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

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.

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.

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.

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The process of selecting books published long ago for a present-day audience provoked thoughtful conversations among our staff. We knew that the style of writing, the subject matter, and even the jokes found in century-old books might be difficult for young readers today to engage with. We knew that every book that we selected would inevitably reflect some of the attitudes, perspectives and beliefs of its own time, as well as failing to represent diverse authors and audiences.

Classic Children’s Books Collection Now Online at the Library of Congress

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week (April 29 to May 5, 2019), the Library of Congress has launched a unique online collection of 67 historically significant children’s books published more than 100 years ago. Drawn from the Library’s collections, Children’s Book Selections are digital versions both of classic works still read […]

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Celebrate Children’s Book Week with Us! Special Livestreamed Event 10am April 29th

To kick off our celebration of Children’s Book Week (April 29-May 3), we invite you to tune into our live stream on Monday, April 29th, beginning at 10 am EDT.

We will be livestreaming a special program from the Young Readers Center in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Local authors who are members of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, will be reading twenty special children’s books from the Library’s collections.

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