CHICAGO – Jeff Kinney, New York Times bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, has been named the national spokesperson for the 2014 observance of School Library Month. Celebrated in April and sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), School Library Month honors the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career.
“I don't know where I'd be without my school library,” said Kinney. “Our librarians were passionate about putting great books in the hands of kids, and making us into lifelong readers. School libraries introduce kids to whole new worlds and new perspectives and are so important in broadening kids' minds. It's crucial that we support our school libraries, especially in times of tightening budgets. I'm so grateful for the well-stocked libraries and knowledgeable, dedicated school librarians that were a part of my childhood.”
Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the story of middle-school underdog Greg Heffley who shares his life in a journal filled with cartoons and text. The first book in the series was released in April 2007 and was an instant bestseller, capturing the attention of reluctant readers, their parents and librarians everywhere. There are now eight books in the series, the most recent, “Hard Luck”, released on Nov. 5, 2013. It was the No. 1 bestselling book of 2013, adult or children’s.
“In creating such widely appealing characters, Jeff has enriched the lives of both students and school librarians,” said Susan Hess, School Library Month committee chair. “As such a popular author and illustrator, AASL is extremely fortunate to have Jeff Kinney as the School Library Month 2014 spokesperson.”
More information on the 2014 School Library Month celebration can be found on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/slm.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The series has remained consistently on the New York Times lists since the publication of the first book. The books have been sold in more than 44 territories in 42 languages. Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, Kinney's work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine's most influential people in the world. Three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. The book series won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and Jeff Kinney won a Children's Choice Book Award in 2012 and 2013. Books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers around the globe. The Wimpy Kid Island (Wimpy Wonderland) on poptropica.com, a virtual world for kids, remains one of the most visited on the site.