According to an announcement from Harper Collins, Walter Dean Myers has died at the age of 76 following a brief illness. He is the author of more than 100 books for children and teens. But most of all as we are starting to address diversity in children’s literature, his pioneering voice will be missed. He wrote about African-American children and teens in a way that honored them deeply. He will be missed on a vital level.
In library school back in the day, one of our required books in my YA Literature class was a Walter Dean Myers book, Fallen Angels. It was a book I would never have read on my own because it deals with war and soldiers and I just don’t tend to read that sort of fiction. But the quality of that writing kept me looking for all Walter Dean Myers books that followed. He wrote with such humanity that it was impossible to turn away.
Thanks to Fuse #8 for the news.