We thank our colleagues Anne Holmes of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Office and Sasha Dowdy of the Young Readers Center for this post, previously published on the From the Catbird Seat: Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress blog. You can find the original post here.
The following guest post is by Sasha Dowdy, program specialist in the Library’s Young Readers Center.
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.
Will the schedule of small town stops be advertised? Where would we be able to find out dates and places?
The Children’s Book Council will be handling Mr. Reynolds’s schedule but it is highly unlikely he will start his tour before the end of April. Please direct any queries to Shaina Birkhead at the Children’s Book Council.