Books by Walter Dean Myers

INVASION by Walter Dean Myers
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"An action-packed novel that will help young readers understand the brutality of war. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
D-Day, June 6, 1944, is the setting for Myers' powerful prequel to Fallen Angels (1988) and Sunrise over Fallujah (2008). Read full book review >
OH, SNAP! by Walter Dean Myers
Released: Aug. 1, 2013

"Myers once again offers a story of smart kids living out their middle school days as Cruisers "on the high seas of life." (Fiction. 9-13)"
The fourth installment of the Cruisers series finds Zander Scott and friends unwittingly involved in an international investigation. Read full book review >
DARIUS & TWIG by Walter Dean Myers
Released: April 23, 2013

"Myers at his impassioned best. (Fiction. 13 & up)"
A beautifully written story of friendship and the strength required to rise above limiting circumstances. Read full book review >
A STAR IS BORN by Walter Dean Myers
Released: Aug. 1, 2012

"This fine volume easily stands on its own, but readers will look forward to the fourth book, already in the works. (Fiction. 9-13) "
In the third installment of the series, Myers offers another slice of middle school life at Harlem's Da Vinci Academy for gifted and talented students. Read full book review >
ALL THE RIGHT STUFF by Walter Dean Myers
Released: April 24, 2012

"A novel that will provide teachers and others a relevant tool for introducing and discussing a complex subject. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Until he met Elijah, 16-year-old Paul never considered how one person's decisions and actions might affect the entire community. Read full book review >
JUST WRITE by Walter Dean Myers
Released: April 24, 2012

"Good advice on the craft of writing from someone who should know. (writing tips, further reading on writing, about the author, a list of the author's books) (Nonfiction. 14 & up)"
The third National Ambassador for Young People's Literature offers a how-to guide for young writing enthusiasts. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: May 1, 2011

The Myers team shares their heartfelt and stirring vision of an America flawed but filled with promises and dreams. Read full book review >
CARMEN by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: April 26, 2011

As he did with Swan Lake in Amiri & Odette (2009), Myers takes a classic story and gives it a new twist and fresh voice. Read full book review >

KICK by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

The police spot a Ford Taurus with no headlights on weaving down a street, and when the officer puts his lights on, the driver of the Ford brakes, speeds up and drives into a light pole. Read full book review >

THE CRUISERS by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

In the first volume of a planned quartet, Myers introduces eighth graders Zander, LaShonda, Bobbi and Kambui, students at Da Vinci Academy, a middle school for the gifted and talented in Harlem, and staff of The Cruiser, an alternative to the school newspaper. Read full book review >

LOCKDOWN by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

Fourteen-year-old Reese Anderson has already spent 22 months at the oxymoronically named Progress Center, and his prison world is delineated in painstaking detail—eternal stasis, a non-life, ever vulnerable to random violence and the threat of detention, added time and being sent upstate. Read full book review >

MUHAMMAD ALI by Walter Dean Myers
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

Muhammad Ali's life story is interwoven with significant historical events of the latter half of the 20th century—the American civil-rights movement, the war in Vietnam and the growth of the Nation of Islam—and Myers shows how he used his star status to make the case for the rights of African-Americans, conscientious objection and religious freedom as well as boosting his own athleticism. Read full book review >

LOOKING LIKE ME by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 13, 2009

The Myerses—father and son—reunite for a poetic celebration of self that blends a sort of Whitman-esque hip-hop with '70s-vibe visuals. Read full book review >

RIOT by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Sept. 22, 2009

In a screenplay format similar to his groundbreaking Monster (2000), Myers tells the story of the Civil War Draft Riots in New York City. Read full book review >

DOPE SICK by Walter Dean Myers
FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 2009

Street life on DVR. Read full book review >

AMIRI & ODETTE by Walter Dean Myers
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

The acclaimed author uproots the 19th-century classical ballet Swan Lake from its enchanted world of mist-filled lakes and palaces and plunks it solidly down into the dark, danger-filled Swan Lake Projects. Read full book review >

IDA B. WELLS by Walter Dean Myers
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

In spite of adversity, or because of it, Ida B. Wells served as a catalyst in the civil-rights movement. Read full book review >

SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2008

In 2003, in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, young Robin Perry already wonders about "an enemy we can't identify and friends we're not sure about." Read full book review >

GAME by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

Drew Lawson is a basketball player in Harlem with "big-money dreams." Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: Sept. 11, 2007

A companion cycle to 145th Street: Short Stories (2000) examines love in its many forms in one Harlem neighborhood. Read full book review >

HARLEM SUMMER by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2007

Set in 1925 New York, this tour de force features walk-ons by a bevy of Harlem Renaissance notables. Read full book review >

