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“I was born top top a Thursday, the 12th of August, 1937, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. My name at birth was Walter Milton Myers. I was around two years old when my mother died and also then ns was inexplicably given to Florence and also Herbert Dean. Ns was raised in Harlem by Herbert, who was African-American and Florence, that was German and also Native American and also wonderful. They loved me very much and also I flourished to love Harlem.
As a child, my life revolved around my neighborhood and also church. The ar protected me and the church guided me. I stood up to as lot as ns could. I was smart (all youngsters are smart) however didn’t execute that well in school. I had a speech impediment and also often discovered myself leading with my fists once teased.
I uncovered solace in books. My mother read to me from a an extremely young age. From mine comfortable perch on her lap, I would watch as she moved her finger slowly throughout the page and also I’d imagine the characters. Reading driven me to discover worlds beyond my landscape, especially during dark times as soon as my uncle to be murdered and also my family became dysfunctional v alcohol and also grief.
I wrote well in high school and an English teacher (bless her!) known this and also advised me to keep on composing no issue what happened to me. “It’s what girlfriend do,” she said. I ended up dropping the end of high school (although currently Stuyvesant High insurance claims me as a graduate) and also joined the army on my 17th birthday.
After the army, i was struggling through life—holding top top just enough to survive. Remembering my high college teacher’s words, I started writing in ~ night. Ns wrote brief columns for a neighborhood tabloid and stories for men’s magazines.
A transforming point for me to be the exploration of a brief story through James Baldwin around the black city experience. It offered me permission come write about my own experiences. In which method I constantly go ago to the most turbulent periods of my very own life. Ns write publications for the troubled boy I when was, and also for the boy who stays within me still. It’s what ns do.”
— Walter Dean Myers
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He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award because that lifetime achievement in creating for young adults. He has actually won the Coretta Scott King Award 5 times and also received two Newbery Honors. His book, Monster, to be the very first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, a National book Award Finalist, and also a brand-new York times Bestseller. He yielded the 2009 may Hill Arbuthnot respect Lecture, a distinction reserved because that an separation, personal, instance who has made significant contributions come the field of children’s literature. Many recently, he offered as the nationwide Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a write-up appointed by the Library the Congress.