Press contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217
Press contact: Virginia Anagnos, Goodman Media for Children’s Book Council (212) 576-2700 x222
Public contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

January 2, 2014

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

“Stories Connect Us” to Be Her Platform

Kate DiCamillo, Newbery Medal Award-winner and honoree, today was 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. She has chosen "Stories Connect Us" for her platform. The inauguration ceremony will take place Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. in Room LJ-119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.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 the 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. During their tenures, the ambassadors appear throughout the country at events with young people, encouraging them to make reading a central part of their lives.

The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature initiative was established by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council 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 best-seller. DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia and raised in Florida. She currently resides in Minneapolis.

For more information about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, visit read.gov/cfb/ambassador/.

About the Library of Congress and the Center for the Book

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit read.gov.

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 for young 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, visit cbcbooks.org (external link).

About Every Child A Reader

Every Child a Reader is a 501(c)(3)literacy foundation, whose mission 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, visit ecarfoundation.org (external link).

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PR 14-001
01/02/14
ISSN 0731-3527

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