Author Walter Dean Myers
Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
Meet the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Walter Dean Myers. Myers will talk about his work and answer questions. Book signing provided by Bookbug and refreshments.
About Walter Dean Myers
Born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and raised in Harlem, Walter Dean Myers developed a lifelong passion for books and writing. He has written more than fifty books including picture books and nonfiction.
He is a five-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors, and was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress.
“Reading Is Not Optional”
From The New York Times...
On the rough-edged streets of Harlem in the 1940s, the young Walter Dean Myers knew better than to carry his library books where other children could see them.
“I was teased if I brought my books home,” said Mr. Myers, now a prolific and award-winning children’s book author. “I would take a paper bag to the library and put the books in the bag and bring them home. Not that I was that concerned about them teasing me — because I would hit them in a heartbeat. But I felt a little ashamed, having books.”
As an African-American man who dropped out of high school but built a successful writing career — largely because of his lifelong devotion to books — Mr. Myers said his message would be etched by his own experiences.
“I think that what we need to do is say reading is going to really affect your life,” he said in an interview at his book-cluttered house here in Jersey City, adding that he hoped to speak directly to low-income minority parents. “You take a black man who doesn’t have a job, but you say to him, ‘Look, you can make a difference in your child’s life, just by reading to him for 30 minutes a day.’ That’s what I would like to do.” More...