STREET LOVE by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Oct. 31, 2006

Adult and young-adult aficionados of Myers's work will find this new offering revisits issues close to the author's heart: place (Harlem with all its love and squalor), race and the court system (you've got trouble if you're black and poor and in front of a judge), values for boys of color (street crime or achievement) and love of the community. Read full book review >

JAZZ by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 2006

A cycle of 15 poems and vivid, expressive paintings celebrate that most American genre of music: jazz. Read full book review >

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MY DEAD BROTHER by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

Jesse and his friend C.J. are trying to come to terms with "the violence that blows through our community like the winds of winter." Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

A history of Harlem's all-black regiment and its exploits in France during the Great War is marred by uneven storytelling and inadequate documentation. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

In this Whitman-esque ode to time and the city, the "crazy quilt patterns" of Harlem are reflected in the voices of the neighborhood's "big-time people and its struggling folk," of little girls and blind old veterans, poets and mechanics, boxers and nannies, ballplayers and blues singers, laborers and jazz artists. Read full book review >

NONFICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

A solid history of Antarctic exploration takes readers from the times when it was known simply as Terra Australis Incognita to the present—and beyond. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: June 15, 2004

The Constellation hasn't received the press accorded the Constitution, "Old Ironsides," but it was built at the same time (though broken up and rebuilt just prior to the Civil War), and also has a long, successful history in battle, as a hunter of slave ships, and as a training vessel. Read full book review >

SHOOTER by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2004

When a shooting occurs at Madison High with two students killed and six injured, investigators try to get to the heart of the tragedy in hopes of preventing further occurrences. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

Following up their portrait of Malcolm X (2000), Myers briefly traces Dr. King's career, and Jenkins adds kaleidoscopic collages that both depict major incidents and figures of the Civil Rights movement, and capture the time's turmoil. Dr. King certainly doesn't lack for biographers, but Myers is unusually even-handed, highlighting King's nonviolent philosophy while viewing the Movement's angrier, more violent outbursts with a certain degree of—not sympathy, exactly, but understanding. Read full book review >

THE BEAST by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

Journeys are hard, and often there are beasts to face along the way. Read full book review >

THE DREAM BEARER by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2003

A mysterious stranger is hanging around David Curry's Harlem playground. Read full book review >

BLUES JOURNEY by Walter Dean Myers
POETRY
Released: March 15, 2003

A powerful union of text and image transmutes itself into a work of art—and it explains what the blues is, besides. Read full book review >

THREE SWORDS FOR GRANADA by Walter Dean Myers
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

A turgid animal fantasy features Spanish cat musketeers crossing swords with thuggish dog invaders. Read full book review >

PATROL by Walter Dean Myers
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2002

Myers returns to the setting of his award-winning Fallen Angels (1988) with a stunning, unsettling picture book that attempts to put the reader into the heart and mind of an American soldier in Vietnam. Read full book review >

HANDBOOK FOR BOYS by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2002

In a self-help treatise in the guise of a novel, Myers's (Bad Boy, 2001, etc.) passion and concern for adolescent boys infuses the material and gives it a heartfelt urgency. Read full book review >

BAD BOY by Walter Dean Myers
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 31, 2001

Catalogues of books alternate with battles against educational authorities in this memoir from one of the deans of young-adult literature. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: April 1, 2001

Biddy Owens, 17, "equipment manager, scorekeeper, errand boy, and sometimes right fielder" for the Birmingham Black Barons, narrates in diary form the twilight time of the Negro Leagues. Read full book review >

THE GREATEST  by Walter Dean Myers
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

A fascinating and fast-paced biography weaves together the remarkable career of fighter Muhammad Ali with the political movements of the '60s and '70s. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 31, 2000

With but a light sprinkling of names and dates, Myers condenses his Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary (1993) to picture- book length. Read full book review >

MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers
Released: May 31, 1999

In a riveting novel from Myers (At Her Majesty's Request, 1999, etc.), a teenager who dreams of being a filmmaker writes the story of his trial for felony murder in the form of a movie script, with journal entries after each day's action. Read full book review >

Released: April 1, 1999

The teenage son of a former slave joins a cattle drive from Texas to Abilene, Kansas, in an entry in the My Name is America series. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

Working from a packet of letters found in a London bookshop, Myers reconstructs the life of one Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a child of royal African descent who was rescued by a British sea captain from a sacrificial rite in Dahomey, became a goddaughter of Queen Victoria, and grew up in a succession of upper middle-class households. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: April 30, 1998

Myers (Brown Angels, 1993; Glorious Angels, 1995; etc.) has gathered another collection of vintage photographs of African-American mothers and children, with a few fathers thrown into the mix, and a good number of solo shots of babies, young gentlemen, and young ladies. Read full book review >

