FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We Need Diverse Books Announces the 2021 Symposium on Diversity in Children’s Literature and the Walter Dean Myers Awards and Honor Books for Outstanding Children’s Literature
January 21, 2021
Press Contact: Alaina Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — We Need Diverse Books announces the sixth annual Symposium on diversity in children’s literature, co-hosted by the Library of Congress. The Symposium, titled “Listening, Learning, Creating Communities,” will be moderated by Deborah D. Taylor, Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement award-winning librarian and educator, and will include panelists Traci Chee, Robin Ha, Daniel Nayeri, and Kacen Callender.
The Symposium will be held on Friday, March 12, 2021, followed by the Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature Ceremony. The Symposium and Ceremony will be held virtually. Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson will serve as Ceremony’s Emcee. The event will begin at 1:00 PM EST and will appear on the Library’s Facebook page and its YouTube site.
The We Need Diverse Books Walter Awards Judging Committee has selected the Winners and Honorees for the sixth annual Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature.
The 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.
2021 Walter Award, Teen Category
Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, illustrated by Omar T. Pasha
2021 Walter Honors, Teen Category
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
Almost American Girl by Robin Ha
2021 Walter Award, Younger Readers Category
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, with color by Iman Geddy
2021 Walter Honors, Younger Readers Category
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
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 commemorate Myers’ memory and his literary legacy, as well as celebrate diversity in children’s literature.
The 2021 Walter Awards Judging Committee: Morika Tsujimura (Committee Chair, Science and Math Teacher, Grace Church School), Cathy Berner (Events Coordinator and Children’s/YA Specialist, Blue Willow Bookshop), Lindsay Hall (Lower School Librarian, Sidwell Friends School), Alicia Long (Access Services Supervisor/Librarian, State College of Florida), Gregory Lum (Library Director, Jesuit High School, Portland OR), J. Joseph Prince (Curriculum & Outreach Educator,
Curriculum Resource Center, Jerome Library, Bowling Green State University), and Hadeal Salamah (Lower/Middle School Librarian, Georgetown Day School).
About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It is our mission to put more books featuring diverse characters in the hands of all children. You can learn more about WNDB programs at www.diversebooks.org.