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Yaqui, Pura Belpré and Me

By January 31, 2014No Comments

Here is what it looks like when a dream comes true. photo

This blurry “selfie” was taken on a Richmond-bound Amtrak train, two minutes after getting the news that I had won the 2014 Pura Belpré Award. I was on my way home from the ALA Midwinter Conference on Sunday night when my cellphone rang and Ruth Tobar, chair of the selection committee, gave me the good news. I was  promptly sworn to secrecy until the next day. Obviously, Gigi guessed what all my Spanish and crying was about; thank goodness she’s a steel trap.

Yaqui with medalThank you so much, everyone, for the tsunami of good wishes. (And thank you, Ms. Espinal, President of REFORMA (the ALA’s affiliate group that focuses on library services for Latino youth and families) for saying “ass” with such courage and gusto from the podium!) It’s an honor beyond belief to receive this award alongside some of the most talented people working in children’s publishing today. (Full list of ALA Youth Media winners here.) Un abrazo fuerte for: Yuyi Morales, Margarita Engle, Matt De la Peña, Duncan Tonatiuh, Angela Dominguez, and Rafael Lopez.

Pura Belpré winner for illustration

Pura Belpré winner for illustration

Margarita Engle Matt de la Peña

pancho rabbit Tito Puente by Monica Brown MariaLlama

Other pieces of good news continue to come in for YAQUI,  but for now I’m off to a Banned Books and Brews event at Longwood University this weekend to help raise funds for the Virginia Children’s Book Festival which will bring some pretty big names to Virginia in the fall. A drink doesn’t sound like such a bad idea right about now.


(Check out the awards. FYI, the Pura Belpré starts just after 38)


Meg Medina

Author Meg Medina

I'm Meg Medina, author of libros for kids of all ages. I'm the 2019 Newbery medalist for Merci Suárez Changes Gears. I write strong girls, tough circumstances, and the connecting power of culture. Thanks for visiting my blog!

More posts by Meg Medina

Join the discussion No Comments

  • Raquel says:

    Congratulations! I’m very proud of you and the award is well-deserved.

    • Meg Medina says:

      Thanks so much to you and everyone at Candlewick, Raquel. It’s been a banner year for the house, and it’s so wonderful to be part of this magical place.

  • Michelle Rosman says:

    So incredibly proud of you, Meg! Kudos and love and awe and all good things to you, my dear friend.

  • Jo Knowles says:

    I am so happy for you and your KICKASS book!!! 🙂 (Shouted with gusto!) This is such a beautiful and powerful story and I’m so excited that it received this honor. Hooray!

    • Meg Medina says:

      Jo – You were one of the first to write a jacket blurb in support of the book, and I will forever be grateful. So fun to share this with friends near and far!

  • Just FYI, the person who called you was Ruth Tobar, chair of the Belpré Committee 2014, along with the committee members, and Isabel was the one who announced it with “gusto” on Monday morning. Anyway… Congratulations! Excellent book!

  • abwestrick says:

    Meg – I love this picture of you and Gigi on the train! Love, love, love! The moment I finished reading YAQUI, I knew it was an award-winner. Fabulous story. Congratulations! So thrilled for you!