“The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature raises 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.”
-from the website


I didn’t know there was even this position until a year or so ago. I think it’s great. I wanted to know more about the authors selected as Ambassadors and their respective platforms so I created a Reading Challenge to read at least one of their books.

Last time, I talked about Jon Scieszka. This time, it’s Kate DiCamillo’s turn!


Being a lifelong reader, a library lover, a literacy advocate, and a bookseller, I definitely agree that stories have a way of bringing people together.

We recently had our Family Book Club at work and we had discussed Flora & Ulysses. I loved hearing the enthusiasm in the kids’ voices and their appreciation for the quirkiness of the characters.

Flora & Ulysses has become one of my 47 favorite books of all time! Read on for my review.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated AdventuresFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know why I put off reading Flora & Ulysses for so long. There is absolutely nothing I can find wrong with it. It is perfection!

This book is full of wonderful words to enrich one’s vocabulary- cynic, malfeasance, foreboding, treacle. And the love of both comic books and poetry is just a bonus.

All the characters are memorable and endearing. The unexpected friendship and love between the titular characters was great.

The book reminds me of a Wes Anderson film in its tone.

View all my reviews

I also love recommending her Mercy Watson series to our customers because of their fun stories. Chris Van Dusen’s playful illustrations complements the text well.

And, also good for emergent readers is her Bink & Gollie books co-written by Alison McGhee with illustrations by Tony Fucile. Divided into multiple stories, each one (and as a whole) is a sweet hilarious friendship tale.

The Family Book Club kids were unanimous with their praises for Kate DiCamillo’s other books so I can’t wait to read more! Which book of hers would you recommend I read next?

One thought on “National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature: Part 2

  1. I agree with you on this book, but then I’ve never read a Kate DiCamillo book I didn’t love. This one surprised me by how much depth there was to it as it started out so delightfully silly. I should have known better. It was by Kate DiCamillo after all.

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