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The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature
The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as “The Walter,” celebrates the legacy of author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Throughout his prolific, lauded career, Myers was a life-long champion of diversity in children’s and young adult books. Inaugurated in 2016, the annual Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children's Literature recognize diverse authors (or co-authors) whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way. Two to four Honor Books are also named annually. We Need Diverse Books defines “diverse” to be one or more of the following: a person of color, Native American, LGBTQIA, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States.
The Walter Winner and Honor Books - 2021
Punching the Air by
The story that I thought was my life didn't start on the day I was born. Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he's seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. "Boys just being boys" turns out to be true only when those boys are white. The story that I think will be my life starts today. Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal's bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison.
We Are Not Free by
For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare: attacked, spat on, and abused with no way to retaliate--and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps.
Almost American Girl by
The author recounts how she and her mother moved from South Korea to the United States.
Print and ebook available from RI Public Libraries.
Book available on Learning Ally.
The Walter Winner and Honor Books - 2020
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me by
Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: Break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem.
In Jam and Redemption’s hometown of Lucille, there are no monsters anymore — or so they’ve always been taught. But when a creature emerges from Jam’s mother’s painting and claims it’s here to hunt a monster, Jam and Redemption must reconsider what they thought they knew, and answer the question: how do you hunt monsters if no one will admit they even exist?
Book available on Learning Ally.
With the Fire on High by
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago's life has been about making the tough decisions--doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it's not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.
The Walter Winner and Honor Books - 2019
The Poet X by
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
Print and eBook available.
Monday's Not Coming by
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable--more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn't turn up for the first day of school, Claudia's worried. When she doesn't show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Now Claudia needs her best--and only--friend more than ever. But Monday's mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday's sister April is even less help. As Claudia digs deeper into her friend's disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she's gone?
*Book available on Learning Ally
The Astonishing Color of After by
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Print and ebook is available.
The Walter Winner and Honor Books - 2018
Long Way Down by
A cannon. A strap. A piece. A biscuit. A burner. A heater. A chopper. A gat. A hammer A tool for RULE Or, you can call it a gun. That's what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That's where Will's now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother's gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he's after. Or does he?
*Book available on Learning Ally
You Bring the Distant Near by
Ranee worries that her children are losing their Indian culture. Sonia is wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair Tara seeks the limelight to hide her true self. Shanti desperately tries to make peace in the family. Anna fights to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity. As each Das woman decides which Bengali traditions to uphold in America, one hard truth remains: some scars take generations to heal.
Four months ago Sara Zapata's best friend, Linda, disappeared from the streets of Juarez, and ever since Sara has been using her job as a reporter to draw attention to the girls who have been kidnapped by the criminals who control the city, but now she and her family are being threatened--meanwhile her younger brother, Emiliano, is being lured into the narcotics business by the promise of big money, and soon the only way for both of them to escape is to risk the dangerous trek across the desert to the United States border.