Walter Dean Myers, Award-Winning Author and Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Passes at 76

School Library Journal
Author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers died on July 2 following a short illness. He was 76. The award-winning author of more than 100 works for children and young adults — including Monster (HarperCollins, 1999), the first novel to win the Printz Award, as well as Fallen Angels (Scholastic, 1988), Scorpions (HarperCollins, 1988), and Sunrise Over Fallujah (Scholastic, 2008) — Myers was passionately outspoken about the importance of reading and the need for greater diversity in literature. Regard for Myers and his influence ran wide and deep. “I am so deeply hollowed by Walter’s passing,” emailed award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson. “He was a groundbreaker, an activist, a guide, and most of all, a friend… I don’t think a whole lot of us would be publishing if Walter hadn’t broken such amazing ground, open such tightly sealed doors. This world is different because of his voice in it. I’ve spent the past hours wishing for one more conversation with him.”

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx