What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Walter Dean Myers, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Monster, was born in 1937.
|Grades||3 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
Walter Dean Myers authored dozens of young adult novels, short stories, and other works. He began writing at an early age, after discovering that he could easily read his own words, despite a speech disability. Myers' novels about adolescents in real-life situations have earned a number of awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award for several titles, such as Fallen Angels, and a Newbery Honor Award for Scorpions.
Monster is presented in the form of a film script, written by the main character. Discuss how this format affects the story and why the author may have selected this writing style. Have students write a story using a similar format. Some options include:
- Have students rewrite a story as a screenplay from a character's point of view. Younger students could select a favorite children's story or picture book for this activity, while older students may choose their favorite novel.
- Ask students to write an autobiographical story. Have students first list interesting events from their lives, and then write a true or fictional account based on the facts.
Have students share their stories by creating a class book or reading them aloud.
- Meet the Author: Walter Dean Myers
This Houghton Mifflin page offers a biography of Myers and a booklist of his works.
- A Reading Group Guide to Walter Dean Myers' Monster
HarperChildren's provides this reading group guide for Monster. There are discussion questions and information related to Myers and the book.
- A Video Interview with Walter Dean Myers
This page from Reading Rockets features an interview with Myers. Also included on the page are links to an annotated booklist and a brief biography of Meyers.
- Walter Dean Myers
Scholastic offers this brief autobiography of Myers with links to additional information about his poem Harlem and a page focusing on the work of Myers and his son, illustrator Christopher Myers.
Grades 6 – 8 | Printout | Writing It Out
Children can take a turn in the director’s chair. They can make decisions–and learn the elements–of stories told on film.
Grades 6 – 12 | Podcast Episode
If there is anyone in the world of children’s and young adult literature who could be described as a living legend, it’s Walter Dean Myers. Tune in to hear how his own experiences as a reader have shaped his approach to storytelling, what he seeks to offer young people through his writing, and the thinking behind a select handful of his novels – books that incorporate concepts as varied as magical realism, the social contract, and oral histories with our nation’s war veterans.