Tuesday, January 10, 2012

There's a new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature in town

And not everyone is happy about it.

Award winning author Walter Dean Myers has been named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Myer's many fans of his books such as Monster, Shooter, Fallen Angels, and many more are happy to have a celebrated author speak on behalf of Young People's Literature, but there is at least one voice of dissent.

Commentator and former public school teacher, Alexander Nazaryan has written a scathing rebuke of the choice in a blog for the New York Daily News, calling Myers work 'insipid'.  He claims that all Myer's work does is reflect the worst of life and failing to inspire or elevate beyond it.  Instead he believes kids and teens should be reading the classics such as  Homer's The Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid. However, he doesn't ever say why kids and teens couldn't or shouldn't read both classics and contemporary literature, which is something that Myers can do in his role as ambassador. You can read his missive here and decide for yourself if Myer's is the best choice for ambassador.  To make up your mind, you can also listen to this NPR interview with Myers himself here. Also, check out his wonderful books in our childrens, young adult, and biography sections.  Ask a librarian and he or she will gladly help you find our full holdings of his titles.

Let us know what you think about his being named ambassador in the comments.

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