Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kate DiCamillo: National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Kate DiCamillo signing a book for a fan after her
swearing in ceremony at the Library of Congress.
I'm a big fan of Kate DiCamillo's writing.  She's one of those authors who are able to write engaging, books, each of which tells a story quite different from the others.  And yet, each story is vivid, and deeply felt, with prose so elegant that it becomes poetic at times.

Her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie, was a 2001 Newbery Honor book and The Tale of Despereaux was the Newbery Winner for 2004.

Last week the Library of Congress held a ceremony in which DiCamillo was named the fourth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.  Created by the Library of Congress, the Children's Book Council, and Every Child a Reader,

"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."
Meaning, for the next two years DiCamillo will be going around the country promoting books and reading for kids.  What an amazing gig, right?

The Library of Congress Blog has a great entry with quotes from the ceremony, both from her introduction as well as DiCamillo's speech.  Her official Facebook page has a lengthy list of reader questions that DiCamillo has responded to.  I found both to be well worth the read, both as a fan of DiCamillo's writing and as a writer.  I hope you might, too.

-- Tom