Walter Dean Myers

1937 - 2014

(2008 Kerlan Award)


The Kerlan Award is given "in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children's literature and in appreciation for generous donation of unique resources to the Kerlan Collection for the study of children's literature." The books listed below are owned by the University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library.


Myers, Walter Dean. (2000). 145th Street : short stories. New York: Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC M996on

Big Joe's funeral -- The baddest dog in Harlem -- Fighter -- Angela's eyes -- The streak -- Monkeyman -- Kitty and Mack: a love story -- A Christmas story -- A story in three parts -- Block Party, 145th street style. Ten stories portray life on a block in Harlem.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2012). All the right stuff. New York : Amistad. INTR-FIC M996al

The summer after his absentee father is killed in a random shooting, Paul works at a Harlem soup kitchen, where he listens to lessons about "the social contract" from an elderly African American man and mentors a seventeen-year-old unwed mother who wants to make it to college on a basketball scholarship.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1998). Amistad : a long road to freedom. New York: Dutton Children's Books. 973.04 M996a

Traces of the 1839 revolt of Africans against their Spanish captors aboard the slave ship Amistad, their landing in the United States and arrest for piracy and murder, and the trials which ended in their acquittal by the Supreme Court.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1999). Angel to angel : a mother’s gift of love. New York: HarperCollins. 811.54 M9966a

An illustrated collection of poems about African American children and their mothers.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2004). Antarctica : journeys to the South Pole. New York: Scholastic Press. 919.8 M996a

Stories of the expedition parties that explored Antarctica including James Cook, the first explorer to cross the Antarctic Circle, the Amudsen expedition to the South Pole, Admiral Byrd's air flight explorations of the continent.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1999). At her majesty’s request : an African princess in Victorian England. New York: Scholastic Press. 921 B721m

Biography of the African princess saved from execution and taken to England where Queen Victoria oversaw her upbringing and where she lived for a time before marrying an African missionary.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2001). Bad boy : a memoir. New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins Publishers.

The author relates his experiences growing up in Harlem, the home of Sugar Ray Robinson and Langston Hughes, in the 1940s and 1950s.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2003). Blues journey. (Illustrated by Christopher Myers). New York: Holiday House. 811.54 M9966bl

The poetry of the blues, America's music, outlines a history of the black experience sung by the people who lived it. The book is cast in classic blues structure of "call and response", the writer exploring the poetry of the blues and the artist responding with his own pictorial riffs.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2010). The Cruisers. New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC M996cr

Friends Zander, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi, caught in the middle of a mock Civil War at DaVinci Academy, learn the true cost of freedom of speech when they use their alternative newspaper, The Cruisers, to try to make peace.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2010). Darius & Twig. New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC M996cr

Friends Zander, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi, caught in the middle of a mock Civil War at DaVinci Academy, learn the true cost of freedom of speech when they use their alternative newspaper, The Cruiser, to try to make peace.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1972). The dragon takes a wife. (Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi). Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. PRIM-FIC M9965DR

Unable to fight a knight and thus win a wife, Harry the dragon seeks help from an unconventional fairy.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1988). Fallen angels. New York: Scholastic Inc. INTR-FIC M996fa.

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1997). Harlem : a poem. (Pictures by Christopher Myers). New York: Scholastic Press. 811 M996h

A poem celebrating the people, sights, and sounds of Harlem.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2007). Harlem summer. New York: Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC M996ha

In 1920s Harlem, sixteen-year-old Mark Purvis, an aspiring jazz saxophonist, gets a summer job as an errand boy for the publishers of the groundbreaking African American magazine, "The Crisis", but soon finds himself on the enemy list of mobster Dutch Shultz.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2004). Here in Harlem : poems in many voices. New York: Holiday House. 811.54 M9966h

Acclaimed writer Walter Dean Myers celebrates the people of Harlem with these powerful and soulful first-person poems in the voices of the residents who make up the legendary neighborhood: basketball payers, teachers, mail carriers, jazz artists, maids, veterans, nannies, students, and more. Exhilarating and electric, these poems capture the energy and resilience of a neighborhood and a people.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2008). Ida B. Wells : let the truth be told. (Illustrated by Bonnie Christensen). New York : HarperCollinsPublishers. 921 W4549my

Born a slave, Ida B. Wells was freed by the 13th Amendment in 1865. A school started in Holly Springs, Mississippi, her father sent all his children. When her parents died, 16-year-old Ida kept the family together, working as a teacher and coming home on weekends for household tasks. An article she wrote for her church paper led to other papers asking for her essays. By 1889, she was writing full-time, defending the rights of black people, revealing the truth of lynching and the unfair treatment of black people throughout the United States.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1978). It ain't all for nothin'. New York: Viking Press. INTER-FIC M996IT

A young black boy must decide whether to go along with his father, who is a thief, or reject his father's way of life and risk losing him.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2004). I’ve seen the promised land : the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 921 K535my

Pictures and easy-to-read text introduce the life and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2006). Jazz. (Illustrated by Christopher Myers). New York: Holiday House. 811.54 M9966j

Illustrations and poetic text celebrate the roots of jazz music.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2010). Lockdown. New York : HarperTeen/Amistad. INTR-FIC M996Lo

