July 2, 2014

Walter Dean Myers 1937-2014 - He Will Be Missed

I was very saddened today to learn of the passing of Walter Dean Myers.  He was one of my most favorite YA authors going back to when I first started reading YA for a class I was taking in college. He quickly became one of my favorite authors.  I had never really read anything like him before, and I was blown away at what he write for "kids". Throughout the years I've continued to read his books staying amazed at what he produced.  I could only hope to be a tiny bit as good as him.

His ability to write books that spoke to the reality that many youth faced was beyond comparison.  Every book I read by him contained characters that could've walked off the page and become real people. They dealt with issues faced by teens everyday - and they dealt with them in a way that was open and honest not candy-coating anything. They were relatable, raw and told teens they were not alone.  The world of young adult literature will miss him and his stories.

I was lucky enough to interview him for the blog just a bit back. Check out the links below.  

Review of Lockdown

Plus you should check out his website: Walter Dean Myers

A few books to read by him if you've never read him before:

Fallen Angels
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.

This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee 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.

Somewhere in the Darkness
Jimmy hasn't seen his father in nine years. But one day he comes back -- on the run from the law. Together, the two of them travel across the country -- where Jimmy's dad will find the man who can exonerate him of the crime for which he was convicted. Along the way, Jimmy discovers a lot about his father and himself -- and that while things can't always be fixed, sometimes they can be understood and forgiven.


  1. He was a wonderful writer. My students always loved his books and so did I.

  2. Fallen Angels is one of my favorite books ever. I was saddened to hear about his passing. May he rest in pace.