HARLEM by Walter Dean Myers
NONFICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

A hot new artist and his distinguished father fashion a picture book with a stirring sound at its center. Read full book review >

SLAM! by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

A Harlem teenager learns how to apply the will he has to win at hoops to other parts of his life in this vivid, fluent story from Myers (Toussaint L'Ouverture, p. 1472, etc.). Greg "Slam" Harris is justly proud of his game, but he realizes that NBA daydreams don't cut it in the classrooms of his new South Bronx magnet school- -and that the tough talk that serves him so well on the street only gets his teachers and his college-bound girlfriend, Mtisha, on his case. Read full book review >

TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE by Walter Dean Myers
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

Myers (Glorious Angels, 1995, etc.), inspired by a series of 1930s paintings by Lawrence, pens a straightforward narrative, subtitled "The Fight for Haiti's Freedom," about the freedom fighter Toussaint L'Ouverture. Read full book review >

SHADOW OF THE RED MOON by Walter Dean Myers
FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

In a lackluster fantasy set generations after a meteorite's fall, Jon, Lin, and Kyra escape a besieged city and hope for a fresh start in their Ancient Land. Read full book review >

GLORIOUS ANGELS by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 30, 1995

A disappointing followup to the sensational Brown Angels (1993). Read full book review >

THE STORY OF THE THREE KINGDOMS by Walter Dean Myers
ANIMALS
Released: May 30, 1995

Harmony has little place in Myers's tale of the antediluvian world. Read full book review >

THE GLORY FIELD by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

A stunning novel about the perseverance and courage of one African-American family from the author of the award-winning Somewhere in the Darkness (1992). Read full book review >

DARNELL ROCK REPORTING by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

Darnell isn't bad, but he meets his teachers' (and his own) expectations by earning poor grades and getting into trouble for his attitude. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Oct. 30, 1993

Enchanting period photos of young African-Americans, which Myers collected from "dusty bins in antique shops, flea markets, auction houses, and museum collections." Read full book review >

MALCOLM X by Walter Dean Myers
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

A fervent portrait of the controversial man who "put the hard edge on the [civil rights] movement" and "scared America" with his anger. Read full book review >

ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 30, 1992

A popular, award-winning author takes a new tack with a comical western adventure la Sid Fleischman. Read full book review >

MOP, MOONDANCE, AND THE NAGASAKI KNIGHTS by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

The appealing young baseball players introduced in 1988's Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid (about an interracial New Jersey group, including recently adopted narrator T.J., his brother Moondance, and a girl from the same orphanage who's adopted by their coach) are featured here in a tournament with teams from Mexico, Japan, and France plus their usual local rivals. Read full book review >

SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1992

An eminent author who's excelled with both tragedy (Scorpions, 1988, Newbery Honor) and funny, lighthearted novels writes in a serious vein but offers a realistic gleam of hope. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Dec. 30, 1991

What happens when a gifted novelist (Scorpions, 1988, Newbery Honor) chooses to write the story of his people? Read full book review >

THE MOUSE RAP by Walter Dean Myers
ADVENTURE
Released: April 25, 1990

"A beautifully written, thoroughly entertaining caper; an impressive addition to Myers' already impressive Oeuvre."
Mouse is a nice, bright 14-year-old—but not quite sure how he feels about his dad turning up after an absence of eight years to date his mom and to make a clumsy effort to be friends with him. Read full book review >
ME, MOP, AND THE MOONDANCE KID by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 1988

"An easily enjoyed story, yet thoughtful, perceptive, and possessing real depth."
Myers' third fine book this year—unlike Fallen Angels (p. 696/C- 114) and Scorpions (p. 764/C-126)—is relatively light-hearted, involving kids playing Little League baseball near Jersey City, N.J. Still—though the exciting play-by-play games will satisfy sports buffs—narrator T.J. tells more than a baseball story. Read full book review >
SCORPIONS by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1988

"A painful story with a conclusion that offers escape as an answer—but not as a solution."
Teen-age readers will be familiar with harsh events like these from headlines and TV reports; Myers brings a comples understanding to dealing with them. Read full book review >
FALLEN ANGELS by Walter Dean Myers
Released: May 30, 1988

"War-story fans will find enough action here, though it isn't glorified; thoughtful readers will be haunted by this tribute to a ravaged generation."
The powerful story of an introspective Harlem youth who is sent to fight in Vietnam. Read full book review >
CRYSTAL by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1987

"And no one can complain about the moral."
The story of a black teen-ager caught in the fast-lane world of modeling, with the personal cost in stress that goes with the glamour and money as the main theme. Read full book review >
SWEET ILLUSIONS by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1987

