Newbery award winner and New York Times bestselling author

Burn Baby Burn

BurnBabyBurn_cvrSktch-7 copy 2

Burn Baby Burn

Candlewick Press, March 2016

Paperback, March 2018

ISBN HC 978-0-7637-7467-0; PB: 978-1-5362-0027-0; e-book and audio editions available
Young Adult, 320 pages

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New York, summer 1977. Nora Lopez is seventeen, in love with both a new guy and disco music. But the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. And her troubles don’t even end there. Her brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, and her mother is helpless or unwilling to stop his decline. Life is a series of secrets, with tempers and temperatures running high. What will it take for Nora to survive?

Sample chapter here

Awards and Recognitions:

imagesLong-listed for the 2016 National Book Award for Literature for Young People.

Kirkus Award Finalist 2016kirkus-prize-2016-170x170

Los Angeles Book Prize 2017 finalist

NAIBA 2016 Young Adult Book of the Year (Sept 1, 2016)

School Library Journal, Best Books 2016

YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2017

School Library Journal, Top Ten Latinx 2016

The Horn Book Fanfare list 2016

2016 Nerdies Book Award, YA Fiction

Bank Street Best Books 2017

Commended Title 2017, Américas Book Award

Westchester Book Award 2017

Amazon, Best Selling Books for Teens 2016

New York Public Library Best 100 Books for Children 2016 and Best 50 Books for Teens 2016

Chicago Public Library Best Books 2016

Taysha’s List 2017, Top Ten

NPR 2016 Great Reads list

NBC News 8 Great Latino Reads of 2016

NBC Latino Holiday Choices 2016

Bookpage Best Books for Children 2016

Amelia Bloomer Top Ten of 2017

In the Margins Book Award Fiction List

2017 Kansas State Reading Circle Catalog


A Junior Library Guild Selection

Black StarKirkus, starred 

“Rooted firmly in historical events, Medina’s latest offers up a uniquely authentic slice-of-life experience set against a hazy, hot, and dangerous NYC backdrop.”

Black StarSchool Library Journal, starred, March 2016

“VERDICT A devastatingly intense story, this work is a must-have for all collections, especially where Ruta Sepetys’s books are popular.”

Black StarBooklist, starred

“Powerfully moving, this stellar piece of historical fiction emphasizes the timeless concerns of family loyalty and personal strength, while highlighting important issues that still resonate today.”

Black StarThe Horn Book, starred, March/April 2016

VOYA, April 2016, 4Q, 3P

“Historical fiction is sometimes a hard sell for contemporary teens; however, Medina’s novel entices readers by developing realistic characters and a strong plot framed by the turbulence of 1977 in NYC. At its heart, this is a novel about growing up.”

Shout out from Book Riot

“This was such a great coming-of-age story perfectly set during one of the scariest times in New York city history.”

Watch the trailer:


Discussion guide, author’s note, sample chapter here.

Meg reading from chapter 1 on

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