Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?

— Walter Dean Myers

The most delicious Walter Dean Myers quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

Cutting people out of your life is easy, keeping them in is hard.

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Reading is not optional.

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I had seen the ballet of Swan Lake as a child but it was as an adult, when I saw a production featuring Erik Bruhn, that I first noticed how significant a part the ever-present threat of violence played. This juxtaposition of great beauty and grace with a backdrop of pure evil stayed with me for years.

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We need to tell kids flat out: reading is not optional.

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But in the end, we learn we can forgive most people.

The cushion of mortality makes their wrongdoing seem less dark, and whatever roads they traveled seem less foolhardy.

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They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can’t kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment.

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Sometimes when things get hard, we tend to set our sights on what's hard, that difficult thing that keeps us upset, and we turn our back on our strengths.

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No matter what...ball made my heart beat faster, made me want to jump up and down and be Superman. That's what life was about anyway, being Superman and living like life itself was important. Basketball made my life important.

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Yeah, that's funny, huh?...Something hurts you real bad and you get used to it. Like being hurt becomes part of who you are.

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Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie.

Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER.

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I'm not out here looking for no garbage cans to curl up in.

I'm looking for the same good dreams everybody else is hoping for, but I don't see where they are. Or maybe I see where they are, but I don't see how to get there.

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And I see the - you know, when I go to the juvenile detention centers and prisons, I see people who can't read now. And I know that when they leave those prisons and those detention centers, they're not going to be able to make it in our society.

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About Walter Dean Myers

Quotes 57 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

I think it's difficult for young people to acknowledge being smart, to knowledge being a reader. I see kids who are embarrassed to read books. They're embarrassed to have people see them doing it.

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How deep is your game?

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the beast is the monster that destroys your dream

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I read a lot of comic books and any kind of thing I could find.

One day, a teacher found me. She grabbed my comic book and tore it up. I was really upset, but then she brought in a pile of books from her own library. That was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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People told me to give up trying to be special and settle down to a regular life. There ain't nothing wrong with a regular life, and that's the Lord's truth...but it wasn't for me, because I wanted to be something special. I knew how easy it was for a dream to die. I seen that all around me. You could let it die by just looking the other way.

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Think about all the tomorrows of your life.

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What did I do? I walked into a drugstore to look for some mints, and then I walked out. What was wrong with that? I didn't kill Mr. Nesbitt.

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What some people wanted was sometimes too hard to get, and the stress of trying was sometimes too hard to deal with... Maybe doing well in life was just too hard for some people.

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Everything in life is made up...You make up that you are happy. You make up that you are sad. You make up that you are in love. If you don't make up your own life, who's going to make it up for you? It's bad enough when you die and everybody can make up their own stories about you. —Mr. Hooft

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It is this language of values which I hope to bring to my books.

. . . I want to bring values to those who have not been valued, and I want to etch those values in terms of the ideal. Young people need ideals which identify them, and their lives, as central . . . guideposts which tell them what they can be, should be, and indeed are.

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Wherever your heart rests There I will live and be blessed I've tried to line up the things I Needed to say but now my feelings just Tumble from me. I am half foolish, Half drunk with wanting you With wanting to take your hand And leap into the darkness of whatever Life will bring. Love makes me Brave and without love I'm made Nothing.

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Looks to me like you've been making garbage for a while and dragging it with you. Now you need to get out of here, and that garbage is weighing you down.

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My life is not packaged, Not tidy. There are leftover strands and jagged Edges that cut even my friends.

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Yes, she is the fruit that will Sustain me and yes, she brings A rain that I know can chill But it is a rain so sweet and sings A song my soul insists That I follow, if I would exist As more than I have ever, ever been If my mother calls it evil, then I embrace the sin

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The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.

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The idea of voluntary segregation went against every value I had been taught.

What did being born black have to do with excellence?

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he was trying to convince himself that he wasn't guilty.

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I think that if we can't go back, then we should try even harder to go forward.

And I do want to go forward, to a place where loving someone because they have a gentle smile and a friendly hello is as easy as it once was.

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But now, like a fallen sparrow On a golden chain, I'm forever bound in shadow, A prisoner to my pain.

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Drew, your enemies can mess your life up,' he said.

'Or they can make it easy for you to do it to yourself.' —Fletch

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We’re suggesting that [kids are] missing something if they don’t read but, actually, we’re condemning kids to a lesser life. If you had a sick patient, you would not try to entice them to take their medicine. You would tell them, ‘Take this or you’re going to die.’ We need to tell kids flat out: reading is not optional.

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I know I'm tired of thinking about what I should have done yesterday.

I know I'm just tired. If I knew what to do with my life, how to fix it up, I would have done it a long time ago. You can't dig that? You think I want to live like I'm somebody's throwaway?

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Each of us is born with a history already in place

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Writers do not write what they know. They write what they can imagine.

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It's a hard life sometimes and the biggest temptation is to let how hard it is be an excuse to weaken

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Each time I think there is no place lower to go, I find that there is at least one place that will mess you up worse than you were.

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That's what's wrong with women. They want you to wait for them until they get ready and then they don't even tell you how they feel.

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When I began to read, I began to exist

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I was teased if I brought my books home.

I would take a paper bag to the library and put the books in the bag and bring them home. Not that I was that concerned about them teasing me - because I would hit them in a heartbeat. But I felt a little ashamed, having books.

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The movie is more real in so many ways than the life I am leading.

No, that’s not true. I just desperately wish this was only a movie.

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We all know we should eat right and we should exercise, but reading is treated as if it's this wonderful adjunct.

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If you know you don't have a win, then there's no use for you being in the game.

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If anyone could look into my head See or feel the dread that has captured Me or see within this sad, unhappy brain They would only turn away Turn away.

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And what I was feeling was the wonder Of being more than me, of being more Than mere here and now allowed I had become a shining star, a burning nova Exploded with love Flying through an endlessly Expanding universe Away from the me that was Toward a me that is beyond Understanding.

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Violence was just as much about WHAT was happening as it was how it happened.

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Idiots don't know they're idiots, which is unfortunate.

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With my writing, what I want to do is humanize the young people I write about.

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