Gene Luen Yang Named 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2016–2017

The Children’s Book Council, Every Child
a Reader, and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress announced yesterday that
two-time National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang will serve as the National Ambassador for Young
People’s Literature for the 2016-2017 term
.  Established in 2008, the program’s mission is to raise awareness of the importance of young people’s literature, and how great writing can positively impact a child’s life.

During his tenure, Yang will travel to schools and libraries nationwide promoting “Reading Without Walls,” a program aimed at showing kids, teens, and adults
that reading is vital nourishment, and how to achieve a lifelong love of reading.

Previous ambassadors include authors Jon Scieszka (2008–2009), Katherine Paterson (2010–2011),
Walter Dean Myers (2012–2013), and Kate DiCamillo (2014–2015). (NPR ran a great interview with Yang yesterday–listen here.)

Yang is setting the bar ever higher for new waves of graphic novelists: his graphic novel American Born Chinese was the first-ever to be nominated for the National Book Award, and Yang is the first graphic novelist to be named National Ambassador
for Young People’s Literature.

The inauguration ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 7 at 11
a.m.
in room LJ-119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building,
10 First St. S.E., Washington D.C. The event is open to the public.

Flora and Ulysses, The Illustrated Series  is out in paperback! Kate DiCamillo’s 2014 Newbery award winning story about a self-descrbed cynic and her furry sidekick is an uproarious tale that deserves pride of place on any child’s bookshelf. (Really, anything by DiCamillo is a surefire hit.)

Already read Flora and Ulysses? Check out Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, the latest offering from National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature where a lonely wannabe cowboy falls in love with an old mare named Maybelline. DiCamillo fans will recognize many characters from her Mercy Watson series who return here for some good old-fashioned horsing around.