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Kate DiCamillo Named New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2014-2015

Kate DiCamillo, Newbery Medal Award winner and honoree, was today named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. DiCamillo will serve in the position during 2014 and 2015, succeeding Walter Dean Myers and has chosen “Stories Connect Us” as the heading for her platform. The inauguration ceremony will take place on January 10 at 11 a.m. at the Library of Congress in WashingtonD.C.

“Kate DiCamillo is not only one of our finest writers for young people but also an outstanding advocate for the importance of reading,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The Library of Congress is pleased to welcome Kate as a worthy successor to our three previous National Ambassadors.”   

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 position 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 initiative was founded by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader. The program is administered by Every Child a Reader. Financial support for the National Ambassador program is provided 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.

“Kate’s platform, ‘Stories Connect Us,’ coordinates perfectly with the mission of the Center for the Book, which works to promote books and reading nationwide,” said John Y. Cole, the center’s director. “We look forward to working with Kate as she travels the country with her message of stories and their ability to join communities.”

“Kate DiCamillo has an incredible ability to create memorable and relatable characters,” said Robin Adelson, Executive Director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader. “A skillful storyteller all around, Kate will inspire young readers and communities to read together and share their very own tales.”

Kate DiCamillo is the author of Because of Winn-Dixie (a Newbery Honor book), A Tiger Rising (a National Book Award finalist), The Tale of Despereaux (2003 Newbery Medal winner) and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award), among others. Her most recent book, Flora & Ulysses, was published in September, 2013 and is a New York Times bestseller. DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia and raised in Florida. She currently resides in MinneapolisMinnesota.

About The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The Center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center and its Poetry and Literature Center.

About The Children’s Book Council

The Children’s Book Council, established in 1945, is the nonprofit trade association of publishers of trade books for children and young adults in the United States. The CBC promotes the use and enjoyment of trade books foryoung people, most prominently as the official sponsor of Children’s Book Week, the longest running literacy event in the country. The goal of the Children’s Book Council is to make the reading and enjoyment of books for young people an essential part of America’s educational and social goals, as well as to enhance the public perception of the importance of reading by disseminating information about books for young people and about children’s book publishing. For more information about the CBC, please visit www.cbcbooks.org

About Every Child A Reader

Every Child a Reader is a 501(c)(3)literacy foundation, the mission of which is to instill a lifelong love of reading in children. Every Child a Reader fulfills its mission by supporting positive programs and opportunities, such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Children’s Choice Book Awards and Children’s Book Week, that help promote the enjoyment and importance of reading among America’s youth. For more information about Every Child a Reader, please visit www.ecarfoundation.org.

For more information about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, go to www.ChildrensBookAmbassador.com.

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