“We worry that children can’t see futures for themselves, that they can’t imagine a change in their circumstances. But I say that aspiration is born the moment a child can imagine something to be true for him or herself. Having the chance to meet authors in the flesh helps kids see how the power of words and story – including their own – works in this world. It opens the imagination. What if? What if that could be me?”
Meg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author of picture books, middle grade novels, and teen fiction. She was the 2016 recipient of the Pura Belpré Honor medal for her picture book, Mango, Abuela and Me, the 2014 recipient of the Pura Belpre Medal for her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, and the 2012 recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writers Medal for her picture book Tia Isa Wants a Car. Meg’s most recent young adult novel, Burn Baby Burn, was long listed for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize.
In addition to writing, Meg is active in a number of community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and literacy. Along with Gigi Amateau, Meg founded Girls of Summer, a blog that creates annual summer reading lists that speak to the experience of becoming a strong woman. Meg also serves on the Advisory Committee for We Need Diverse Books, the grassroots organization working to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
Born in Alexandria, Virginia and raised by her mother in Flushing, New York, Meg was the first American citizen in her family. She grew up in a Spanish-speaking household filled with aunts, uncles, and grandparents, all of whom were tireless storytellers. Meg always loved reading, anything from Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web to Deenie and Blubber. However, it wasn’t until she was in her twenties, when she picked up House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros that she saw herself and her life experiences on the written page.
These days, Meg lives with her family in Richmond, Virginia. When she’s not writing or community organizing, you’ll find Meg playing with her dogs, chowing down Milk Duds, or salsa dancing. Meg dances a mean salsa.
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