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Prominent children's author Walter Dean Myers, 76, has died after a brief illness. A onetime troublemaker who dropped out of high school, the tall, soft-spoken Myers spent much of his adult life writing realistic and accessible stories about crime, war and life in the streets. He wrote more than 100 books, his notable works including "Monster" and "Lockdown," and was the rare author — black or white — to have a wide following among middle-school boys. . . .

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