March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Reynolds, Weatherford Named Winners of 2018 Walter Dean Myers Award

Prolific author Carole Boston Weatherford’s picture book biography Schomburg:​ ​The​ ​Man​ ​Who​ ​Built​ ​a​ ​Library (Candlewick), about the Afro-Latino bibliophile and historian  Arturo Schomburg, has garnered the first-ever Walter Award in the Younger Readers category. Long Way Down (Atheneum) by Jason Reynolds won the top award in the Teen category. Reynolds’s All American Boys, coauthored by Brendan Kiely, received the inaugural “Walter” in 2016. Both of this year’s winners were selected as 2017 SLJ Best Books. In its third year, The Walter honors outstanding titles for young people that celebrate diversity.

For more information, see the press release below.

The​ ​2018​ ​Walter​ ​Dean​ ​Myers​ ​Awards​ ​and​ ​Honor​ ​Books for​ ​Outstanding​ ​Children’s​ ​Literature
Teen​ ​and​ ​Younger​ ​Readers​ ​Categories

January​ ​11,​ ​2018

The​ ​We​ ​Need​ ​Diverse​ ​Books​ ​Walter​ ​Awards​ ​Judging​ ​Committee​ ​has​ ​selected​ ​the​ ​winners​ ​and honorees​ ​for​ ​the​ ​third​ ​annual​ ​Walter​ ​Dean​ ​Myers​ ​Awards​ ​for​ ​Outstanding​ ​Children’s​ ​Literature. This​ ​year’s​ ​awards​ ​comprise​ ​of​ ​two​ ​categories:​ ​​Teen​​ ​(​ages​ ​13-18​)​ ​and​ ​​Younger​ ​Readers​​ ​(​ages 9-13​).​ ​One​ ​winner​ ​in​ ​both​ ​categories​ ​and​ ​three​ ​Honor​ ​Books​ ​have​ ​been​ ​named.

2018​ ​Walter​ ​Award,​ ​Teen​ ​Category
Long​ ​Way​ ​Down​ ​​by​ ​Jason​ ​Reynolds

2018​ ​Walter​ ​Honors,​ ​Teen​ ​Category
You​ ​Bring​ ​the​ ​Distant​ ​Near​​ ​by​ ​Mitali​ ​Perkins
Disappeared​ ​​by​ ​Francisco​ ​X.​ ​Stork

2018​ ​Walter​ ​Award,​ ​Younger​ ​Readers​ ​Category
Schomburg:​ ​The​ ​Man​ ​Who​ ​Built​ ​a​ ​Library​ ​​by​ ​Carole​ ​Boston​ ​Weatherford,​ ​illustrated​ ​by Eric​ ​Velasquez

2018​ ​Walter​ ​Honor,​ ​Younger​ ​Readers​ ​Category
Forest​ ​World​ ​​by​ ​Margarita​ ​Engle

The​ ​Walter​ ​Awards​ ​Ceremony​ ​will​ ​be​ ​held​ ​​Friday,​ ​March​ ​16,​ ​2018,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​James​ ​Madison Memorial​ ​Building​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Library​ ​of​ ​Congress.​ ​The​ ​newest​ ​National​ ​Ambassador​ ​for​ ​Young People’s​ ​Literature,​ ​Jacqueline​ ​Woodson,​ ​will​ ​serve​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Ceremony’s​ ​Emcee​ ​and​ ​Guest Speaker.

The​ ​Ceremony​ ​will​ ​be​ ​preceded​ ​by​ ​a​ ​symposium​ ​on​ ​diversity​ ​in​ ​children’s​ ​literature,​ ​co-hosted by​ ​the​ ​Library​ ​of​ ​Congress.​ ​​The​ ​symposium,​ ​titled​ ​“Seen​ ​and​ ​Heard:​ ​The​ ​Power​ ​of​ ​Books,”​ ​will be​ ​moderated​ ​by​ ​Newbery​ ​Medalist​ ​and​ ​bestselling​ ​author​ ​Linda​ ​Sue​ ​Park.

