Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Walter Dean Myers named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

The January 3, 2012 issue of the New York Times reported that ..on Tuesday January 3, 2012, Mr.[Walter Dean] Myers, 74, 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"

According to the New York Times article,January 3, 2012,  C1 of the New York edition with the headline: "Children’s Book Envoy Defines His Mission"

Mr. Myers is the third person to hold this post awarded by  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. Katherine Paterson, young adult novelist, and children's author Jon Scieszka were previous holders of this position.

Mr. Myers, a young adult and children's author  highlights the lives of urban teens in many of his books. His books are often considered edgy due to their realistic situations and characters, but  also uplifting.

Mr. Myers will be touring schools and libraries in the next two years speaking about reading and literacy. As quoted in the article, Myers maintains that:
“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 here 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, a Jersey City resident, also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the M. Jerry Weiss Center for Children's and Young Adult Literature (

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