Walter Dean Myers (born Walter Milton Myers ; August 12, 1937 – July 1, 2014) was an American writer of children's books best known for young adult literature . He wrote more than one hundred books including picture books and nonfiction. He won the Coretta Scott King Award for African-American authors five times.  His 1988 novel Fallen Angels is one of the books most frequently challenged in the U.S. because of its adult language and its realistic depiction of the Vietnam War .
Myers was the third U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature , serving 2012 and 2013.  He also sat on the Board of Advisors of the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators ( SCBWI ).
Walter Milton Myers was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia . After his mother died while giving birth to his younger sister, Myers was given over to Florence Dean, the first wife of his biological father George Myers. Dean raised him in Harlem , New York City, and Myers later took "Dean" as his middle name in honor of his foster parents Florence and Herbert.  Herbert Dean was an African-American man and his wife was a part-German and part-Native American woman who taught English at the local high school.
Myers' life as a child centered on the neighborhood and the church. The neighborhood protected him and the church guided him. He was smart but did not do that well in school, and was considered a disruptive student.  Suffering from a speech impediment, he cultivated the habit of writing poetry and short stories and acquired an early love of reading.  Myers attended Public School 125 on Lasalle Street, before dropping out (although Stuyvesant High School now claims him as a graduate) and joining the U.S. Army on his 17th birthday. 
Myers wrote well in high school, which one of his teachers recognized. She also suspected that he would drop out and advised him to keep writing no matter what happened. He did not exactly understand what that meant but years later, while working on a construction job in Chicago, he remembered her words.   Myers would write at night, soon writing about his difficult teenage years. When asked what he valued most, he replied, "My books. They were my only real friends growing up."
Myers lived in Jersey City, New Jersey , with his family.  His family includes his wife; son, author and illustrator Christopher Myers ; son, Michael; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A daughter, Karen, predeceased him.
For the years 2012 and 2013 Myers was the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by appointment of the Library of Congress , a two-year position created to raise national awareness of the importance of lifelong literacy and education. 
On July 1, 2014, Myers died at Beth Israel Medical Center in Midtown Manhattan  after a brief illness.   His last written work was an op-ed for The New York Times, "Where Are the People of Color in Children's Books?" in which he calls for a more complete representation of African Americans in children's literature.  A We Need Diverse Books grant and award were named after him.
Myers received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 1994 for his contribution in writing for teens.  For his lifetime contribution as a children's writer he was U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2010.  The ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award recognizes one writer and a particular body of work for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature". Myers won the annual award in 1994, citing four books published from 1983 to 1988: Hoops (1983), Motown and Didi (1985), Fallen Angels (1988), and Scorpions (1988). The young-adult librarians observed that "these books authentically portray African-American youth, but their appeal is not limited to any particular ethnic group. The writing of Walter Dean Myers illustrates the universality of the teenage experience in urban America."  He was a two-time runner-up for the annual Newbery Medal , recognizing the previous year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children", in 1989 for The Scorpion and in 1993 for Somewhere in the Darkness .  The ALA split the Newbery several years later, establishing the Michael L. Printz Award for young-adult literature. Myers was the inaugural winner for Monster (HarperCollins, 1999), which was thereby designated the year's "best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit".  
Myers first published book was a contest winner: Where Does the Day Go? , written by Myers and illustrated by Leo Carty (Parents Magazine Press, 1969). It won a Council on Interracial Books for Children Award, 1968. 
Myers was a finalist for the for Young People's Literature : in 1999 for Monster , in 2005 for Autobiography of My Dead Brother , and in 2010 for Lockdown .  Myers is mentioned in Sharon Creech 's 2001 poetic novella Love That Dog , in which a young boy admires Myers and invites him to visit his class.
- Mr. Monkey and the Gotcha Bird (Delacorte, 1984). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Leslie Morrill.
- How Mr. Monkey Saw the Whole World (Doubleday, 1996). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Synthia Saint James .
- Looking for the Easy Life (HarperCollins, 2011). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Lee Harper .
- Turning Points: When Everything Changes (Troll Communications, 1996). Ages 4-6. With Mireille Eckstein and Judith Viorst . Part of the Troll Target Series.
My Name is America
Contributions to the My Name is America series
- The Journal of Joshua Loper: A Black Cowboy, the Chisholm Trail, 1871 . (Scholastic, 1999). Ages 8-12. Part of the My Name is America series.
