It’s November – time to plan turkey day with our families. But it’s also Alzheimer’s Awareness month, and I want to give some space here to kids and families who are in the midst of it. First, here’s a pretty comprehensive article from the National Institute on Health on the topic if you're working with kids in this situation. It's available in Spanish, too, important since 15% of Hispanics ages 65 and older are diagnosed with the disease. The Merci Suárez trilogy is, of course, set in the world of a girl coping with middle school life as well as with her grandfather’s accelerating illness. I’ve done my best to capture all of it as honestly as possible in the pages. Still, when I book-talk the story with readers, I almost always lean heavily into Merci’s hijinks with friends and foes, in other words, the funny parts. But lurking in the background is Lolo’s illness. It's palpable, page to page, and I know that in the book, as in life, the reality of a person's decline is at times overwhelming. I hope you’ll take a little time this month to reflect on the people in our communities who are facing this as-yet incurable illness as well as the 11 million people – including kids - who love and support them. They're in your class, at your church, on your soccer team, living on your block. The kids in these families need relief. They need moments of levity. And they…
July 20, 2021
A one-minute video series for writers on Instagram
I just finished a ten-day virtual residency at Hamline University, where our craft focus was on all aspects of plot. It’s always an exhausting but rewarding time to do deep dives with faculty and aspiring writers. My notebook is now littered with sentences and fragments of wisdom that I’ll add to my toolbox going forward. Which brings me to telling you about an experiment I’m trying on Instagram starting this week. It’s a mini-video series on IGTV called Meg's One-Minute Writing Tips. No, it’s not an MFA, but this might be just what you need when you’re in a pinch. I’ll unpack different aspects of craft and/or writing practice in sixty-seconds – short and sweet. I hope you’ll find the nuggets useful for your own writing or for sharing with students when school starts in a few weeks. I’ll try to post one up there every couple of weeks. Anyway, here’s where you can find the first one on characters. Let me know what you think! And if you have burning topics you’d like me to cover in one minute or less, send those suggestions, too. See you on Insta! Odds and Ends Where can you find Meg next: Book Love Foundation's Summer Book Club, July 27th at 10am ET PBS Books Live, July 29th at 5pm ET **Don’t forget to write your questions for me on my Goodreads author page. I will answer them every first Monday of the month. **Love Merci Suárez Can’t Dance? Leave me an honest review on Amazon…
This summer, I'm trying something new on Goodreads. Whether you love it or hate it, Goodreads is a place for readers to engage. That's been a little tricky in Zoom-land, where there is never enough time to answer all the questions attendees post. So, I’ve refreshed my Goodreads page with up-to-date content, cleaned out my bookshelves (if only it were that easy at home) and started a new open question session called Ask Meg on Mondays. On the first Monday of every month – which is TODAY – I’ll be taking your questions about my work. So what do you want to know? I'm here to answer your questions!I also want to remind you that the Bronx is Reading Book Festival is happening this weekend. On Sunday, 9 am EST, I will give the closing keynote. Do check out the full lineup, where you can hear from some of the most exciting voices in literature today. Have a great week, everyone!
