FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We Need Diverse Books Announces New Date
for the 2022 Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature
February 25, 2022
Washington, DC — The seventh annual Walter Awards will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. ET. The event will be livestreamed and tentatively held in person at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. The final decision will consider the status of COVID-19 cases in the local area and align with recommended CDC guidelines for indoor gatherings.
The two-part event opens with a symposium on children’s literature followed by the awards ceremony. The symposium, “Open Books, Open Minds,” features the Walter Honorees, moderated by youth librarian and literacy advocate Deborah D. Taylor, and will highlight the recent bans and challenges on diverse books across the country. The Awards ceremony emcee is lauded author-illustrator Grace Lin.
Named after legendary author Walter Dean Myers, the Walters are unique among other literary awards in that WNDB donates 2,000 copies of the winning books to schools and libraries throughout the country via the WNDB in the Classroom program. By helping children find stories they can relate to, we can foster a lifelong love of reading. Since 2014, WNDB has donated over 75,000 books across 49 states and the District of Columbia.
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.
2022 Walter Award, Teen Category
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Henry Holt and Co.)
2022 Walter Honors, Teen Category
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
Revolution in Our Time by Kekla Magoon (Candlewick)
2022 Walter Award, Younger Readers Category
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca (Quill Tree Books)
2022 Walter Honors, Younger Readers Category
Borders by Thomas King and illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Root Magic by Eden Royce (Walden Pond Press)
The 2022 Walter Awards Judging Committee: Alicia K. Long (Committee Chair, Access Services Supervisor/Librarian, State College of Florida; Bradenton, Florida), Lindsay Hall (Library Media Specialist, Alexandria City High School; Alexandria, Virginia), Gregory Lum (Library Director, Jesuit High School; Portland, Oregon), Jennifer Bonilla (Librarian, Billy Mills Middle School; Lawrence, Kansas), J. Tyler Chadwell-English (Teen Services Librarian, Urbana Regional Library, Frederick County Public Libraries; Urbana, Maryland), Ariana Hussain (Lower School Teacher Librarian, The Blake School; Wayzata, Minnesota), Rachel L. Rickard Rebellino (Instructor, Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University; Columbus, Ohio).
About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that runs 12 exciting initiatives united under one goal—to combat systemic racism and oppression by creating a world where everyone can find themselves on the pages of a book. Established in 2014, WNDB strives to support and amplify diverse literature by mentoring marginalized creators, providing resources to diverse publishing professionals, and donating diverse books to schools and libraries nationwide. Learn more at diversebooks.org.
About the Walter Dean Myers Award. 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. A champion of diversity in children’s books, the Walter Awards commemorate Myers’ memory and his literary legacy, and celebrate diversity in children’s literature.
Alaina Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org