The position of National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature was created to raise national awareness of 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.
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.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (external link) (CBC) and its foundation, Every Child a Reader, are the sponsors of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature initiative.
The National Ambassador program was established in 2008 with the naming of Jon Scieszka for the 2008-2009 term. In January 2010, Katherine Paterson became the second National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The third Ambassador is Walter Dean Myers, who assumed the position in January 2012.
- Author or illustrator offiction or nonfiction books
- U.S. citizen, living in theUnited States
- Excellent and facilecommunicator
- Dynamic and engagingpersonality
- Known ability to relate tochildren; communicates well and regularly with them
- Someone who has made asubstantial contribution to young people’s literature
- Stature; someone who isrevered by children and who has earned the respect and admiration of hisor her peers
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Selection Committee 2012-13
- Jennifer Brown, Children's Editor, Shelf Awareness
- Valerie Koehler, Bookseller, Blue Willow Books, Houston
- Hillias Jack Martin, Assistant Director for Public Programs/Lifelong Learning for Children, Teens and Families, New York Public Library
- Katherine Paterson, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, 2010-11
- Caroline Ward, Librarian/Youth Services Coordinator, Ferguson Library, Conn.; Professor, Pratt Institute
- Seira Wilson, Book Editor, Amazon.com
- Junko Yokota, Professor, National-Louis University; Director, Center for Teaching Through Children's Books