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Steve Casanova

Monday, January 28, 2019

Richmond Author Meg Medina Wins John Newbery Medal

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 8:00 PM

It was announced today that Richmonder Meg Medina, a former contributor to Style Weekly, has been awarded one of the highest honors in children's literature, the John Newbery Medal.

The Cuban-American author was given the award for her book "Merci Suarez Changes Gears" (Candlewick Press), which "tells the story of an 11-year-old's struggles as she navigates between the worlds of her elite private school and her extended Latino family," according to the Associated Press.

"There are so many negative characterizations these days of Latino families and what it is to be an immigrant," Medina told the Associated Press. "This toxic conversation about immigration and who's dangerous and who's American absorbs us all. I feel this enormous pressure to provide a counternarrative."

“Meg Medina’s warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family’s life with authenticity and empathy,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ellen M. Riordan on the Newbery Medal home page.

On her blog, Medina notes that "I’m just back from my residency at Hamline University in Minnesota, where I’ve been teaching as part of the MFA in Children’s Writing program with some of my favorite people."

Last year it was announced that Hulu has bought a drama project based on her YA book, "Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass" which Style covered in 2013.

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