Reynolds, Weatherford Named Winners of 2018 Walter Dean Myers Award

The winners and honorees of the third annual "Walter Award," given by the We Need Diverse Books organization, have been announced.
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 carolinerichmond@diversebooks.org​​ ​or​ ​Steph​ ​Sinkhorn​ ​at​ ​​sesinkhorn@diversebooks.org​​

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