Walter Dean Myers

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by rmengisteab1
Last updated 6 years ago

Language Arts
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Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers

Walter was born in West Virgina on August 12th, 1937. He lost his mother @2 years old. He was raised Harlem & adopted by Florence & Herbert Dean. His life revolved around his neigborhood and church. His neighbor protected him and his church guided him. Walter was a good student & really smart kid and tried to resist as much as he could, but didn't do well in school. He had a speech impediment. Teachers decided he couldn't pronounce certain words & encouraged him to write. He used words he could pronounce & began writing little poems & short stories.

...the discovery of a short story by James Baldwin about the black urban experience. It gave me permission to write about my own experiences. Somehow I always go back to the most turbulent periods of my own life. I write books for the troubled boy I once was, and for the boy who lives within me still. It’s what I do. Since, he has authored over 100 books.

-Council on Interracial Books for Children contest in 1969- Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults- Coretta Scott King Award x5-Michael L. Printz Award-National Book Award Finalist- New York Times Bestseller-served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a post appointed by the Library of Congress.

Turning Point...


Early Life

Walter wrote really well in H.S. and one of his English teacher quickly noticed it. She strongly advised him to continue to write no matter what happened to him. She always reminded him that writing "is what you do." When he realized his parents couldn't afford college he dropped out of H.S. and joined the army on his 17th birthday. After the army, Walter was struggling through life "holding on just enough to survive." During this time he remembered his high school teacher’s words, and began writing at night. I wrote short columns for a local tabloid and stories for men’s magazines.


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