"There's no physical violence or drug abuse here, but these tales are nonetheless very scary, and adolescent readers will find them involving and disturbing."
An intellectual and emotional workbook for teen-agers on the subject of pregnancy. Read full book review >
TALES OF A DEAD KING by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Oct. 12, 1983

"Unlike more strenuous efforts, the one grows on you by degrees."
Rudimentary skulduggery on an Egyptian archaeological dig—for kids who take to Myers' no-frills storytelling, simple set-ups, and good sense. Read full book review >
THE NICHOLAS FACTOR by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: May 23, 1983

"The chase and the boy-girl match are strictly standard stuff; and if The Nicholas Factor represents a shaky advance in political sophistication, the implausible motivation of all the Crusaders, villains and dupes alike, requires an overgenerous suspension of judgment."
In this junior-grade spy thriller Myers moves from his easy colloquial stories of good-doing Harlem teens to older characters—narrator Gerald McQuillen is a 17-year-old college freshman—and a less innocent, warier view of self-appointed world-savers. Read full book review >
WON'T KNOW TILL I GET THERE by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 3, 1982

"Another of Myers' winning, medium-cool raps in the service of good old-fashioned values."
Like The Young Landlords who found themselves responsible to the diverse elderly tenants of a rundown tenement, Myers' latest group of wholesome early teenagers spends a summer helping out at a neighborhood old-people's home. Read full book review >
THE YOUNG LANDLORDS by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Oct. 22, 1980

"If it's all a little goody-goody, Myers as usual cloaks his straight-and-narrow messages in easy colloquial dialogue and street-corner savvy."
"How come you ain't nothing but some children? I ain't never heard of no children landlords before." Read full book review >
THE GOLDEN SERPENT by Walter Dean Myers
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 13, 1980

"However kids construe this, it has only Pundabi's wise stratagem to commend it: the telling has no lift, the pictures have a cliched, picturesque likeness to India but no conviction."
If it's appropriate for a story about a kvetch "to have a Yiddish flavor" (see Chapman, above), it may be appropriate for a story of ineffable wisdom to be set in India; the problem is that it has no flavor. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: March 17, 1980

"Quackenbush writes some extra jokes into the pictures, but overall his illustrations are so loud that they drown out the words—a fate that the first story deserves and the second is too weak to overcome."
Two very short, very broad spoofs in picture-book format. Read full book review >
IT AIN'T ALL FOR NOTHIN' by Walter Dean Myers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 25, 1978

"Sound base, authentic surface—like Tippy, a winner."
As both Branscum and Rabe come out with grit-and-hardship dramas of 1930s orphans, Myers gives us a contemporary Harlem kid whose problems seem more real and more serious even though he has a father and, thanks to welfare, knows he will eat. Read full book review >
MOJO AND THE RUSSIANS by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1977

"No tea leaves needed to figure out the resolution, but kids will respond to the vitality, stoop wisdom, and scattered magic."
As in Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff (1975), Myers has rounded up a bunch of spunky youngsters, and their snappy dialogue and urban brio tend to cover up the plot improbabilities. Read full book review >
FAST SAM, COOL CLYDE, AND STUFF by Walter Dean Myers
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1975

"Stuff can be a little long-winded in Holden Caulfield-like digressions, and his friends awfully earnest in their discussions of sex and drugs, but in general his colloquial first-person narrative projects a sense of enviable group rapport with an easy mix of nostalgia and humor."
Stuff, the youngest, moves to 116th Street when he is twelve and a half, and this is by way of a fond memoir of the kids he came to hang out with. Read full book review >
FLY, JIMMY, FLY! by Walter Dean Myers
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1974

"Despite occasionally conspicuous attempts to be poetic, an affecting balance of wishes and reality, well suited to reading aloud."
Soft black and brown sketches of Jimmy and his inner city world provide a quiet, suggestive accompaniment to Myers' pleasingly fluent prose-poem about the little boy's dreams of flying like a bird. Read full book review >
THE DANCERS by Walter Dean Myers
Released: April 15, 1972

"MPSLUGMRS Rockwell's pictures do their best to make up for the absence of music and dance to sustain the fantasy, but the story is less imaginative than just unlikely."
This begins as a realistic story about a little boy (black) going to work with his father (a prop man?) and watching Yvonne, a beautiful ballerina (white) rehearse. Read full book review >
THE DRAGON TAKES A WIFE by Walter Dean Myers
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 10, 1972

"A mismatch in every respect."
It's evident from the start of this pointless intercultural hocus-pocus that Harry the lonely dragon is a real loser: in order to win a wife he must defeat a knight in battle, but Harry can't fight. Read full book review >