Meg Medina Named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2023-24

The Cuban-American winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal will become the first author of Latina heritage to serve in the role.

Author Meg Medina will be the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature for 2023-24, the Library of Congress (LOC) and Every Child a Reader announced today.

Meg Medina
Photo by Scott Elmquist

The 2019 Newbery Medal winner for Merci Suárez Changes Gears is Cuban-American and will become the first author of Latina heritage to serve in the role. Her platform will be "Cuéntame!: Let’s talk books," an idea inspired by the Spanish phrase that friends and families use when catching up with one another. The goal is to encourage connection through books that offer mirrors of the readers' lives as well as windows into new worlds and experiences.

“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 realize the responsibility is critical, but with the fine examples of previous ambassadors to guide me, I am eager to get started on my vision for this important work. More than anything, I want to make reading and story-sharing something that happens beyond classroom and library walls. 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.”

She takes over from Jason Reynolds, who served an extended term from 2020-22, due to COVID disruptions. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will inaugurate Medina on Tuesday, January 24, at 10:30 a.m. in a ceremony that will be live-streamed on the LOC's YouTube page.

Read the full press release below.


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