Tuesday, September 10, 2019

2019 Newbery Medalist Meg Medina: An Ambassador of Cultures

Her ears were buzzing. Her knees were buckling. Her mouth was babbling. Author Meg Medina Merci Suárez Changes Gears (Candlewick, 2018) had been awarded the coveted Newbery Medal. In her YouTube response, Medina shares her elation and appreciation to readers and committee members alike.
remembers that much about the morning she received “the” call from the Newbery Committee telling her that her book
Just a handful of years ago, Medina emerged on the publishing scene with her picture book,  Tia Isa Wants a Car (Candlewick, 2011). Since then, she has written six more titles which have received numerous accolades and awards including Pura Belpré Honors for Mango, Abuela, and Me (Candlewick, 2017).
“I could not have dreamed this scenario,” shares Medina. “The real question is what do you do with that precious gift? It has to amount to more than having a sticker on your book and a pretty medal sitting in a curio cabinet. For me, it has meant figuring out how to use my visibility to bring new authors to the table, and how to encourage readers—whether they’re parents, teachers, librarians, or young people—to read widely, diversely, and voraciously. It has meant using my visibility to be an ambassador of cultures to readers at a time when our country is wrestling with so many divisive narratives.”

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