Walter Dean Myers’s fiction and nonfiction books have reached millions of young people. A prolific author of more than one hundred titles, he received every major award in the field of children’s literature. He wrote two Newbery Honor Books, eleven Coretta Scott King Award winners, three National Book Award finalists, and the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. He also received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and was the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was a 2010 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award numerous times. From 2012 to 2013, he served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature with the platform “Reading is not optional.”
When asked about his readers, Walter would often say, “Young people are some of the best people I know.” In his most-beloved books, Walter explored the themes of taking responsibility for your life and reminding readers that everyone always gets a second chance. Myers passed away in 2013.