Author: Walter Dean Myers

American author of both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Works

Book:Monster (Walter Dean Myers)

Monster

Walter Dean Myers

Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout.

Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of “the system,” cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life.

As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers’s writing at its best.

Book:Now is Your Time!

Now is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom

Walter Dean Myers

History has made me an African American. It is an Africa that I have come from, and an America that I have helped to create.

Since they were first brought as captives to Virginia, the people who would become African Americans have struggled for freedom. Thousands fought for the rights of all Americans during the Revolutionary War, and for their own rights during the Civil War. On the battlefield, through education, and through their creative genius, they have worked toward one goal: that the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness be denied no one.

Fired by the legacy of men and women like Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, Ida B. Wells, and George Latimer, the struggle continues today. Here is African-American history, told through the stories of the people whose experiences have shaped and continue to shape the America in which we live.

Book:Lockdown

Lockdown

Walter Dean Myers

When I first got to Progress, it freaked me out to be locked in a room and unable to get out. But after a while, when you got to thinking about it, you knew nobody could get in, either.

It seems as if the only progress that’s going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he’s picked for the work program at a senior citizens’ home. He doesn’t mean to keep messing up, but it’s not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he’s a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he’ll be able to convince himself.

Acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers offers an honest story about finding a way to make it without getting lost in the shuffle.

Book:Harlem

Harlem: A Poem

Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers

Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and James Baldwin have sung their songs about Harlem. Now Newbery Honor author Walter Dean Myers joins their chorus in calling to life the deep, rich and hope-filled history of this community. Christopher Myers’ boldly assembled art resonates with feeling and tells a tale all its own. The words and pictures together connect readers of all ages to the spirit of Harlem in its music, art, literature, and everyday life.

Book:Somewhere in the Darkness

Somewhere in the Darkness

Walter Dean Myers

Jimmy’s doing all right. He’s fourteen, lives in Harlem with Mama Jean, and is managing to hold his own in a tough and brutal world. One day Jimmy’s world changes when, in a dark hallway of his apartment building, a tall, thin man appears. The man is his father, Crab, who left nine years ago.Crab wants to be part of Jimmy’s life again, but Jimmy’s not so sure what he wants.

Book:Jazz

Jazz

Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers

From bebop to New Orleans, from ragtime to boogie, and every style in between, this collection of Walter Dean Myers energetic and engaging poems, accompanied by Christopher Myers bright and exhilarating paintings, celebrates different styles of the American art form, jazz. Jazz takes readers on a musical journey from jazzs beginnings to the present day. Time line, glossary.

Book:Slam!

Slam!

Walter Dean Myers

Seventeen-year-old Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He's seen ballplayers come and go, and he knows he could be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he'll make it to the top. Or maybe he'll stumble along the way. Slam's grades aren't that hot. And when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up.

Slam never doubted himself on the court until he found himself going one-on-one with his own future, and he didn't have the ball.

Book:Fallen Angels (1988)

Fallen Angels

Walter Dean Myers

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

Book:Motown and Didi

Motown and Didi

Walter Dean Myers

Motown lives in a burned-out building one floor above the rats, searching out jobs every day, working his muscles every night, keeping strong, surviving. Didi lives in her cool dream bubble, untouched by the Harlem heat that beats down on her brother until only drugs can soothe him. Didi escapes, without needles, in her tidy plans and stainless visions, etchings of ivycovered colleges where her true life will begin. Didi can survive inside her own safe mind, until Motown steps into her real world and makes it bearable. Together they can stand the often brutal present. What about the future?

Book:The Young Landlords

The Young Landlords

Walter Dean Myers

Five devoted friends become landlords and try to make their Harlem neighborhood a better place to live.

Book:Sunrise Over Fallujah

Sunrise Over Fallujah

Walter Dean Myers

Robin “Birdy” Perry, a new army recruit from Harlem, isn’t quite sure why he joined the army, but he’s sure where he’s headed: Iraq. Birdy and the others in the Civilian Affairs Battalion are supposed to help secure and stabilize the country and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. Officially, the code name for their maneuvers is Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the young men and women in the CA unit have a simpler name for it: WAR

Walter Dean Myers looks at a contemporary war with the same power and searing insight he brought to the Vietnam war of his classic, Fallen Angels. He creates memorable characters and drops them in Iraq, where they are supposed to help secure and stabilize Iraq and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. The young civil affairs soldiers soon find their definition of “winning” ever more elusive and their good intentions being replaced by terms like “survival” and “despair.”

