2005 National Book Awards Finalist
Young People's Literature

Walter Dean Myers

Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers Walter Dean Myers

Autobiography of My Dead Brother

HarperTempest Amistad

Photo credit: Constance Myers

About the Book

Jesse fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of his blood brother, Rise, and his comic strip, Spodi Roti and Wise, as he makes sense of the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and loss in a neighborhood where drive-bys, vicious gangs, and abusive cops are everyday realities.

About the Author

Walter Dean Myers was nominated for a National Book Award in 1999 for Monster, which won the first Michael L. Printz Award and was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. Among his other books are The Dream Bearer; Handbook for Boys; Bad Boy: A Memoir; Scorpions and Somewhere in the Darkness. He is also the author of numerous picture books in collaboration with various illustrators. Born and raised in Harlem, he now lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Judges' Citation

One assumes that Myers—black, male, striding through America’s cauldron—could create nothing less than Autobiography at this point in our history, when child violence introduces such lasting devastation. Myers speaks to that through this moving account of two black youngsters, one an aspiring artist and writer, the other merely ‘aspiring’. Close as brothers through childhood, they are separated finally only through choices, changes, and violence. Touching and impactful, Autobiography cannot fail to intrigue, and hopefully influence youngsters with its poignant statement of two roads taken.