"You think I want to live like I'm somebody's throwaway?"
July 5, 2014 6:41 PM Subscribe
Walter Dean Myers
posted by magstheaxe (17 comments total)
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, a best-selling and deeply respected children's author and tireless champion of literacy and education, died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was 76 years old.
From Myer's official website:
In a career spanning over 45 years, Walter Dean Myers wrote more than 100 books for children of all ages. His impressive body of work includes two Newbery Honor Books, three National Book Award Finalists, and six Coretta Scott King Award/Honor-winning books. He was the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.
In 2012-13, he served as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a position created in part by the Library of Congress.
A list of his works (via NYT)
His gritty and realistic novels for teens include Fallen Angels
(1988) about the Vietnam War (and is one of the books most frequently challenged in the U.S. because of its adult language and its realistic depiction of the war), Sunrise Over Fallujah
(2008) about the Iraq war and Monster
(1998) about a 16-year-old boy charged with murder. His 'books were usually narrated by teenagers trying to make right choices when the wrong ones were so much easier. There was the 17-year-old hiding from the police in Dope Sick
, or the boarding school student in The Beast
who learns his girlfriend is hooked on drugs. He was careful not to make judgments, and in the crime story Monster
left doubt over whether the narrator was really guilty.
Myers was a lifelong proponent of diversity in children’s literature, and just a few months ago wrote "Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?"
"I’ve reached an age at which I find myself not only examining and weighing my life’s work, but thinking about how I will pass the baton so that those things I find important will continue. In 1969, when I first entered the world of writing children’s literature, the field was nearly empty. Children of color were not represented, nor were children from the lower economic classes. Today, when about 40 percent of public school students nationwide are black and Latino, the disparity of representation is even more egregious. In the middle of the night I ask myself if anyone really cares."
Myers' novel "On a Clear Day
" is scheduled to come out in September.