- We Were Heroes: The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, a World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944 (Scholastic, 1999). Ages 10-14. Part of the My Name is America series. Featuring the invasion of Normandy .
- Included in Dear America: The Nation at War: Thew World War II Collection: Box Set
- Down to the Last Out: The Journal of Biddy Owens: The Negro Leagues, 1948 (Scholastic, 2001). Ages 8-12. Part of the My Name is America series.
- Included in the Dear America: The Seasons of Bravery Collection: Box Set
- Adventures in Granada (Viking 1985). Ages 8-12. Arrow Series.
- The Hidden Shrine (Viking, 1985). Ages 8-12. Arrow Series.
- Duel in the Desert (Viking, 1986). Ages 8-12. Arrow Series.
- Ambush in the Amazon (Viking, 1986). Ages 10-14. Arrow Series.
- Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid (Delacorte, 1988). Ages 8-12. Two recently adopted children help their friend try to get adopted, and try to help their baseball team win.
- Mop, Moondance, and the Nagasaki Knights (Delacorte, 1992). Ages 8-12.
- Fallen Angels (Scholastic, 1988). Ages 13+. About young men in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War .
- Sunrise Over Fallujah (Scholastic, 2008). Ages 13+. Follows a young U.S. soldier's experience during the 2003 invasion of Iraq ; sequel to Fallen Angels
- The Get Over (HarperTeen Impulse, 2013). Short story, prequel to Monster.
- Monster (HarperCollins, 1999). Ages 13+. A 16-year-old black boy is charged with murder.
- Republished Monster: A Graphic Novel (Amistad, 2015). Adapted by Guy Sims and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile .
Also known as The News Crew
- The Cruisers (Scholastic, 2010). Ages 10-14. The News Crew Series.
- The Cruisers Book 2: Checkmate (Scholastic, 2011). Ages 10-14. The News Crew Series.
- The Cruisers Book 3: A Star is Born (2012). Ages 10-14. The News Crew Series.
- The Cruisers Book 4: Oh, Snap! (Scholastic, 2013). Ages 10-14. The News Crew Series.
18 Pine St.
Walter Dean Myers wrote the first 3 books in the series as Stacie Johnson.  The remainder of the books were not written by Myers.
- Sort of Sisters (Delacorte, 1993). Writing as Stacie Johnson.
- The Party (Delacorte, 1993). Writing as Stacie Johnson.
- The Prince (Delacorte, 1993). Writing as Stacie Johnson.
- The Test
- Sky Man
- Fashions by Tasha
- Intensive Care
- Dangerous Games
- Cindy's Baby
- Kwame's Girl
- The Diary
- Taking Sides
- Where Does a Day Go? (Parents Magazine Press, 1969). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Leo Carty
- The Dragon Takes a Wife ( Bobbs-Merrill , 1972). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi .
- Republished, The Dragon Takes a Wife (Scholastic, 1995). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Fiona French.
- The Dancers (Parents Magazine Press, 1972). Ages 5-8. Illustrated by Anne Rockwell.
- Fly, Jimmy, Fly! , ( Putnam , 1974). Ages 5-8. Illustrated by Moneta Barnett
- The Blues of Flats Brown (Holiday House, 2000). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Nina Laden.
- Looking Like Me (Egmont USA, 2009). Ages 5-8. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers .
- We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart (HarperCollins, 2011). Ages 6-10. Written with son Christopher Myers .
- The Golden Serpent (Viking, 1980). Ages 6-9. Illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen .
- The Story of the Three Kingdoms (HarperCollins, 1995). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Ashley Bryan .
- The Black Pearl and the Ghost; or, One Mystery after Another (Viking, 1980). Ages 9-11. Illustrated by Robert Quackenbush . Mindless Behavior.
- Sniffy Blue: Ace Crime Detective Case of the Missing Ruby and Other Stories (Scholastic, 1996). Ages 7-10. Illustrated by David J. Sims.
Science fiction and fantasy
- Brainstorm (Franklin Watts, 1977). Ages 12+. Illustrated with photographs by Chuck Freedman.
- The Legend of Tarik (Viking, 1981). Ages 12+.
- Shadow of the Red Moon (1995). (Scholastic, 1995). Ages 8-12. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers .
- Three Swords for Granada (Holiday House, 2002). Ages 8-12. Illustrated by John Speirs.
- On A Clear Day (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2014). Ages 12+. Futuristic novel about young heroes.
- The Nicholas Factor (Viking, 1983). Ages 8-12.
