Quotes by: Walter Dean Myers
I remember one time being told I could not play in a basketball game at the College of William and Mary because I was black, even though I was playing with a United States Army team.
Fifty percent of all meaningful education takes place in the home. What do you share with your child? You share your interests. I was a book person. I read with my son. My wife is an artist. She dragged his little butt around to museums. He's an illustrator of children's books.
I talk to myself out loud at times, and feel embarrassed when people overhear me.
I joined the army on my seventeenth birthday, full of the romance of war after having read a lot of World War I British poetry and having seen a lot of post-World War II films. I thought the romantic presentations of war influenced my joining and my presentation of war to my younger siblings.
I live intimately with my characters before starting a book. I cut out pictures of them for my wall. I do time lines for each major character and a time line for the entire novel: What is going on in the world as my characters struggle with their problems?
We need to tell young people that America was built by men and women of all colors and that the future of this country is dependent on the participation of all of our citizens.
I had seen the ballet of 'Swan Lake' as a child but it was as an adult, when I saw a production featuring Erik Bruhn, that I first noticed how significant a part the ever-present threat of violence played. This juxtaposition of great beauty and grace with a backdrop of pure evil stayed with me for years.
From my foster parents, the Deans, I received the love that was ultimately to strengthen me, even when I had forgotten its source. It was my foster mother, a half-Indian, half-German woman, who taught me to read, though she herself was barely literate. I remember her reading to me every day from 'True Romance' magazine.
One of the lessons learned during the Vietnam War was that the depiction of wounded soldiers, of coffins stacked higher than their living guards, had a negative effect on the viewing public. The military in Iraq specifically banned the photographing of wounded soldiers and coffins, thus sanitizing this terrible and bloody conflict.
As a young man, I saw families prosper without reading because there were always sufficient opportunities for willing workers who could follow simple instructions. This is no longer the case. Children who don't read are, in the main, destined for lesser lives. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to change this.
As a writer, I absorb stories, allow them to churn within my own head and heart - often for years - until I find a way of telling them that fits both my time and temperament.
If what I read doesn't reflect my life - whether I'm gay or Latino or on welfare - doesn't that really mean that my life is not valuable?