Coretta Scott King 2014 Author Honor Award presented to Walter Dean Myers for Darius and Twig
by Rose T. Dawson, Director of Libraries for Alexandria Library
Walter Dean Myers has done it again; hitting the nail on the proverbial head. This book of friendship and survival takes the reader through the streets of inner city Harlem, and that scary place many of us remember so well… High School! Darius and Twig, friends, one African American, and one Dominican, are using their God given talents to try and escape their not so good reality while trying to achieve dreams that offer them both a move up and out of their current environment. This well written short novel is a wonderful new addition to the body of African American young adult fiction. Darius, a daydreamer, has a strong imagination that allows his gift of writing to shine; while Twig, a gifted runner hopes his speed on the track field will take him away from the possible destiny of working in his uncle’s bodega. This is not an easy achievement because, despite their obvious talents, the slightest misstep or anger of the class bully can quickly shatter their hopes and cause their dreams to disappear. It is at this point when you realize how touching and rare a friendship of this magnitude is.
(Walter Dean Myers was unable to receive his award in person on June 28, 2014 due to illness and passed away on July 1, 2014. His legacy will live on in the more than 100 books written by him. He has three books scheduled for posthumous publication. The futuristic novel On a Clear Day is to come out in September and Juba, a novel based on the life of a 19th-century tap dancer, in April 2015. A graphic novel of Monster is also to be published next year.)
Check out as Book Look remembers Walter Dean Myers (YouTube video).