'Because of Winn-Dixie', 'The Tale of Despereaux', 'The Tiger Rising', The Magicians Elephant' and her latest...'Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures'... will be named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature (for the United States) on January 10th at a ceremony at the Library of Congress.
DiCamillo will be the fourth children's ambassador named, following
Walter Dean Myers, who served as such since 2012. The others so honoured were Katherine Paterson (2010-2012) and Jon Scieszka (2008-2010). This prestigious position is the equivalent of the Children's Laureate.The award is presented bi-annually to an author or illustrator who is a U.S. citizen and has made a substantial contribution to children's literature.
I can't think of a better author to be so honoured. DiCamillo's books are exceptional and speak with strong clear voices, always telling evocative stories that stay with you for a very, very long time. (My personal favourite is 'The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane'.)
“Anybody who knows me knows I am a handwringer and a worrier, and this
is big and intimidating to me,” DiCamillo said. “But this community has
taken me in and reading is something I believe in so passionately. Being
offered this felt like such a huge gift, I couldn’t say no."
Congratulations.... and I'm sure you time as Ambassador for Young People's Literature will be utterly inspiring.