|Walter Dean Myers's mother died when he was young, leaving his father to raise eight children alone. When he was three, Walter was taken in by a nearby couple, Herbert and Florence Dean, who moved with him to Harlem, New York. A speech impediment contributed to his unhappy time in school, although he did love to read and write. When he was 16 he won a prize in an essay contest, which encouraged him to continue his writing although he eventually dropped out of school and joined the Army. Afterward, he held a series of jobs before becoming a full-time writer. His first book for children, WHERE DOES THE DAY GO?, was published in 1969 after it won a competition sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children. Myers has been awarded the Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contributions to young adult literature.