- Tales of a Dead King ( William Morrow and Company , 1983). Ages 8-12.
- The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner (HarperCollins, 1992). Ages 10-14. A 12-year-old boy goes after a man that murdered his uncle.
- A Place Called Heartbreak: A story of Vietnam (Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1993). Ages 8-12.
- Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam (HarperCollins, 2012). Ages 8-12. Illustrated by Ann Grafalconi.
- The Glory Field (Scholastic, 1994). Ages 13+. A family's account of their struggle in America from the 18th century to the 1990s.
- At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victoria England (Scholastic, 1999). Ages 8-12.
- Also known as An African Princess: From African Orphan to Queen Victoria's Favorite
- Harlem Summer (Scholastic, 2007). Ages 9-14.
- Riot (Egmont USA, 2009). Ages 12+. A fictional account of the New York Draft Riots in 1863, during the American Civil War , by the 15-year-old daughter of a black man and an Irish immigrant.
- Invasion (Scholastic, 2013). Ages 12+. World War II.
- Juba! (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2015). Ages 12+. A fictionalized history of William Henry Lane, a.k.a. Master Juba , a dancer who lived in the mid 1800s in New York City and London .
- Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff ( Viking Press , 1975). Ages 8-12.
- Mojo and the Russians (Viking, 1977). Ages 10-14.
- Victory for Jamie ( Scholastic Books , 1977). Ages 12+.
- It Ain't All for Nothin' (Viking, 1978). Ages 12+.
- The Young Landlords (Viking, 1979). Ages 8-12. A group of kids take over an apartment building and struggle to maintain it.
- Hoops ( Delacorte Press , 1981). Ages 12+. A promising basketball player tries not to end up like his former pro-playing coach.
- Won't Know Till I Get There (Viking, 1982). Ages 10-14. A 14-year-old boy, his newly adopted brother, and his friends are forced to work in a retirement home
- Motown and Didi : A Love Story (Viking, 1984). Ages 12+. A young couple's romance, and their struggle living in Harlem.
- The Outside Shot (Delacorte, 1984). Ages 12+. A talented Harlem basketball player goes to college to play
- Sweet Illusions (New York Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 1986). Ages 13+. A story about teenage pregnancy in which readers write their own endings.
- Crystal (Viking, 1987). Ages 12+. Centers on a girl attempting to navigate as a young fashion model.
- Scorpions (Harper & Ross, 1988). Ages 8-12. A 12-year-old is asked to lead his brother's gang.
- Included in Newbery Award Library IV (HarperCollins 1998)
- The Mouse Rap (HarperCollins, 1990). Ages 12+. a 14-year-old is determined to find the loot from a 1930s bank heist.
- Somewhere in the Darkness (Scholastic, 1992). Ages 13+
- Darnell Rock Reporting (Delacorte Press, 1994). Ages 8-12. A 13-year-old boy joins the school newspaper.
- Slam! (Scholastic, 1998). Ages 12+. A young black teen with an attitude problem deals with life on and off the basketball court
- Handbook for Boys: A Novel (HarperCollins, 2002). Ages 10+. Illustrated by Matthew Bandsuch.
- Somewhere in the Darkness (2003). A young boy travels to Arkansas with a father who did not raise him.
- The Dream Bearer (HarperCollins, 2003). Ages 10-14.
- The Beast (Scholastic, 2003). Ages 13+. A 17-year-old boy comes back to his home in Harlem from his boarding school to find that the girl he loves is using drugs
- Shooter (HarperCollins, 2004). Ages 13+. Two friends of a school shooter give an account of him to the police.
- Autobiography of My Dead Brother (HarperCollins, 2005). Ages 13+. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers . A 14-year-old boy copes with life in Harlem by drawing
- Game (HarperCollins, 2008). Ages 8-12+.
- Dope Sick (HarperCollins, 2009). Ages 13+. A a teenager kills a policeman, and must contemplate his future.
- Lockdown (HarperCollins, 2010). Ages 13+.
- Kick (HarperCollins, 2011). Ages 13+. Co-authored with Ross Workman
- Carmen (Egmont USA, 2011). Ages 12+. An urban, modern retelling of an opera.
- All the Right Stuff (HarperCollins, 2012). Ages 13+. A basketball-loving teenager finds summer work at a soup kitchen, where he interacts with someone who changes how he thinks about life
- Darius & Twig (HarperCollins, 2013). Ages 13+.
- Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom (HarperCollins, 1991).
- Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary (Scholastic, 1993). Ages 12+.
- Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly (HarperCollins, 2000). Ages 8-12. Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins.
- Young Martin's Promise (Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1993). Ages 8-12.
- I've Seen the Promised Land: the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (HarperCollins, 2004). Ages 2-8. Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins.
- One More River to Cross: An African American Photograph Album (Harcourt Brace, 1996). Ages 8-12.
- Toussaint L'ouverture: The Fight for Haiti's Freedom . (Simon & Schuster, 1996). Ages 8-12. Illustrated by Jacob Lawrence .
- Harlem (Scholastic, 1997). Ages 8-12. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers
- Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom (Dutton, 1997). Ages 8-12.
- The Greatest: The Life of Muhammad Ali (Scholastic, 2000). Ages 12+.
- Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion (HarperCollins, 2009). Ages 5-8. Illustrated by Alix Delinois.
- USS Constellation: Pride of the American Navy (Holiday House, 2004). Ages 10-13.
- Antarctica: Journeys to the South Pole (Scholastic, 2004). Ages 8-12.
- Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage (HarperCollins, 2006). Ages 8-12. With Bill Miles
- Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth be Told (HarperCollins, 2008). Ages 4-8. Illustrated by Bonnie Christensen .
- Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History (HarperCollins, 2017). Illustrated by Floyd Cooper .
- Bad Boy: A Memoir (HarperCollins, 2001). Ages 12+. Myers' life as a young boy growing up in 1940s Harlem.
- The World of Work: A Guide to Choosing a Career (Bobbs-Merrill, 1975).
- Social Welfare ( Franklin Watts , 1976). Ages 12+.
- Just Write: Here's How! (HarperCollins, 2012) Ages 13+.
- The Life of a Harlem Man . (Parents Magazine Press, 1968). Illustrated by Gene Riarti.
- Brown Angels: An Album of Pictures and Verse (HarperCollins, 1993). Ages 8-12.
- Glorious Angels: A Celebration of Children (HarperCollins, 1995). Ages 4-8.
- "The Mother"
- "The Father"
- "The Village"
- Angel to Angel: A Mother's Gift of Love (HarperCollins, 1998). Ages 8-12.
- Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices (Holiday House, 2004). Age 12+.
- "Clara Brown's Testimony" Part I
- Mali Evans, 12, Student
- Macon R. Allen, 38, Deacon
- Henry Johnson, 39, Mail Carrier
- Willie Arnold, 30, Alto Sax Player
- Terry Smith, 24, Unemployed
- "Clara Brown's Testimony" Part II
- Christopher Lomax, 60, Retired
- Junice Lomax, 23, Unemployed
- Hosea Liburd, 25, Laborer
- William Riley Pitts, 42, Jazz Artist
- J. Milton Brooks, 41, Undertaker
- John Reese, 70, Ballplayer, Janitor
- Eleanor Hayden, 51, Nanny
- Tom Fisher, 38, Blues Singer, Livery Cabbie
- Dennis Chapman, 40, Laborer
- C.C. Castell, 48, On Disability
- Reuben Mills, 34, Artist
- Jimmy Wall, 14, Boy Evangelist
- John Lee Graham, 49, Street Historian
- Willie Schockley, 23, Street Vendor, Guitar Player
- Etta Peabody, 60, Insurance Adjuster
- Delia Pierce, 32, Hairdresser
- "Clara Brown's Testimony", Part III
- Lois Smith, 12, Student
- Jesse Craig, 38, Salesman
- Richmond Leake, 53, Newsstand Dealer
- Helen Sweetland, 27, Party Girl
- Joshua De Grosse, 19, Student, City College
- Betty Pointing, 64, Clerk
- Jonathan Smalls, 29, Urban Planner
- Adam Crooms, 24, Furniture Mover
- "Clara Brown's Testimony" Part IV
- Malcolm Jones, 16, Student
- Gerry Jones, 14, Student
- Mary Ann Robinson, 30, Nurse, Harlem Hospital
- Ann Carter, 32, Switchboard Operator/Benjamin Bailey, 38, Building Maintenance
- Ernest Scott, 26, Poet
- Caroline Fleming, 42, Live-in Maid
- Effie Black, 58, Church Organist
- Marcia Williams, 17, High School Senior
- Harland Keith, 33, Reporter
- Lawrence Hamm, 19, Student Athlete
- Sam DuPree, 28, Hustler
- "Clara Brown's Testimony" Part V
- Didi Taylor, 14, Student
- Dana Green, 18, Education Major, City College
- Bill Cash, 30, Boxer
- William Dandridge, 67, Mechanic
- Charles Biner, 57, Composer, X-Ray Technician
- John Brambles, 55, Numbers Runner
- Homer Grimes, 83, Blind Veteran
- Frank Griffin, 82, Veteran
- Lemuel Burr, 81, Veteran
- "Clara Brown's Testimony" Part VI
- Lydia Cruz, 15, Student
- Kevin Broderick, 20, Pre-Law, City College
- Earl Prentiss, 39, Motorman
- Clara Brown, 87, Retired
- "Some people, places, and terms"
- Jazz (Holiday House, 2006). Ages 5-8. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers .
