Sad to hear today that another great author has passed away. American writer Walter Dean Myers wrote more than 80 books for children and young people and is considered one of the best children’s writers of this time. If you haven’t read any of his work I really encourage you to check them out at your local library.
Susan Katz of HarperCollins Children’s Books says that Walter “wrote books for the reader he once was, books he wanted to read when he was a teen. He wrote with heart and he spoke to teens in a language they understood.”
Miriam Altshuler, his literary agent, said Walter “wrote about children who needed a voice and their stories told.”
Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson said Walter ” 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.”
The things written about Walter are so inspiring. These are the kinds of qualities we need in children’s writers. I’m hoping I can do those things in my writing. This is what Walter said about writing: “I so love writing. It is not something that I am doing just for a living, this is something that I love to do.”
If you haven’t read any of Walter’s books before, how about trying Amiri and Odette: A Love Story. Here’s how Walter described it: “I had seen the ballet of Swan Lake as a child but it was as an adult, that I first noticed how significant a part the ever-present threat of violence played. This juxtaposition of great beauty and grace with a backdrop of pure evil stayed with me for years. As a writer, I absorb stories, allow them to churn within my own head and heart — often for years — until I find a way of telling them that fits both my time and temperament. I asked myself if there were modern dangers to young people similar to the magic spells of folklore. The answer of course, was a resounding yes, and I began to craft a modern, urban retelling of the Swan Lake ballet.”
Blessings and alofa to the family and friends of Walter Dean Myers. “Write RIP on the handball walls.”