Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff

Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff Book Poster Image
Funny and sensitive story of friendship.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A description of a fight. A minor character is shot and killed when he holds up a store. The father of a boy dies, the father of a girl abandons his family, and a minor character dies.


Kids talk about sex.


One minor off-color expression.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character stays out late at a party one night and drinks a can of beer. One character is a drug addict.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids of all races can identify with this funny and sensitive story of friendship. The characters ring true as they play, confront difficulties, discuss life, and try to grow up. There are some slightly mature situations as the kids deal with the allure of drugs and sex, and the death of a parent.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTeacher1234 October 27, 2010

Great Discussion Starter

I am a teacher, reading this book aloud to my class. We have had some wonderful discussions, not only about how to be a friend, but how to be someone going thro... Continue reading
Parent of a 2 and 4-year-old Written bynlittle1 December 11, 2009

the best real world connection for students!

I have read this book personally and with my students. It is wonderful. There is no better real world connection in literature. The students love it! It talks a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydezzy August 19, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written bymz.adorable April 8, 2009

Fast Sam,Cool Clyde, and Stuff

what wisdom do walter dean myers show in this book

What's the story?

Stuff moves to 116th Street in Harlem and meets the boys and girls who will be his friends. They stir up plenty of humor just hanging with each other, but when tragedy strikes, the group decides to form a club called the Good People to help each other. Mostly funny, sometimes serious, this is a wonderful portrait of friendship.


Is it any good?

Plenty of humor and realistic dialogue make the characters in this story come alive. Walter Dean Myers has written numerous books about the gritty life in Harlem. In this book he concentrates on kids who deliberately do good for one another, stay away from drugs and sex, and have fun together. Meanwhile, they help each other cope with serious difficulties.

The episodic story progresses until readers have a bright portrait of these kids who grow up in a tough neighborhood, but who remain kids. They have the support of their families and each other, and learn the difference between being people and playing roles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role that friendship plays in each character's life. How do their friends help them overcome difficult situations?

Book details

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