To honor and celebrate diverse books written by diverse authors.
About the Walter
The Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as “The Walter,” celebrates the legacy of author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Myers served as the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2012-2013), authored over a hundred titles, and won countless awards, including two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, and was a three-time National Book Award finalist. 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 2016 and 2017 Walter Award and Honor Books represented young adult titles only. The 2018 Walters include two categories: Teen (ages 13-18) and Younger Readers (ages 9-13). Future Walters will include both categories.
For additional questions, please contact WalterAward@diversebooks.org .
Team Member Bios
Kathie Weinberg (Walter Award Co-Director)
Kathie Weinberg is a library consultant with the Library of Congress Young Readers Center, and a Program Coordinator with An Open Book Foundation. Formerly she was head of Teen Service at the Bethesda Library in Montgomery County Maryland. She has a Masters in Science from Simmons College, and a BA Degree from the University of Wisconsin. An active member of the American Library Association, YALSA Division, she has presented at annual meetings on programming and space planning for teens in public libraries. She is on the board of Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens.
Terry Hong (2017 Walter Award Co-Director and 2017 Walter Award Judging Committee Co-Chair)
Terry Hong created and maintains Smithsonian BookDragon, an extensive multi-culti book review blog for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where she was media arts consultant for eight years. She’s an Advisor for Girl Rising, a global action campaign highlighting girls’ education; she was the Writer Wrangler for the film of the same name. She taught for Duke University’s Leadership in the Arts, a New York City-based performance and public policy program. She co-authored two books, Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture from Astro Boy to Zen Buddhism and What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature; other publication credits include Booklist, Christian Science Monitor, Library Journal/School Library Journal, NYT, San Francisco Chronicle, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, and many others. She served for three years on USBBY’s Outstanding International Books Committee. @SIBookDragon
Maria Salvadore (2018 and 2019 Walter Award Judging Committee Co-Chair)
Maria Salvadore has worked with young people and books for most of her professional life. Before working as a book buyer for an independent bookstore and a consultant in children’s literature for various organizations, Maria was a librarian in Washington, D.C., and in Cambridge, MA. She has served on or chaired book award committees including the Newbery, Caldecott, Boston Globe/ Horn Book, USBBY Outstanding International Books, and Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. She has taught children’s literature in graduate and undergraduate programs and contributed to several books about children’s literature.