Congratulations, Meg Medina! The Richmond author is the winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal for her middle-grade novel, Merci Suarez Changes Gears. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Merci Suarez is Medina’s seventh book and her second middle-grade novel. She also earned recognition from the Pura Belpré committee in 2014 for her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, and in 2016 for Mango, Abuela, and Me, a picture book. Other than her first novel, Milagros: Girl from Away (Holt, 2008), all of her books have been edited by Candlewick’s Kate Fletcher.
Here’s what Meg has to say:
“It has been an enormous honor to win the Newbery. It’s life-changing in every way, but mostly in that it widens my connection to readers in this country. That’s especially important because I write about family, which I believe is the single most important building block in a person’s life. I write honestly about the people who love and shape us imperfectly, and I do it through the lens of Latinx families. That feels so important to me right now since we are at a time in our history when so many disparaging characterizations of immigrant families abound. I challenge those awful stereotypes and write the people I know.”
For more on Meg Medina, read Meg Medina, Storyteller in RFM.