Walter Dean Myers Crowned National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

By Maryann Yin Comment

Children’s author Walter Dean Myers has been named the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Myers, who will be officially inaugurated on January 10th in Washington D.C., succeeds Bridge to Terabithia author Katherine Paterson. He has decided his platform heading to be “Reading is Not Optional.”

Here’s more from the release: “The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is named by the Librarian of Congress for a two-year term, based on recommendations from a selection committee representing many segments of the book community. The selection criteria include the candidate’s contribution to young people’s literature and ability to relate to children.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Myers (pictured, via) stated, “I think that what we need to do is say reading is going to really affect your life.” What do you think?

Throughout his career, Myers has authored more than fifty books in both fiction and nonfiction. Although he dropped out of high school at age 17, the prestigious Stuyvesant High School claims him as a graduate. He has been honored with five Coretta Scott King Awards, two Newbery Honors and the Michael L. Printz Award.