New Ambassador Named!

From The New York Times:

A new Ambassador for  Young People’s Literature that is!  On Tuesday, January 10 Walter Dean Myers will be named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a sort of poet laureate of the children’s book world who tours the country for two years, speaking at schools and libraries about reading and literacy.

As an African-American man who dropped out of high school but built a successful writing career — largely because of his lifelong devotion to books — Mr. Myers said his message would be etched by his own experiences.

“I think that what we need to do is say reading is going to really affect your life,” he said in an interview at his book-cluttered house  in Jersey City, adding that he hoped to speak directly to low-income minority parents. “You take a black man who doesn’t have a job, but you say to him, ‘Look, you can make a difference in your child’s life, just by reading to him for 30 minutes a day.’ That’s what I would like to do.”

Mr. Myers is the third person to be appointed to the post, which was created in 2008 and is chosen by a committee formed by two groups: the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Every Child a Reader, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Children’s Book Council, a trade association for children’s book publishers. He succeeds Katherine Paterson, the novelist best known for her “Bridge to Terabithia,” and the first appointee, Jon Scieszka, author of books including “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.”

The choice of Mr. Myers represents a departure from his predecessors and is likely to be seen as a bold statement. His books chronicle the lives of many urban teenagers, especially young, poor African-Americans. While his body of work includes poetry, nonfiction and the occasional cheerful picture book for children, its standout books offer themes aimed at young-adult readers: stories of teenagers in violent gangs, soldiers headed to Iraq and juvenile offenders imprisoned for their crimes.   (The New York Times)

Use this link to find all of  San Diego County Library’s copies of Walter Dean Myers books!

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