Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Walter Dean Myers is this year's National Ambassador for Young People's Literature!

I am behindhand getting this important post up, and I apologize to y'all, but the truth is, I have been struggling with the right words to say how much I sincerely admire this man.

In the days since his ambassadorship was announced, Alexander Nazaryan wrote this provocative article for the NY Daily News scorning Myers's novels and questioning his fitness for the position.  Whether or not you agree with him, I advise you to read it.
It is a powerful thing to seek knowledge.  Which is why people will always argue over what is best for a particular group.  Meaning, in this case, you guys.*
Walter & his brother. (Excellent hats.)

As for my admiration for Myers, hearing his own words will do that better than anything I could write here.
"We’re suggesting that they’re missing something if they don’t read but, actually, we’re condemning kids to a lesser life. If you had a sick patient, you would not try to entice them to take their medicine. You would tell them, ‘Take this or you’re going to die.’ We need to tell kids flat out: reading is not optional.”

*Since beginning this post, Tucson, Arizona has ruled that Mexican American history programs are illegal, removing books from classrooms and in some cases, taking them right out of students' hands.


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