2019 Walter Awards
THE WALTER AWARD, Teen Category
Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X
THE WALTER HONOR BOOKS, Teen Category
Tiffany D. Jackson, Monday's Not Coming
Emily X.R. Pan, The Astonishing Color of After
THE WALTER AWARD, Younger Readers Category
Jewell Parker Rhodes, Ghost Boys
THE WALTER HONOR BOOK, Younger Readers Category
David Bowles, They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems
Veera Hiranandani, The Night Diary
2019 Walter Award Event Information
The 2019 Walter Dean Myers Awards and Honor Books
for Outstanding Children’s Literature
Teen and Younger Readers Categories
The We Need Diverse Books Walter Awards Judging Committee has selected the Winners and Honorees for the fourth annual Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature. This year’s awards comprise two categories: Teen (ages 13-18) and Younger Readers (ages 9-13). One Winner and two Honor Books in each category have been named.
- 2019 Walter Award, Teen Category
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen/HarperCollins)
- 2019 Walter Honors, Teen Category
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson (Katherine Tegen/Harper)
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette)
- 2019 Walter Award, Younger Readers Category
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette)
- 2019 Walter Honors, Younger Readers Category
They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles (Cinco Puntos Press)
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Kokila/Penguin Random House)
The Walter Awards Ceremony will be held Friday, March 29, 2019, in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Linda Sue Park, will serve as the Ceremony’s Emcee and Guest Speaker. Honored guest Christopher Myers, son of the late Walter Dean Myers, will also speak.
The Ceremony will be preceded by a symposium on diversity in children’s literature, co-hosted by the Library of Congress. The symposium, titled “On Writing, Voice, and Courage: A Conversation with Walter Honorees,” will be moderated by Pura Belpré Award-winning author Meg Medina.
WNDB will be donating a minimum of 2,000 copies of each of the 2019 Walter Award-winning titles, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, to schools with limited budgets across the United States.
The Walter Dean Myers Award, also known as “The Walter,” is named for prolific children’s and young adult author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Myers was the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, appointed in 2012 by the Library of Congress. He was a champion of diversity in children’s books. The Walter Awards honor Myers’ memory and his literary legacy, as well as celebrate diversity in children’s literature.
The 2019 Walter Awards Judging Committee: Maria Salvadore (Committee Chair, Politics and Prose Bookstore), L. Lee Butler (Librarian, The Key School), Laretta Henderson (Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Julia López-Robertson (Professor, University of South Carolina; Teacher Education, Language & Literacy), Candice Wing-yee Mack (Past-President of YALSA, Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library), Kathie Meizner (Library Manager, Montgomery County Public Libraries), John Williams (Librarian, Prince George's County Memorial Library System).
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The 2019 Judging Committee
Maria Salvadore (2018-2019 Walters Co-Chair) 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.
L. Lee Butler is the Upper School Librarian at the Key School in Annapolis, Maryland. They have previously served on the committees for YALSA’s Alex Award and the Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Lee lives in their hometown of Washington, D.C. with their two sons.
Laretta Henderson is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches courses in children’s and young adult literature. Her research focuses on multicultural children’s and young adult literature and childhood. She is the editor of The Americas Award: Honoring Latino/a Children’s and Young Adult Literature of the Americas.
Julia López-Robertson is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on the use of culturally relevant children’s literature with children and their families as a means to investigate literacy development and make connections between home and school literacies. Julia served on the América’s Award Committee.
Candice (Wingyee) Mack is the Managing Librarian of systemwide Young Adult Services and Collections for the Los Angeles Public Library. She is a past President of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a former Booklist reviewer, a 2012 ALA Emerging Leader, a 2006 ALA Spectrum Scholar, and an adjunct instructor in UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Most recently, Candice was an inaugural member of ALA's Policy Corps and a member of the 2018 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Jury. @tinylibrarian
Kathie Meizner currently manages the White Oak Library in Montgomery County, Maryland, and has served on local and national book award and selection committees. She reviews young people’s literature for Kirkus Reviews and The Washington Post. Kathie is an editorial board member of Capitol Choice, and a past president of The Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.
John Williams is an Adult Services Librarian who works at the Bowie Branch Library of the Prince George's County Memorial Library System in Prince George's County Maryland. He enjoys reading and analyzing middle school and young adult books.