According to the New York Times, best-selling children’s book author, Walter Dean Myers, has died at the age of 76. His son, Christopher, stated he died at Beth Israel Medical Center after a brief illness.
His books usually portrayed portraits of young Blacks who battled troubles in their lives, whether in the streets, home and/or at school. Some of his titles included Monster, Lockdown, and Fallen Angels.
“He wrote about disenfranchised black kids, particularly boys, and he wrote about them with extraordinary honesty and also with compassion,” Avi, a children’s book author and a longtime friend of Myers, said in a telephone interview last week. “Besides his books, his legacy is his compassionate identity with these young people.”
Myers was a three-time National Book Award nominee and received the Coretta Scott King Book Award for African American fiction five times. He served as national ambassador for young people’s literature from 2012 to 2013, a position created in part by the Library of Congress.