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In his own words...
As a boy, Walter Dean Myers was quick-tempered and physically strong, always ready for a fight. He also read voraciously-he would check out books from the library and carry them home, hidden in brown paper bags in order to avoid other boys' teasing. He aspired to be a writer. But growing up in a poor family in Harlem, his hope for a successful future diminished as he came to realize fully the class and racial struggles that surrounded him. He began to doubt himself and the values that he had always relied on, attending high school less and less, turning to the streets and his books for comfort.
In a memoir that is gripping, funny, and ultimately unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers travels back to his roots in the magical world of Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s. Here is the story of one of the strongest voices in young people's literature today.
Walter Dean Myers is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, New York Times bestselling author of Monster, and winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. The critically acclaimed author of Kick, Lockdown, Dope Sick, Game, Street Love, The Autobiography of My Dead Brother, Handbook for Boys, and Bad Boy, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. Walter's novel shooter is the inspiration for the film Case 219.
His latest picture-book collaboration with his son, Christopher Myers, We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart, is a love letter to the United States that reimagines what it means to be an American. Visit www.who-is-america.com to find out more!
Walter lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.
“[A] superb memoir. Young writers will find inspiration here.”
-School Library Journal
“Myers paints a fascinating picture of his childhood growing up in Harlem in the 1940s.”
“Many of the individual scenes have power…and the author’s voice and heart are consistently heard and felt throughout.”
-The Horn Book
“A powerful read. Will make the reader laugh out loud & sigh with satisfaction.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“A thoughtful, cautionary and inspiring tale.”
“This memoir joins the ranks of stellar literary autobiographies, such as Fleischman’s Abracadabra Kid and Zindel’s Pigman and Me.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books