As a boy, Myers was quick-tempered and physically strong, always ready for a fight. He also read voraciously—he would check out books from the library and carry them home, hidden in brown paper bags in order to avoid other boys' teasing. He aspired to be a writer (and he eventually succeeded).
But as his hope for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and to his books for comfort.
Here, in his own words, is the story of one of the most important voices of our time.
Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story that was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist. In 2016, Monster was turned into a film starring Jennifer Hudson, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., and A$AP Rocky.
The late Walter Dean Myers was a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, who was known for his commitment to realistically depicting kids from his hometown of Harlem.
Available as an e-book for the first time on the 25th anniversary of its publication, Fallen Angels has been called one of the best Vietnam War books ever and one of the great coming-of-age Vietnam War stories. Filled with unforgettable characters, not least Peewee Gates of Chicago who copes with war by relying on wisecracks and dark humor, Fallen Angels “reaches deep into the minds of soldiers” and makes “readers feel they are there, deep in the heart of war.” Fallen Angels has won numerous awards and honors, including the Coretta Scott King Award, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Booklist Editors Choice, and a School Library Journal Best Book. Fallen Angels was #16 on the American Library Association’s list of the most frequently challenged books of 1990–2000 for its realistic depiction of war and those who fight in wars.
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.
The Scorpions are a gun-toting Harlem gang, and Jamal Hicks is about to become tragically involved with them in this authentic tale of the sacrifice of innocence and the struggle to steer clear of violence.
This Newbery Honor Book will challenge young men to consider their own decisions as they come of age in a complex and often frustrating society.
Pushed by a bully to fight and nagged by his principal, Jamal is having a difficult time staying in school. His home life is not much better, with his mother working her fingers to the bone to try to earn the money for an appeal for Jamal's jailed older brother, Randy.
Jamal wants to do the right thing and help earn the money to free his brother by working, but he's afraid to go against the Scorpions. Jamal eventually pulls free of the gang's bad influence, but only through the narrowest of escapes.
Walter Dean Myers, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, sensitively explores the loyalty and love between friends faced with hard choices. Scorpions is 25 years old, but the issues of poverty and violence make it a timeless powerful read—sadly as relevant as ever.