Today, the Library of Congress is welcoming Meg Medina as its first Latina ambassador for young people’s literature. She will hold this title for two years.
Medina wears her Cuban-American identity proudly, which is evident in the books she’s authored. Her work ranges from picture books to middle-grade, and young-adult fiction.
This Latina ambassador has previously won a Newbery Medal in 2019 and was awarded the New York Times Notable Children’s Book of the Year for her middle-grade novel, “Merci Suárez Changes Gears.”
“It’s a huge honor, but it also comes balanced with this enormous responsibility,” Medina told NPR in a recent interview. “My job is to help America’s children construct a reading life.”
As the Latina author acquaints herself with her role, she will tour different schools throughout the United States. Her goal is to engage with young readers through her theme, “Cuéntame: Let’s Talk Books.”
The word “Cuéntame” is roughly translated to “what’s going on?” – and it’s a way to initiate a conversation about catching up. Moreover, Medina is going to use the concept of updating people by weaving in the art of storytelling. She hopes this will allow young readers to use the skills learned through reading beyond the pages of books.
The announcement of her new title comes in as literary censorship – especially for books mentioning anything LGBTQ+ – is at its height in modern history. In fact, Medina’s own Pura Belpré Award-winning book, “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” has been met with bans in recent years.
But one thing about authors is that their voices will carry on regardless of the obstacles they are presented with.
Continuous support for Meg Medina
BELatina is no stranger to Medina’s work. In the past, we’ve written about her book, “Merci Suárez Can’t Dance,” which is a sequel to her Newbery Medal-winning novel. The book wrote about the intricacies of life and the lessons it bears.
“I’m so excited to bring my readers into the world of the Suárez family and Seaward Pines once again…New friends, new teachers, and new self-doubts. It’s been a thrill to write about all the zany things that the seventh grade can throw at a person,” Meg told BELatina.
We continue to be in awe of her work as well as many other Latine authors.
If you’d like to witness this historic event, The Library of Congress will stream it live on its YouTube channel.