What wonderful news: esteemed author Walter Dean Myers has been named the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. On NPR this week, I heard an interview with Myers who said that his theme would be “Reading is not optional.” He spoke eloquently (as he always does) about how essential family reading is for our young people to have productive futures. Those of us who work on Día and are looking forward to its 16th anniversary in April agree totally.
Some years back, I’d spoken in one of the tents at the National Book Festival and then had the opportunity to stand at the back of a neighboring tent and hear Walter. He said that in many homes the dinner table is a place for families to discuss their days and complex issues and values. He went on to say that many of our young people don’t have such dinner table discussions and that his books are his way of helping young people work through life’s decisions and challenges. Walter Dean Myers is such a honorable man. How fortunate all of us involved in literature for young people are to have him as our ambassador.