Teenage Reese, serving time at a juvenile detention facility, gets a lesson in making it through hard times from an unlikely friend with a harrowing past.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2009). Looking like me. (Illustrated by Christopher Myers). New York : Egmont USA. PRIM-FIC M996Lo

Jeremy sets out to discover all of the different "people" that make him who he is, including brother, son, writer, and runner.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2000). Malcolm X : a fire burning brightly. (Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 320.5 M996m

Tells the story of who Malcolm X was and what he fought so hard for, the equality of African Americans.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1993). Malcolm X : by any means necessary : a biography. New York: Scholastic. 921 X1m

Tells the story of Malcolm Little, who went from being president of his class, to prison, and finally to spokesman for what being Black means in America.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1999). Monster. (Illustrated by Christopher Myers). New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins Publishers. INTR-FIC M996mn

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1984). Motown and Didi : a love story. New York: Viking Kestrel. INTR-FIC M996MO

Motown and Didi, two teenage loners in Harlem, become allies in a fight against Touchy, the drug dealer whose dope is destroying Didi's brother, and find themselves falling in love with each other.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1990). The Mouse rap. New York: Harper & Row. INTR-FIC M996MP

During an eventful summer in Harlem, fourteen-year-old Mouse and his friends fall in and out of love and search for a hidden treasure from the days of Al Capone.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1991). Now is your time! : the African-American struggle for freedom. New York: HarperCollins. 973 M996n

A history of the African-American struggle for freedom and equality, beginning with the capture of Africans in 1619, continuing through the American Revolution, the Civil War, and into contemporary times.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2001). Patrol. (Illustrations by Ann Grifalconi). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. PRIM-FIC M9966pa

A frightened American soldier faces combat in the lush forests of Vietnam.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2009). Riot. New York : Egmont USA. INTR-FIC M996ri

In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy "swells" of New York City.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1988). Scorpions. New York: Harper & Row. INTR-FIC M996SC

After reluctantly taking on the leadership of the Harlem gang, the Scorpions, Jamal finds that his enemies treat him with respect when he acquires a gun--until a tragedy occurs.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1996). Slam! New York: Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC M996SL

Sixteen-year-old "Slam" Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1996). Smiffy Blue : ace crime detective : the case of the missing ruby and other stories.  (Illustrations by David J.A. Sims). New York: Scholastic. INTR-FIC M996SM

Famous crime fighter Smiffy Blue blunders his way to solving the mystery of a missing formula and three other cases.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1992). Somewhere in the darkness. New York: Scholastic. INTR-FIC M996SO

A teenage boy accompanies his father, who recently escaped from prison, on a trip that turns out to be a time of, often painful, discovery for them both.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2004).  USS Constellation : pride of the American navy. New York: Holiday House. 359.8 M996u

The USS Constellation won the first American naval victory in 1799.  The author outlines her travels, her heroic role in intercepting African slavers, her exploits in the Civil War.  Included are archival plans and photographs, and a timeline tracing the two ships that share this name.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2007). What they found : love on 145th street. New York: Wendy Lamb Books. INTR-FIC M996wh

Fifteen interrelated stories explore different aspects of love, such as a dying father's determination to help start a family business -- a beauty salon -- and the relationship of two teens who plan to remain celibate until they marry.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1989). The young landlords. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Puffin Books. INTR-FIC M996yo

Five devoted friends become landlords and try to make their Harlem neighborhood a better place to live.


Author Information

Bishop, Rudine Sims. (1990). Presenting Walter Dean Myers. Boston : Twayne Publishers. PS3563.Y48 Z57 1990

Learning About Walter Dean Myers (Compiled by Marilyn Fischer, Carol Levandowski, Carol Marlowe, and Barbara Snyder with Kay E. Vandergrift in the Young Adult Literature)

Myers, Walter Dean 1937- (Stacie Johnson, Walter M. Myers). (2011). In Something about the author (Vol. 229, pp.133-144). Detroit: Gale. REF PN 451 .S6

Myers, Walter Dean 1937- (Stacie Johnson, Walter M. Myers). (2009). In Something about the author (Vol. 193, pp.131-140). Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Myers, Walter Dean 1937 - (Walter M. Myers). (2005). In Something about the author (Vol. 157, pp.166-175). Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Myers, Walter Dean 1937 - (Walter M. Myers). (2000). In Something about the author (Vol. 109. pp.163-172). Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Myers, Walter Dean 1937 - (Walter M. Myers). (1993). In Something about the author ( Vol. 71, pp.133-137). Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Myers, Walter Dean 1937- . (1985). In Something about the author (Vol. 41, pp.152-155). Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Myers, Walter Dean 1937- . (1982). In Something about the author (Vol. 27, pp. 153). Detroit: Gale. PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Novak, Terry. (1999). Walter Dean Myers (1937 - ) biography. In E. S. Nelson (Ed.),  Contemporary African American novelists : a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook (pp. 360-365). Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press. PS374.N4 C658 1999

Walter Dean Myers 1937- . (1986). In Something about the author autobiography series (Vol. 2, pp. 143-156). Detroit: Gale. Online Something about the Author database.

A video interview with Walter Dean Myers from Readingrockets

Walter Dean Myers Homepage


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812


Revised and updated 12/21/15

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Phone: 218-726-8102
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