These are the words that the phenomenal, multi-award winning author Jacqueline Woodson is beginning her two year tenure as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature with.
Awarded by the Library of Congress, the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader, sponsor this important initiative. The post of National Ambassador for Young People's Literature was established to raise awareness of the importance of young people's literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.
As the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Woodson will travel the country and speak to children. Carla Hayden, the 14th Congressional Librarian, said she knew Woodson would be a "natural fit" for this role, having seen the author interact with children during her tenure as the chief executive at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD. Speaking to her plans for her time as ambassador with the New York Times, Woodson hopes to, "emphasize how books can drive change and instill hope," saying,
For young people who are very stressed about the future, who have this sense of disempowerment, who don't know what's coming next, my big quest is for them to remain hopeful. When you come to literature, it does allow you an escape from the world if that's what you need, but it also changes you. You're different than when you started that book.
I can't think of a better mission for the time we are living in, and Jacqueline Woodson is the perfect person to bring it to our kids!
My reviews of Woodson's books
A few more, but not all, of Woodson's books