On January 10th, author Walter Dean Myers was sworn in as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
Myers is the third person to be appointed to the post, which was created in 2008 and is chosen by a committee formed by two groups: the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Every Child a Reader, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Children’s Book Council.
Myers has earned two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, two National Book Award finalists, the Margaret Edwards Award for his YA literature. His books have also won the Coretta Scott King Award and the Michael L. Printz Award.
He stresses that parents need to read to their children. "Read to them at three months, six months, nine months old," he said, citing a new study showing that, when they start school at five years old, most kids are "already far behind." (from www.shelf-awareness.com)
One of his goals: "Reading has to become cool for boys." Myers was raised by foster parents. He went through some difficult family times and dropped out of high school to join the Army. In spite of everything, he became a successful author. Myers credits his success in life to being able to read.
His platform as ambassador is "Reading is not optional."