Author and Library of Congress’s 2023-24 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
In this episode, we speak with Meg Medina, a Newbery Award-winning author and the current Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Meg Medina has written numerous books for kids and young adults, including “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” “Burn, Baby, Burn” and the Merci Suárez triology which she just concluded. In this interview, Medina talks about growing up in the multi-cultural hotbed of Queens, NY as the first child born in North America to Cuban parents and her role as linguistic and cultural translator for the family. She discusses the importance of family’s storytelling to her own writing, not finding herself on the pages of books she read as a kid, but still treasuring the escape that books offered. We talk about her ten years of classroom teaching and her transition to children’s literature, her mining of her own experiences as kid in her writing process, her belief in the power of stories to create empathy and understanding, and the importance of authenticity and diversity in young adult literature and in stories that represent a wide range of experiences and perspectives. We also talk about her role as Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature where she’s create a framework she’s calling “Cuéntame!” which is designed to highlight the joy to be found in reading and create spaces where kids that share joy with each other and with their families. And yes, we talk about Merci Suárez! Let us know what you think about Art Works—email us at email@example.com.
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