Title Profile & Character Information

Dope Sick


The itch starts when things get too heavy for Lil J. Skin popping or stealing pain pills from his mom help him relax. But Lil J's focus is wandering because money is short, and his man Rico knows a way to make some quick cash. It's supposed to be an easy deal, but it isn't so simple when the buyer is an undercover cop.

With a gunshot wound to the arm, Rico in jail, and a police officer clinging to life, Lil J is starting to get dope sick. He'd do anything to change the last twenty-four hours, and when he stumbles into an abandoned crack house, it actually might be possible. . . .

Walter Dean Myers weaves elements of magical realism into a harrowing story about drug use, violence, alternate perceptions of reality, and second chances.

2011  Nevada Young Reader's Award

NameLil J
TraitsAfrican American
Drug addict


GenreYoung adult fiction
Cautionary tale
TopicsInner-city life
Drug addicts
Conduct of life
Supernatural beings
African American youth
Drug addiction
Life choices
SettingNew York