We lost two significant pioneers of YA literature this past month. When Nancy Garden’s Annie on My Mind was published in 1982, the possibilities for GLBTQ characters in teen fiction changed forever. The book said to gay kids: you are not going through a phase, you will meet others like yourself, you can have a happy ending. And if Nancy Garden changed the world with one book, Walter Dean Myers did it through ubiquity, with nonfiction, thrillers, war stories, street stories, romances, and comedies, each doing its bit to show a different facet of African American life and culture. Nancy and Walter everywhere eloquently championed YA books and the freedom to read; above all, they were great storytellers and will be missed.
Editor in Chief
From the July 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.