I have been reading young adult literature in earnest since about 2002. Before then, I read in the classification from time to time and I followed some of the leading authors. I wish I had read more, but I am making up for lost time. I still remember the tremendous power of reading the Day of Tears for the first time. I recommend, this wonderful book as a starting point.
I just found this new notice on Facebook.
On March 4th, at 2pm, we will gather for a synagogue memorial service at the Jewish Community of Amherst to celebrate the life of Julius Lester and honor him with music, stories, and prayers. A light reception will follow where attendees will have an opportunity to speak.
It you knew him and are in the area you might consider attending.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Thanks, Julius. I hope this brief post helps people remember you and your work. I look forward to the chapter I have scheduled to write over the next couple of months.
Time’s Memory, (2006)
Day of Tears, (2005)
To Be a Slave, (1968)
When Dad Killed Mom, (2001)
Long Journey Home, (1972)
Sources for brief biographies and commentary on work.
His webpage also has a page dedicated to his books with brief descriptions and some small reviews.
Publishers Weekly has a nice story from 2001 by Sally Lodge when he had three books in the same season
Obituaries From Major Newpapers
Julius Lester: The New York Times Obituary
MassLive: Tributes to UMass professor Julius Lester pour in from all over world
MassLive: UMass Professor Julius Lester dies at 78
Julius Lester: Publishers Weekly
Julius Lester: The Washington Pos
Facebook Condolences and Comments
Jill Hermann-Wilmarth To honor him, go read all of his books. Share his work with children.
Nancy Johnson With gratitude for Julius Lester's wisdom, talent, and generosity of spirit
Sylvie Juliet Shaffer This is such a special book, and he was such a special man! Growing up in Western Massachusetts, we were in overlapping Jewish communities. I was so honored to have raised my voice in songful prayer with him many times. His memory is already a blessing - thank you for sharing this book in his honor, Donalyn Miller! Can you draw two random winners, and I'll purchase and send one in his memory, too? I love this book and have used it with my preschool-aged son to talk about race.
Karen Jamison Wiley Julius Lester!! May his memory be used for a blessing!!
William Stuart House A great loss. Rest in peace my amazingly creative, wise ole SNCC brother. You will be missed! My sincerest condolences to the family.
Ellen Fockler We shall miss his wisdom, his gracious, gentle kindness. Our world -- near and far -- is so much richer for his having been a part of it.
Adina Nechama Hirschmann My deepest condolences on the loss of a great teacher and gentle soul. His FB page was a bright refuge from the chaos, intelligence and thoughtful coherent discourse in the dark environment of false news, and a virtual classroom of study and rational discussion in an era of anti-intellectualism. I wish I had the chance to meet him in person, but having the gift of his brilliant mind and humor expressed here was the next best thing. Rest in peace.
Lee Piscioneri My deepest condolences to you all. Julius was my greatest teacher. Peace be with you and may Julius Rest In Peace.
Lonnetta Gaines I am grateful to God, for giving us Mr. Julius Lester, a man of prodigious talents with the grace and love to share those talents with the world. I am so saddened by his passing ... but also uplifted to know that his presence continues in the Cloud of Ancestral Angels. My condolences to the family. Lian, thank you for sharing these days with us -- he waited for you!
Helen Tinsley His brilliance, insight, and literary gifts will live on forever and continue to touch generations - as his character and persona will also live on in the hearts and minds of those who were touched by him vicariously through his works or personally! To his family- I morn with you! To his son Lian - your sharing of his last days gave us an even closer glimpse into the man he was and the man he raised (you) - surely he waited to cross over until you arrived! Blessings to you all! ❤️❤️
Jane Yolen I knew him--well--forever. Saw his changes, how the light filled him. His books and voice a blessing. He passed that Light on. I have do doubt that we all have pieces of it. His memory IS a blessing. Lian thank you for bringing us all along on this last voyage of his. He taught to the end.
Paula Hawkins My heart is breaking. I was hoping he would get better. I needed to tell him that I found his book, "Black Folktales", in the rare and out-of-print books section at Labyrinth Bookstore in Princeton and bought it to give to my grandson. He meant so muchto "the movement" and to me as a student entering college in 1968 looking for a way to articulate and validate my experiences. I needed to tell him what he meant to me.
Glenn Corbiere "When I read the news, night came early in my day." - John Mayall. A loss for humanity. Rest in Peace, Julius Lester
first drafted on 1/20.2018