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Omaha Public Library welcomes author Walter Dean Myers

Omaha Public Library welcomes author Walter Dean Myers
November 19, 2013
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature to share the importance of reading

Omaha Public Library is pleased to welcome author Walter Dean Myers to Omaha on Tuesday, December 10, 5:30 p.m. at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. An opening reception is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation in Witherspoon Concert Hall at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Each child in attendance will receive a complimentary copy of one of Myers’ books while supplies last. Groups and individuals planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP online at or by calling 402.444.4844.

Walter Dean Myers was raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City and began writing at a very young age. He was a good student, but had problems in school because of a speech impediment. Myers dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Army on his 17th birthday. Years later, he remembered the words of one of his former teachers and began writing at night, eventually writing about the most difficult time of his life, his teenage years.

Myers is now considered one of the preeminent writers for young people, having written more than 100 books. His books chronicle the lives of many urban teenagers, especially young, poor African-Americans. While his body of work includes poetry, nonfiction and the occasional cheerful picture book for children, his standout books offer themes aimed at young-adult readers: stories of teenagers in violent gangs, soldiers headed to Iraq, and juvenile offenders imprisoned for their crimes. While many young-adult authors shy away from such risky subject material, Myers has used his books to confront the darkness and despair that fill so many children’s lives.

Myers was selected by the Library of Congress as the 2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position created to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people. His message is clear: “Reading is not optional.”

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and its foundation, Every Child a Reader, are sponsors of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature initiative. For more information about Myers, visit Visit for information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.
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