It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Walter Dean Myers passed away on July 1, 2014. In a career spanning 45+ years, Walter Dean Myers wrote more than 100 books for children and was bestowed numerous honors, incuding two Newbery Honor Books, three National Book Award Finalists, and six Coretta Scott King Award/Honor-winning books. In 2012 he was appointed the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. That same year, he was recognized as an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree for his substantial lifetime accomplishments and contribution to children’s literature.
Statement from Richard Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO, Scholastic Inc.: “Walter Dean Myers changed the face of children’s literature by representing the diversity of the children of our nation in his award-winning books. He was a deeply authentic person and writer who urged other authors, editors and publishers not only to make sure every child could find him or herself in a book, but also to tell compelling and challenging stories that would inspire children to reach their full potential. My favorite quote from Walter is a clarion call to embrace the power of books to inform and transform our lives – he said, ‘Once I began to read, I began to exist.’ He will be missed by us all."
Richard Robinson also shared this anecdote with us: "I will never forget when Walter appeared at a convention to speak about his book, Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary, which was published by Scholastic. As we waited for the booksellers to arrive, more than 100 hotel staff crowded into the dining room, drawn to this tall, dignified author they deeply admired."
Photo credit: Malin Fezehai