Street Love Book Poster Image

Street Love



A hip-hop, Romeo & Juliet-inspired love story.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the main characters have mostly good qualities and demonstrate care and compassion, there are instances where their judgment is lax.


A fight breaks out between two teens, one teen cuts another with a shank, or object sharpened into a weapon.


Quite a bit of sexual innuendo. A girl discusses that she's not a virgin. A mother worries that her son will be wooed by a girl with legs that "fall apart as if surprised."

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A woman is convicted of possession and sale of drugs. Adults smoke and drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book deals with issues of class, street life, love, and runaway teens. There are also discussions of selling drugs, imprisonment, and the child welfare system.

What's the story?

Damien has it all: an acceptance letter from Brown University, a loving family, and a mom-approved girlfriend. On the flip side, Junice is losing everything: her mother goes to jail for drug possession and she's left caring for her little sister and her grandmother who's slipping into dementia. She's struggling under the weight of it all while trying to keep her sister and herself out of the foster care system. When Damien and Junice meet, their love is unlikely and more powerful than either could have imagined.

Is it any good?


Award winning author Walter Dean Myers brings hip-hop, love, and poetry together for a Romeo and Juliet-like story of teen love. Myers' poetry is rhythmic, authentic, and clever. Damien is supposed to go to Brown University and date the girl his mother likes. Junice is supposed to end up like all the women in her family -- with a long rap sheet and a life spent tangled in the system. Neither teen is sure where they are going in life, but both know there has to be more than what is expected of them.

The cadence of Myers' poetry is grounded in hip-hop beats. The rhythmic, driving prose captures the desperation, hurt, anger, hope, love, and innocence of all the characters. In the novel adults and teens struggle with their evolving roles. Mothers want their kids to live the lives they have planned for them. Teens want to assert more control over their futures. All are desperate to be understood. STREET LOVE, with its urban setting, hip-hop roots, and popular theme is an attractive reading choice. Parents may not like the main characters' choices in the end, but it does provide a great opportunity for discussion.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the unrealistic expectations we place on others. What presumptions did Damien have about Junice? What about Junice mother's demands? How does one's expectations influence their behavior and their view of others?

Book details

Author:Walter Dean Myers
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:October 31, 2006
Number of pages:144
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

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Teen, 13 years old Written byhailzzz101 September 30, 2009

OK book.

it was an ok book. i read it last year and thought it was good at some points and bad at others. it had some content that isnt appropriate for younger kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old August 14, 2013

A fair book

I enjoyed street love however it was not an easy read. I am not an exceptional reader and read at my age level. I would recommend this book to teens and preteens, but not to younger kids. Though the book is short it is not an easy read. It's also very different from Walter dean Meyers other titles so even if you enjoyed them you are not gaurunteed to like this.
Kid, 12 years old January 16, 2011

Perfect for older kids, but lil kids put that book down..( u wouldn't understand it)

This book isn't bad, but its a bit confusing, becuase of the way it was set-up. Its kinda like romeo and juliet but the African American Version. Of course Walter Dean Myers, writes good African Americans books and it wasn't the best.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages


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