By Walter Dean Myers
(Amistad, Hardcover, 9780060295233, 224pp.)
Publication Date: May 2001
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Into a memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking, and unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers richly weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940s and 1950s: a loving home life with his adopted parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood. Although Walter spent much of his time either getting into trouble or on the basketball court, secretly he was a voracious reader and an aspiring writer. But as his prospects for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and his books for comfort. Here in his own words is the story of one of the strongest voices in children's and young adult 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.
Myers captured what it was like to be young and black while growing up in the city. As he often said, he wrote books he would have wanted to read as a kid. Myers died after a brief illness. He was 76. More at NPR.org
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“[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