”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.
I’ve talked about Jon Scieszka and Kate DiCamillo before. This time, it’s Walter Dean Myers turn! I think it was during his term that I first realized there was such a thing as a Nation Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His platform was “Reading is not optional.” I didn’t know he was so prolific, having written over 100 books in his life. And it was a shame I hadn’t read anything until now. I’m glad his legacy lives on.
Wow! What a thought provoking piece of work! Sixteen-year-old Steve is on trial in a murder case which, if convicted, could get him a lifetime in jail. He recounts the court case as a screenplay (complete with stage directions) as he plays it as a film on his mind. He interspersed it with diary entries that gives readers more insight to his character. High tension. Even after the verdict is announced, one can’t think some more about the rightness or wrongness of it.