- "Louie, Louie, how you play so sweet"
- "America's Music"
- "Oh, Miss Kitty"
- Contributor to Soul Looks Back in Wonder edited by Tom Feelings (1993)
- "Migration" in The Great Migration: An American Story by Jacob Lawrence (1993).
Novels in Verse
- Blues Journey (Holiday House, 2003). Ages 6-11. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers .
- Street Love (HarperCollins, 2006). Ages 13+. Poetic novel of a romance in Harlem
- Amiri & Odette: A Love Story (Scholastic, 2009). Ages 12+. The classic Swan Lake ballet recast in hip-hop verse. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe .
- 145th Street: Short Stories (Delacorte, 2000). Ages 13+.
- "Big Joe's Funeral"
- "The Baddest Dog in Harlem"
- "Angela's Eyes"
- "The Streak"
- "Kitty and Mack: A Love Story"
- "A Christmas Story"
- "A Story in Three Parts"
- "Block Party-145th Street Style"
- What They Found: Love on 145th Street (Random House, 2007) Ages 14-17.
- "the fashion show, grand opening, and bar-b-que memorial service"
- "what would jesus do"
- "the life you need to have"
- "some men are just funny that way"
- "jump at the sun"
- "law and order"
- "the man thing"
- "society for the preservation of sorry-butt negroes"
- "the real deal"
- "marisol and skeeter"
- "poets and plumbers"
- "combat zone"
- A Time to Love: Stories from the Old Testament. (Scholastic, 2003). Ages 12+. Illustrated by son Christopher Myers .
- "Preface" by Chaplain, Captain, Michael Dean Myers
- "Introduction" by Walter Dean Myers
- "Samson and Delilah"
- "Reuben and Joseph"
- "Ruth and Naomi"
- "Abraham and Isaac"
- "Zillah and Lot"
- "Aser and Camiel"
- "Artist's Note" by Christopher Myers
Individual short stories
- "Things that go Gleep in the Night" in Don't Give Up the Ghost: The Delacorte Book of Original Ghost Stories edited by David Gale (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1993)
- "Reverend Abbott and those Bloodshot Eyes" in When I was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up edited by Amy Ehrlich (Candlewick Press 1996)
- "Stranger" in No Easy Answers edited by Donald R. Gallo (1997)
- "Sunrise Over Manuas" in From One Experience to Another: Award-Winning Authors Sharing Real-Life Experiences Through Fiction edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss (1997)
- "The Escape" in Trapped! Cages of Body and Mind edited by Lois Duncan (1998)
- "The Beast is in the Labyrinth" in Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers (1999) edited by Judy Blume
- "Block Party - 145th Street Style" in Big City Cool: Short Stories about Urban Youth edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss (2002)
- "The Prom Prize" in Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories about Being a Guy edited by Nancy E. Mercado. (2005).
- "Midnight Bus to Georgia" in This Family is Driving Me Crazy: Ten Stories about Surviving Your Family edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss (2009)
- "Pirate" in Thriller (Harper Collins, 2011). Ages 8-12. Edited by Jon Scieszka . Illustrated by Brett Helquist . Guys Read Library of Great Reading Series.
- "Mr. Linden's Library" in The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2011).
- "Cage Run" in Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court edited by Mark Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr. (Candlewick Press, 2011)
- Tags (HarperCollins, 2013). Ages 13+. Short E-story, in play form.
- "Roach" in Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns edited by Michael Cart (HarperTeen, 2015)
- "Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push" in Flying Lessons and Other Stories , edited by Ellen Oh. (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017). Ages 8-12.
- "Introduction" to Dracula (Scholastic, 2000).
- Forward to A Poem as Big as New York City: Little Kids Write About the Big Apple (2012)
- Introduction to A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students (2013)