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Author Kate DiCamillo named National Ambassador of Young People's Literature

Kate DiCamillo, author of "Flora & Ulysses" (Candlewick,

Kate DiCamillo, author of "Flora & Ulysses" (Candlewick, Sept. 2013). Credit: Catherine Smith

"Because of Winn-Dixie” author and Newbery Medal Award winner and honoree, Kate DiCamillo, was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

DiCamillo's platform is "Stories Connect Us” and she will be serving in the position during 2014 and 2015. The inauguration ceremony will take place on Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

“Kate DiCamillo is not only one of our finest writers for young people but also an outstanding advocate for the importance of reading,” said Billington in a news release. “The Library of Congress is pleased to welcome Kate as a worthy successor to our three previous National Ambassadors.”

A selection committee chooses the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Ambassador based on criteria such as the candidate's contribution to young people's literature and ability to relate to children. The position was created to raise national awareness of the importance of young adult literature as it relates to "lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people," according to a Candlewick Press news release.

The initiative was founded by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children's Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader.

DiCamillo most recent book, "Flora & Ulysses,” is a New York Times bestseller. She is also the author of "A Tiger Rising” (a National Book Award finalist), "The Tale of Despereaux” (2003 Newbery Medal winner) and "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” (winner of The Boston Globe Horn Book Award).

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