Welcome Jason Reynolds, 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature!

The following guest post is by Sasha Dowdy, program specialist in the Library’s Young Readers Center.

Jason Reynolds, 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Photo: James J. Reddington.

You may have seen this exciting news from the Library: Young adult and middle grade author Jason Reynolds has been announced as the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2020-2021! Watch CBS coverage of the announcement here, and read The Washington Post’s KidsPost article here.

Tomorrow, January 16, the Library will host an inaugural event for the new ambassador. Tune in at 10:30 AM EST live on the Library’s YouTube site (with captions) or Facebook page.

Jason Reynolds is the author of 13 books for young people including his most recent, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, a National Book Award finalist, which was named a Best Book of 2019 by NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and TIME.  A native of Washington, D.C., Reynolds began writing poetry at 9 years old, and is the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and multiple Coretta Scott King Award honors.

For his two-year term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Reynolds will visit small towns across America to have meaningful discussions with young people. Through his platform, “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story,” Reynolds, who regularly talks about his journey from reluctant reader to award-winning author, will redirect his focus as ambassador by listening and empowering students to embrace and share their own personal stories.

The National Ambassador program was established by the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council and its foundation, Every Child a Reader, in 2008 to emphasize the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.

We hope you’ll join us tomorrow for Jason Reynolds’ inauguration, either virtually or in person. You can learn even more about our new ambassador on his Library of Congress resource guide.

Rita Dove and “On the Bus with Rosa Parks”

Because of her enduring impact and legacy, one doesn’t need to look far to find Rosa Parks memorialized in poetry. In 1999, Rita Dove—U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-1995—published her poetry collection ”On the Bus with Rosa Parks.” In celebration of the Library’s new exhibition, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words,” we’re reprinting two poems from Dove’s “On the Bus with Rosa Parks” in this post.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with the Annual Young Readers Center Puppet Show (the Day After Thanksgiving!)

The Young Readers Center is excited to invite you to see the annual Puppet Show on the day after Thanksgiving on November 29, 2019. This year we are sharing Native American Folktales, with stories and poems from nations such as Cree, Seneca, Winnebago, and Navajo adapted from books by Abenaki authors and storytellers—the father-son duo Joseph and James Bruchac.

Alexander McCall Smith and the World of Mma Precious Ramotswe

On October 24, 2019, the Library of Congress welcomed the fifth author in its yearlong National Book Festival Presents series, the inimitable fiction writer Alexander McCall Smith. As part of the programming surrounding Mr. McCall Smith’s visit, staff from four Library divisions were asked to develop a display of items related to Mr. McCall Smith and his works.

Veterans Art Showcase: Occupational Poetry

On Wednesday, November 6, in honor of Veterans Day and the 20th anniversary of the Veterans History Project, the Veterans History Project, the American Folklife Center, and the Poetry and Literature Center will host a discussion on occupational poetry. In anticipation, we’ve asked three of the event’s participating poets to share a poem, answer a few questions about their work, and respond to another occupational poet’s poem. 

Work and Play … with Language: Occupational Poetry

Occupational poetry is a category of verbal art anchored in communities of work. As a form of folk poetry, it often manifests in the everyday settings of jobs and employment. Folklore scholarship and fieldwork has focused on the poetic traditions within a narrow range of occupational roles, including miners, commercial fishers, loggers, and, perhaps most visibly, cowboys.

Quaint and Curious Forgotten (Copyright) Lore

The following cross-post was written by Alison Hall, a writer-editor for the Office of Public Information and Education in the U.S. Copyright Office; it originally appeared on the Copyright: Creativity at Work blog. Learn more about the connection between Edgar Allan Poe and copyright at the Copyright Matters event “Quoth the Raven: Edgar Allan Poe […]