RIP Walter Dean Myers: 1937 - 2014 | Richland Library Skip to content
Walter Dean Myers

RIP Walter Dean Myers: 1937 - 2014

Literature has lost a great author today with the passing of Walter Dean Myers.

He was the first author to win the Printz award (for "Monster"), established in 2000 to recognize young adult literature of exceptional literary merit. He co-wrote "Kick" with 13-year-old Ross Workman after receiving a letter from the young man asking for writing advice. Myers was appointed by the Library of Congress as Ambassador for Young People's Literature for 2012-2013. Myers said at the time in an interview with Publishers Weekly:

“We all know we should eat right and we should exercise, but reading is treated as if it’s this wonderful adjunct. ‘Reading takes you to faraway places,’ ” Myers said. “We’re still thinking in terms of enticing kids to read with a sports book or a book about war. We’re suggesting that they’re missing something if they don’t read but, actually, we’re condemning kids to a lesser life. If you had a sick patient, you would not try to entice them to take their medicine. You would tell them, ‘Take this or you’re going to die.’ We need to tell kids flat out: reading is not optional.”

Myers won the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1994 for his lasting contribution for young people's literature, but the decades since that award have proven Myers's relevance and powers as an author again and again. He wrote over 100 books for readers of various ages, some of which are linked below, and he will be greatly missed.


Amazon Says: Into the summer heat of New York’s Spanish Harlem strides Carmen, a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets. When she first meets José, she falls for him hard. He more...
Amazon Says: Into the summer heat of New York’s Spanish Harlem strides Carmen, a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets. When she first meets José, she falls for him hard. He’s not like the gansta types she knows—tipo duros who are tough, who think they are players. But José has a quick temper, and he likes to get his own way. And nobody gets in Carmen’s way.  When Escamillo rolls into town, everyone takes notice of the Latino Jay-Z—a quadruple-threat singer/rapper/producer/businessman. But he only notices one person—Carmen. And Carmen has given up on José—he’s not going to get her out of her tough neighborhood, el barrio, and into the action. Escamillo will. But José won’t let that happen. Passion, love, and betrayal explode into tragedy in this modern retelling of an enduring love story.  "...this concentrated dose of high drama is full of sharp repartee and would make a lively classroom read-aloud." - Publisher's Weekly less...
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Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers
Amazon Says: Blues--what you mean to me? Are you my pain and misery, or my sweet, sweet company? The opening verse of this father-son collaboration asks the question that forms the thread more...
Amazon Says: Blues--what you mean to me? Are you my pain and misery, or my sweet, sweet company? The opening verse of this father-son collaboration asks the question that forms the thread throughout this amazing journey as words, art, and music explore the timeline of the blues--through slavery, poverty, lynching, love spurned, fear of dying and more. Call-and-response verse combines with memorable collage images in a compelling evocation of the blues experience. less...
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Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Amazon Says: This New York Times bestselling novel from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a more...
Amazon Says: This New York Times bestselling novel from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives. 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., 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. less...
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Amazon Says: Celebrate America's freedom dream with National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and Caldecott Honor artist Christopher Myers!Over t more...
Amazon Says: Celebrate America's freedom dream with National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and Caldecott Honor artist Christopher Myers!Over the centuries, from a blank canvas of mountains, plains, and canyons, the American landscape has been richly carved by revolution, progress, and possibility. Yet its story is still being written—by its diverse people who are united by the freedom in their hearts. With graceful, lyrical prose and evocative paintings, Newbery Honor author Walter Dean Myers and Coretta Scott King Honor artist Christopher Myers, the father-son team who created Harlem, pay tribute to the spirit and soul that is America. less...
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Kick by Walter Dean Myers
Amazon Says: For the very first time in his decades-long career writing for teens, acclaimed and beloved author Walter Dean Myers writes with a teen, Ross Workman.Kevin Johnson is thirteen more...
Amazon Says: For the very first time in his decades-long career writing for teens, acclaimed and beloved author Walter Dean Myers writes with a teen, Ross Workman.Kevin Johnson is thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants to prove he has more than just star-player potential. Kevin's never been in any serious trouble . . . until the night he ends up in jail. Enter Sergeant Brown, a cop assigned to be Kevin's mentor. If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around before it's too late. less...
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