Meg Medina has been named the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the Library of Congress announced in a news release.
Medina is the author of several books for children and young adults, including The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass, and Burn Baby Burn. Her 2018 middle-grade novel, Merci Suárez Changes Gears, won the Newbery Medal and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. She brought back the title character in two other books, including her most recent one, Merci Suárez Plays It Cool, which a critic for Kirkus called “a fabulous finale to a memorable trilogy.”
Medina will begin her tenure as ambassador with a program called Cuéntame!: Let’s talk books. The program will encourage “connection among families, classrooms, libraries and communities by talking about books—both books that reflect the readers’ lived experiences and those that expose readers to new perspectives.”
“It’s an enormous honor to advocate for the reading and writing lives of our nation’s children and families,” Medina said in a statement. “I want to tap into books and stories as part of everyday life, with all of us coming to the table to share the tales that speak to us and that broaden our understanding of one another.”
The post of National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature was established in 2008 and is co-sponsored by the charity Every Child a Reader. Past ambassadors have included Walter Dean Myers, Gene Luen Yang, and Jacqueline Woodson.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.