Walter Dean Myers, African American author of over 100 books for children and teens, passed away on July 1, 2014, after a brief illness. Myers’ award winning and realistic work has touched many over the years. “He wrote with heart and he spoke to teens in a language they understood,” Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, said in a statement. We celebrate the life and work of Walter Dean Myers by sharing some of his titles here, with you.
A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book, 2000.
A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren’t the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is there at all.
Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner, 1989.
Autobiography of My Dead Brother
Jesse pours his heart and soul into his sketchbook to make sense of life in his troubled Harlem neighborhood and the loss of a close friend.
In 1920s Harlem, sixteen-year-old Mark Purvis, an aspiring jazz saxophonist, gets a summer job as an errand boy for the publishers of the groundbreaking African American magazine, “The Crisis,” but soon finds himself on the enemy list of mobster Dutch Shultz.
Sunrise Over Fallujah
Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.
A Junior Library Guild selection
If Harlem high school senior Drew Lawson is going to realize his dream of playing college, then professional, basketball, he will have to improve at being coached and being a team player, especially after a new–white–student threatens to take the scouts’ attention away from him.
A Junior Library Guild selection
In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy “swells” of New York City.
Teenage Reese, serving time at a juvenile detention facility, gets a lesson in making it through hard times from an unlikely friend with a harrowing past.
Friends Zander, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi, caught in the middle of a mock Civil War at DaVinci Academy, learn the true cost of freedom of speech when they use their alternative newspaper, TheCruiser, to try to make peace.
All the Right Stuff
The summer after his absentee father is killed in a random shooting, Paul volunteers at a Harlem soup kitchen where he listens to lessons about “the social contract” from an elderly African American man, and mentors a seventeen-year-old unwed mother who wants to make it to college on a basketball scholarship.
Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry were friends in Virginia, but now that they are both involved in the Normandy invasion, the differences in their positions is uncomfortable, for Josiah is a white infantryman and Marcus is a black transport driver, the only role the segregated army will allow him.
Prequel to: Fallen Angels and Sunrise Over Fallujah.
Darius & Twig
“Two best friends, a writer and a runner, deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem”– Publisher’s note.
The new novel by Walter Dean Myers, On a Clear Day, is scheduled to be released in September.
For more information on Walter Dean Myers, you can visit his site.
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