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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature announced in NYC

January 3, 2008

I'm usually up early, but to be on a moving train to NYC at 6:30 a.m. is a bit out of the ordinary even for me. But it was well worth it.

We arrived in time to get to the Mulberry Branch of the New York Public Library, for the announcement of the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a joint project of the Library of Congress and the Children's Book Council.

Though it was in the various media today, it was a pleasure to see the first ever American Ambassador in action putting a face on the pleasure and power of literature for young people — which naturally supports literacy. And what a face it is!

The Ambassador is none other than award-winning author, Jon Scieszka, outspoken proponent of reading and the command of humor. (There's an interview with him on Reading Rockets, by the way.)

For the next two years, Jon will travel across the country to promote reading and the role of literature in young people's lives. Jon and his successors will help create lifelong reading and readers, touching children and young people and the significant adults in their lives.

Librarians are among those adults. So it seemed particularly wonderful when it was announced today that Ambassador Scieszka will visit a library somewhere in the country. This will be determined by a raffle during the Midwinter Conference of the American Library Association in Philadelphia, PA, later this month.

Neat stuff, huh? I'll be there for the drawing — and for the announcement of theNewbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King Awards, and others.

Stay tuned! There's a lot more to come!

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables