1998, Caldecott Medal, Honor Book1998, Coretta Scott King Award, Honor Book1997, Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, Honor Book2000, Georgia Children's Book Award, Nominee1997, Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens, Recommended
They took the road in Waycross Georgia / Skipped over the tracks in East St. Louis / Took the bus from Holly Springs / Hitched a ride from Gee's Bend / Took the long way through Memphis / The third deck down from Trinidad / A wrench of the heart from Goree Island / A wrench of the heart from Goree Island / To a place called Harlem. So begins this exquisite poem about the poet's childhood home. With a few deft strokes, Myers and Myers paint a picture of a cradle of American culture. The text calls on all Walter's powers as a narrative writer, a poet, and historian, as it moves from the ancient history of the people of Harlem, through their traditions of family, home, and religion, to their turn of the century Renaisaance and their contemporary despairs, joys, and hopes. A truly remarkable book.
About the Author
The son of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers, award-winning illustrator Christopher Myers credits his appreciation of the importance of images to observing the objects and photographs his parents would bring home from auctions and flea markets: "little histories;" "other people's memories that get left behind." His own family images have had quite an impact, as well - as in a black-and-white photograph of his grandfather with a telling smile on his face. "He was a storyteller. His thick, dark, calloused hands told stories. My father tells stories. I tell stories. I'm fascinated with work, what work is, who does work, how much our identities are wrapped up in what we do with our hands. Shoeshine boy, ditchdigger, painter. My grandfather laughed at my father's hands because they were too soft. Still I think he was proud of the fact that my father didn't have to work with his back. This is progress."
Myers has made his career working with his hands in yet another way, creating his own images in collage, photos, woodcuts, and other artistic media. A graduate of Brown University, he has participated in the exclusive Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Studio Program. Myers began his children's book career doing research to help his father, and went on to illustrate the elder Myers' Shadow of the Red Moon. In 1998, the two collaborated on Harlem, which was named a Caldecott Honor Book as well as a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Myers' solo effort, Black Cat, was also a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
In addition to his fine art and illustrative work, Christopher Myers is a clothing designer. He makes his home in Brooklyn, New York.
The late Walter Dean Myers was the 2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He was the critically acclaimed New York Times
bestselling author of an award-winning body of work which includes Somewhere in the Darkness
, and Monster
. Mr. Myers has received two Newbery Honor medals, five Coretta Scott King Author Book Awards, and three National Book Award Finalist citations. In addition, he was the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award.