 AM.  The conversation will be held in the Archibald Motley exhibition. Copies of Harlem Summer can be purchased at the Nasher Museum Store.  Museum members receive a 10% discount. 


Questions can be directed to Jessica Ruhle at