Caught in the crossfire, Myers’ richly rendered characters are just beginning to understand the meaning of war in this powerful, realistic novel of our times.

Book:What They Found: Love on 145th Street

What They Found: Love on 145th Street

Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers returns to the world of 145th Street: Short Stories to show how love can be found, and thrive, in the most unlikely places. Curtis finds love in Iraq as he struggles to stay alive in a war he doesn’t want to fight, and Letha discovers her own beauty in the love of her child. There is the “good daughter” who realizes that there’s only one way to help her brother and her family. Other stories center on the daily drama of the Curl-E-Que beauty shop, or capture the slapstick side of passion.

Book:Autobiography of My Dead Brother

Autobiography of My Dead Brother

Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers

The thing was that me and Rise were blood brothers, but sometimes I really didn’t know him….

And so Jesse fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of his blood brother, Rise, and his comic strip, Spodi Roti and Wise, as he makes sense of the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and loss in a neighborhood where drive-bys, vicious gangs, and abusive cops are everyday realities.

Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers delivers an unforgettable novel about life’s hardest lessons, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Christopher Myers.

Book:Blues Journey

Blues Journey

Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers

Blues, blues, blues, blues, what you mean to me? Blues, blues, blues, blues, what you mean to me? Are you my pain and misery, or my sweet, sweet company? Renowned author Walter Dean Myers celebrates the African experience in America with a soulful, affecting blues poem that details the long journey from the Middle Passage to life today. Accompanied by Christopher Myers’s bold and powerful paintings, Blues Journey creates its own resonant music. Includes a time line, blues glossary, and author’s note.

Book:145th Street

145th Street: Short Stories

Walter Dean Myers

A salty, wrenchingly honest collection of stories set on one block of 145th Street. We get to know the oldest resident; the cop on the beat; fine Peaches and her girl, Squeezie; Monkeyman; and Benny, a fighter on the way to a knockout. We meet Angela, who starts having prophetic dreams after her father is killed; Kitty, whose love for Mack pulls him back from the brink; and Big Joe, who wants a bang-up funeral while he’s still around to enjoy it. Some of these stories are private, and some are the ones behind the headlines. In each one, characters jump off the page and pull readers right into the mix on 1-4-5.

Book:At Her Majesty's Request

At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England

Walter Dean Myers

In 1849, a young African girl came within moments of being sacrificed in the bloody Dahomian ritual called the “watering of the graves.” But Commander Frederick E. Forbes, the young British captain of the HMS Bonetta, intervened, provoking Dahomian King Gezo to offer the girl as a gift to Queen Victoria instead. Forbes named the girl Sarah Forbes Bonetta and took her back to England, where she became Queen Victoria’s protege.

Walter Dean Myers discovered the kernel of Sarah’s story in a bundle of original letters he purchased from a London book dealer. From these letters, along with excerpts from Queen Victoria’s diary, newspapers, and Forbes’s published account of the Dahomans, Myers pieced together Sarah’s life. In his unembellished narrative we learn about Sarah’s capture by the slave-trading Dahomans; her rescue by Forbes; her life in England under the Forbes’ care; her regular visits to the Queen; her stay at…[more]

Book:One More River to Cross

One More River to Cross: An African American Photograph Album

Walter Dean Myers

This intimate collection of photographs documents the African American experience, a journey from captivity to freedom, from south to north, east to west. It celebrates the courageous achievements of men and women whose defiant rejection of inequality and subjugation put their own lives at risk.

Book:Scorpions

Scorpions

Walter Dean Myers

Bad Trouble

Lately everybody’s messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal’s brother Randy’s in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack.

All the gang jive—Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it’s the only way to cop the bread for Randy’s appeal…

The story of twelve-year-old Jamal, whose life changes drastically when he acquires a gun. Though he survives the experience, it’s not without sacrificing his innocence and possibly his relationship with his best friend.

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