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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



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August 12

Walter Dean Myers, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Monster, was born in 1937.

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Walter Dean Myers, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Monster, was born in 1937.

Grades 3 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Walter Dean Myers authored dozens of young adult novels, short stories, and other works. He began writing at an early age, after discovering that he could easily read his own words, despite a speech disability. Myers' novels about adolescents in real-life situations have earned a number of awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award for several titles, such as Fallen Angels, and a Newbery Honor Award for Scorpions.





Monster is presented in the form of a film script, written by the main character. Discuss how this format affects the story and why the author may have selected this writing style. Have students write a story using a similar format. Some options include:

  • Have students rewrite a story as a screenplay from a character's point of view. Younger students could select a favorite children's story or picture book for this activity, while older students may choose their favorite novel.

  • Ask students to write an autobiographical story. Have students first list interesting events from their lives, and then write a true or fictional account based on the facts.

Have students share their stories by creating a class book or reading them aloud.



  • Meet the Author: Walter Dean Myers

    This Houghton Mifflin page offers a biography of Myers and a booklist of his works.


  • A Reading Group Guide to Walter Dean Myers' Monster

    HarperChildren's provides this reading group guide for Monster. There are discussion questions and information related to Myers and the book.


  • A Video Interview with Walter Dean Myers

    This page from Reading Rockets features an interview with Myers. Also included on the page are links to an annotated booklist and a brief biography of Meyers.


  • Walter Dean Myers

    Scholastic offers this brief autobiography of Myers with links to additional information about his poem Harlem and a page focusing on the work of Myers and his son, illustrator Christopher Myers.



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Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

On a Musical Note: Exploring Reading Strategies by Creating a Soundtrack

Students create a soundtrack for a novel that they have read, as they engage in such traditional reading strategies as predicting, visualizing, and questioning.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Exploring Author's Voice Using Jane Addams Award-Winning Books

History has many faces in this lesson in which students read Jane Addams Award-winning books to learn about peace, social justice, world community, and equality.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Style: Defining and Exploring an Author's Stylistic Choices

Students find examples of specific stylistic devices in sample literary passages then search for additional examples and explore the reasons for the stylistic choices that the author has made.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: A Character's Letter to the Editor

Students write a persuasive letter to the editor of a newspaper from a selected fictional character's perspective, focusing on a specific issue or situation explored in the novel.