12 January 2008
If the UN can have a goodwill ambassador, then why not children's literature? In a super-cool move, The Library of Congress has appointed Children's Author Jon Scieszka as the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He doesn't have the status of Children's Laureate, a title which is used in the UK. But he will spend the next two years stumping for reading. The LC have made a great choice. His off-beat sense of humor, and his dedication to keep boys reading in particular(check out his Guys Read site) works in his favor. Scieszka understands that an emphasis needs to be placed on reading as much as on books. Not every kid wants to read War and Peace (Yes! I was the exception!) But most kids want to have fun. Scieszka wants to connect kids with fun things to read. All the power to him.
Some Scieszka faves:
Cowboy and Octopus (a NJFK Book of the Week)
The Time Warp Trio series (a great choice for kids looking to move away from Captain Underpants)
The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales