On January 13, 2020, the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader announced the appointment of Jason Reynolds as the seventh National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2020-2021. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden offered the following remarks on Reynolds' appointment:
I am thrilled our next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is the dynamic, positively electric Jason Reynolds. Jason and his work galvanize readers to believe in themselves, ask critical questions, and create stronger communities.
An inauguration ceremony, presided by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and attended by both Jason Reynolds and 2018-19 National Ambassador Jacqueline Woodson, took place on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 10:30 a.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building. [View recording of inaugural ceremony.]
For his two-year term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Reynolds will visit small towns across America to have meaningful discussions with young people. Through his platform, “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story,” Reynolds, who regularly talks about his journey from reluctant reader to award-winning author, will redirect his focus as ambassador by listening and empowering students to share their own personal stories.
The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature raises national 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.
The national ambassador is selected for his or her contributions to young people’s literature, the ability to relate to kids and teens and dedication to fostering children’s literacy in all forms. The selection, made by the Librarian of Congress, is based on recommendations from an independent committee comprising educators, librarians, booksellers and children’s literature experts.