Thank you Walter Dean Myers.
You are a godsend to a teacher. All those reluctant readers? All those boys who couldn’t find ANYTHING they wanted to read? All those topics – war, families, race – that needed a good shared book to get the conversation started? I knew I could always find something in your voluminous portfolio that would fit.
I have used Fallen Angels repeatedly – always with success – and then been able to offer Sunrise Over Fallujah right behind it. I’ve been able to offer up books on sports figures, history, ballet, teen pregnancy, jazz, the Old Testament, cowboys, Somali pirates, Haiti, the Civil War, chess – and that’s just getting started.
And those books a teacher might think are really targeting an urban black audience? Don’t worry – chances are those suburban white students will love ’em too. His works include history, poetry, adventure, picture books, a biography of Muhammed Ali and a modern retelling of Swan Lake set in urban America. Somehow Myers always made his topics inviting, entertaining, enlightening, and – here’s why he’s a teacher’s best friend – spot-on for students. Accessible but not dumbed down, his books sold themselves to readers. And I always enjoyed them myself as well! What could be better?