Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Walter Dean Myers was just appointed to be the national ambassador for young people’s literature. Myers grew up in Harlem, a high school dropout, and the son of an illiterate man. Today his gritty realistic fiction is popular among young readers.

I heard Myers interviewed this morning on NPR. He says that today reading is more important than at any time. With the decline of manufacturing jobs, reading and reading-related skills are a must. Reading is not optional. It is necessary.

One of the most striking things he spoke about was his belief that parents, grandparent, and caretakers need to read to children—from birth. My blog followers know how strongly I believe that.

Listen for yourself. Here is the link:


1 comment:

  1. I heard about Walter Dean Myers becoming the New Ambassador for Young People's Literature. I've been waiting for his speech. Thank you for the link.
    I read his book Somewhere in the Darkness years ago. I remember it being an eye opener and it included some scenes that were a little uncomfortable for me to read even as an adult. I liked the book and felt more aware of the world when I finished reading it. My memory fails me as to all the details. It is actually sitting by me at this very moment waiting to be reread. I also just ordered one of his new picture books, We Are America A Tribute From the Heart.


What I think . . .

There are all kinds of readers. Some—like my daughter and me—are never without a book to read for pleasure. Others—like my son—are careful, analytical, and curious readers who read primarily to seek information from the page.

No matter what kind of reader your child becomes, you can help him or her get started. After all, you are your child’s first teacher. And, best of all, you can have some fun in the process.

Please feel free to share your own ideas. Tell me about ways you've enjoyed reading with your child.

Madeline Boskey, Ph.D.