Tale of Despereaux Author Kate DiCamillo Appointed National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Posted on January 2, 2014

Newbery Medal Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo has been named the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress. She has selected "Stories Connect Us" as her platform during her term. The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, selects the ambassador who serves a term of two years. Ms. DiCamillo will be inaugurated in a ceremony at the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., on January 10, 2014. She succeeds Walter Dean Myers. She will serve through December, 2015.

Ms. DiCamillo wrote the Newberry Honor book, Because of Winn-Dixie and A Tiger Rising which was a National Book Award finalist. She is best known for writing the bestselling book The Tale of Despereaux which won the 2003 Newbery Medal. She also wrote The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane which won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. Her latest book is Flora & Ulysses which is a New York Times bestseller.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington had this to say about her appointment: "Kate DiCamillo is not only one of our finest writers for young people, but also an outstanding advocate for the importance of reading. The Library of Congress is pleased to welcome Kate as a worthy successor to our three previous National Ambassadors."

The position of National Ambassador for Young People's Literature is a prestigious one. Appointees are selected based on a variety of criteria including the person's ability to relate to children and his or her contribution to young people's literature. The post was created to promote a higher profile for young people's literature and to raise literacy rates among young people. Ms. DiCamillo will appear at events across the country promoting reading. She will give talks and interact with young people, encouraging their love of books and reading.

The program is funded by Penguin Young Readers Group, Scholastic Inc., The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HarperCollins Children's Books, Random House Children's Books and Candlewick Press.

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