Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Walter Dean Myers.
At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England
Sophisticated readers will appreciate how the author uncovered the story of a young African girl who left her native land and became known as Sarah Forbes Bonetta in Queen Victoria's England. Primary sources are used to reveal this authentic story about a real African princess who met a British queen.
Rich paintings in limited colors convey the power of a people and a piece of their history. Done in the cadence of the Blues, this unique and powerful picture book inspired by the uniquely African American music and related experience is for older readers.
Brown Angels: An Album of Pictures and Verse
Writer extraordinaire, Walter Dean Myers, created original poetry to accompany selections of late 19th (perhaps early 20th) Century monochromatic photographs of African American children. The result is a handsome, sepia-toned album of poems and pictures that not only read aloud well but also capture the universal joys of children and childhood.
Glorious Angels: A Celebration of Children
Children from various backgrounds and cultures appear in these early 20th century photographs, linked by an original poem that celebrates the joy of family and childhood. The format is reminiscent of an old-fashioned photo album while the emotions conveyed are very contemporary.
Experience the explosion of color and movement of jazz as you pulsate with its beat in a vibrant series of poems and paintings. This father-and-son team explores a variety of jazz forms in an unforgettable book.
In 2008, the first Odyssey Award for distinguished children's/young adult audiobook was presented to this read-along title. This package brings together the illustrations of the book with the featured Jazz music.
Looking Like Me
A boy named Jeremy defines himself in the context of his world. The animated narrator begins by looking in the mirror and seeing a boy, and then adds brother, son, artist, writer, and more as he interacts with his family and community. The lively poem concludes with a look at a very young author and illustrator and a short list of how they self-define.
Malcolm X : A Fire Burning Brightly
Walter Dean Myers is an award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people, and has penned a masterful, even-handed biography of Malcolm X for young readers. Leonard Jenkins, illustrator of Sunflower Island by Carol Greene, brings his bold, beautiful, collage-style paintings to the life of a man whose fire burned brightly and went out too quickly.
Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid
T.J. narrates the story of how he and his brother, nicknamed the Moondance Kid, become friends with Mop. Even after the boys are adopted they remain friends, though they worry about Mop – will she be adopted, too? A surprise ending which involves their shared love of baseball allows the children’s friendship to continue in this enjoyable novel.
Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion
Cassius Clay learned to box when he was twelve, trained by Joe Martin in his native Louisville, Kentucky. He would go on to win the Golden Gloves championship and to box in the Olympics. Clay stunned not only the sports world but the world as a whole by winning the world boxing championship and changing his name to Muhammad Ali when he embraced Islam. His portrait is painted in a chronological account, highlighting Ali's words in text and dramatic full-color paintings.
Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom
"A compelling exploration of the African-American experience from slavery through the 1960s civil rights movement to contemporary times. This fascinating book will engender pride in heritage for young African Americans and provide insight into American history for all." (From the publisher)
The Greatest Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali has long been a source of inspiration. In this new book from Walter Dean Myers, we see a story of determination, energy, pride, and strength. From a daring young boxer to man at war with a disease, Myers covers Ali's life with prowess and honesty.
The Journal of Biddy Owens: The Negro Leagues, Birmingham, Alabama, 1948
Have you ever thought about working for a baseball team, managing equipment and traveling to games? Thatâ€™s what 17-year-old Biddy Owens does during the era the Negro Baseball League. His realistic yet fictional account of his adventures not only describes his meetings with famous players, but also details the prejudice and discrimination he faces as an African American.
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