WNDB​ ​will​ ​be​ ​donating​ ​a​ ​minimum​ ​of​ ​2000​ ​copies​ ​of​ ​each​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2018​ ​Walter​ ​Award-winning titles,​ ​​Long​ ​Way​ ​Down​​ ​and​ ​​Schomburg​,​ ​to​ ​schools​ ​with​ ​limited​ ​budgets​ ​across​ ​the​ ​United States.

The​ ​Walter​ ​Dean​ ​Myers​ ​Award,​ ​also​ ​known​ ​as​ ​“The​ ​Walter,”​ ​is​ ​named​ ​for​ ​prolific​ ​children’s​ ​and young​ ​adult​ ​author​ ​Walter​ ​Dean​ ​Myers​ ​(1937-2014).​ ​Myers​ ​was​ ​the​ ​third​ ​National​ ​Ambassador for​ ​Young​ ​People’s​ ​Literature,​ ​appointed​ ​in​ ​2012​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Library​ ​of​ ​Congress.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​a​ ​champion of​ ​diversity​ ​in​ ​children’s​ ​books.​ ​The​ ​Walter​ ​Awards​ ​honor​ ​Myers’​ ​memory​ ​and​ ​his​ ​literary heritage,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​celebrate​ ​diversity​ ​in​ ​children’s​ ​literature.

“Significant​ ​changes​ ​in​ ​the​ ​publishing​ ​industry​ ​have​ ​been​ ​especially​ ​visible​ ​with​ ​The​ ​Walters,” notes​ ​Ellen​ ​Oh,​ ​founding​ ​director​ ​of​ ​WNDB.​ ​“The​ ​eligible​ ​titles​ ​submitted​ ​over​ ​the​ ​last​ ​three years​ ​since​ ​the​ ​Awards’​ ​inception​ ​have​ ​increased​ ​dramatically,​ ​from​ ​50​ ​titles​ ​in​ ​2016,​ ​to​ ​almost 80​ ​in​ ​2017,​ ​to​ ​nearly​ ​200​ ​books​ ​that​ ​were​ ​considered​ ​for​ ​the​ ​2018​ ​Walters.​ ​The​ ​positive​ ​impact of​ ​the​ ​Walters​ ​feels​ ​like​ ​a​ ​fitting​ ​legacy​ ​to​ ​the​ ​late,​ ​great​ ​Walter​ ​Dean​ ​Myers.”

The​ ​2018​ ​Walter​ ​Awards​ ​Judging​ ​Committee​ ​included​ ​the​ ​following​ ​seven​ ​members:​ ​Terry Hong​ ​(Co-Chair,​ ​Smithsonian​ ​BookDragon),​ ​Maria​ ​Salvadore​ ​(Co-Chair,​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Maryland, Politics​ ​&​ ​Prose​ ​Children’s​ ​Book​ ​Buyer),​ ​Derek​ ​Ivie​ ​(Youth​ ​Services​ ​Coordinator,​ ​Suffolk Cooperative​ ​Library​ ​System),​ ​Dora​ ​Maher​ ​(Information​ ​Specialist,​ ​San​ ​Diego​ ​Unified​ ​Schools), Nayantara​ ​Mhatre​ ​(Diversity​ ​&​ ​Social​ ​Studies​ ​Coordinator,​ ​Ethical​ ​Culture​ ​Fieldston​ ​School), Ruth​ ​Lowery​ ​(Associate​ ​Chair,​ ​Department​ ​of​ ​Teaching​ ​and​ ​Learning,​ ​Ohio​ ​State​ ​University), and​ ​Deborah​ ​Taylor​ ​(Youth​ ​Services​ ​Director,​ ​Enoch​ ​Pratt​ ​Free​ ​Library).​ ​Committee​ ​oversight was​ ​provided​ ​by​ ​Walters​ ​Award​ ​Co-Director​ ​Kathie​ ​Weinberg.

For​ ​more​ ​information,​ ​please​ ​contact​ ​Caroline​ ​Richmond​ ​at​​ ​or​ ​Steph​ ​Sinkhorn​ ​at​ ​​​​

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