There is nothing I can write about Walter Dean Myers that hasn't been written by others far more eloquent than myself. Today I simply want to express my gratitude. I am thankful that Mr. Myers shared his gift, talent and hard work with the world. I am thankful that he advocated for children and youth. I am thankful that he boldly asked Where Are the People of Color in Children's Books? I am thankful that although he passed away in July, his work continues to inspire the teens at my library who are reading, discussing, and analyzing 145th Street Short Stories as we prepare to celebrate Teen Read Week.
The third week in October marks Teen Read Week. The theme this year is Turn Dreams into Reality @ your library. Do you remember the dreams you had as a teen? Have you turned those dreams into reality? Perhaps you have new dreams? As a child and young adult I specifically recall having two dreams. 1. I wanted to be happy. 2. I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated from high school, majored in Elementary Education, earned my certification to teach K-8, and taught for 19 years in the public school system. My dreams became reality.
However, after 13 years in the classroom I realized that my dreams had changed. My dad passed away, and I realized it was time to pursue new dreams of social justice, travel, education, and self-discovery. Long story short, I joined the Peace Corps (which birthed this blog), went to library school, and am now a public librarian. Now, I share resources with others, teach life-long learners, and share great books with teenagers who are discovering their own dreams. My dreams have literally come true at the library. Thank you, Walter Dean Myers for reminding me that sometimes dreams change. The fulfillment of one dream can lead to new dreams. People change and along the way acquire new dreams, but they too can become reality.