May 24, 2021
I ❤️ NY: Queens, NY
The Queensborough Public Library turns 125 years old this year, and that means it’s a party. Hanging out at Kissena Park, age 10 I, of course, remember our public library. Flushing, where I lived, had the Main Street branch and the smaller McGoldrick branch, conveniently located near the Prospect movie theatre and a Jack-in-the Box burger joint, respectively. Back when I was a kid in New York, though, being from Queens wasn’t exactly something you bragged about. The shiny, more educated people lived in the city, it seemed, while the rest of us mere mortals, like my mother, who worked in a transistor factory, were out in the boroughs. Our building was at the end of the number 7 line, plus a short ride on the Q 12 bus. I went to school at P.S. 22 on Sanford Avenue, survived JHS 189, and later came back to study and graduate from Queens College. All to say, the Queens connection runs deep inside me, even though I’ve lived outside of New York for 30 years now. When I think about home, Queens is the first place my heart goes. I wish I hadn’t believed the snooty hype against Queens when I was a kid. Turns out a lot of folks, who would eventually find their way in the arts, were growing up there, too. Cyndi Lauper, Jerry Seinfeld, LL Cool J, not to mention kidlit icons like Jacqueline Woodson, Mitali Perkins, and my own BFF, R.J. Palacio. Check out for yourself…
March 15, 2021
Submit a Question for the Merci Suárez Can’t Dance Book Tour
My assistant Kerri told me today: "It smells of hope outside, and I want every bit of it." Oh, spring, how we’ve missed you! The weather is finally warming up, and in the weeks leading up to the publication of my latest book, so is my schedule! As promised, here are the details for my virtual book tour to launch Merci Suárez Can’t Dance (on sale April 6,) which comes to you with the help of some beloved indies and conferences from coast to coast. Virtual visits are tricky in the age of Zoom. First, there's the issue of screen fatigue. Trickier still is that anyone can sign in from anywhere, so while the audience reach is exponentially bigger, the pressure is on presenters to make sure each visit is dynamically different for the fan base at each store. As you’ll see, with the exception of a solo, school-focused visit at Politics & Prose in DC, I’ve decided on the “in-conversation" model with some of the most exciting veteran authors working today. I'm so thrilled to have a chance to think aloud with them and to bring our work – and our relationship – to you. You can scroll through the gallery below to see some of the exciting books we'll talk about. But here’s where you come in. I’m wondering if you’d like to help me tailor our talks at each stop on the tour by shaping the topics we broach. What would you like to ask of…
February 8, 2021
Let’s Connect: My New Bookshop page
Hi everybody! I've been such a Goodreads failure over the years, but it has never stopped me from wanting to offer readers more connection with my books and my reading tastes in a simpler, quicker way. So this weekend, my fabulous assistant, Kerri, and I worked on a super easy bookshop.org page for Meg Medina Books. I hope you'll visit from time to time, not only to see my books, but also to see what I'm reading and recommending. My first two specialty shelves are the Latinx Sampler and Favorite Writing Books. I'll be updating those frequently, so check back. As always, I hope you'll first consider making your purchases directly from your local indie bookseller. But for online shoppers looking for an alternative, here's a way to get 10% back from the purchase to indies. Happy reading! *Disclosure: Bear in mind that Bookshop links are affiliate links and if you use them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I post them for your convenience and hope you will make your purchases where you are most comfortable.
December 2, 2020
The Last Month of 2020… An Update.
I’ve never been so eager to wrap up a year in my whole life – and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m hanging on, helped in part by the lovely inclusion of Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away in “best of 2020” lists at Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Amazon. But I also have a handful of events between now and the end of the year that are bringing me close to friends I admire – a much-needed connection. Here are a few highlights of places where we can connect around books and authors, if we’ve missed each other this year. As a heads up, I expect to keep a very quiet 2021 calendar while I finish up a manuscript and usher two new books into the world. A Conversation with Robin Farmer, author of Malcolm and Me: I’m excited to be hosted by A Mighty Blaze on December 3 at 4 pm EST, where I’ll be talking with debut author (and dear friend) Robin Farmer, whose new YA novel, Malcolm and Me has a heroine that I think will steal your heart. Latinx Kidlit Festival: If you haven’t signed up, please do so right away for the inaugural Latinx Kidlit Festival on December 4 and 5. It’s an astounding lineup of new and veteran Latinx authors working for kids right now. What better way to sample their work before the eventual return to in-person school visits and conferences? I’ll be the…
November 16, 2020
2020 bookish gift guide: Pandemic edition
Oh, 2020. What a year you’ve been. As I did last year, I’m posting a holiday gift guide especially designed for the bookish people on your list. Consider this a very special Covid edition as well. Book lover masks. This is the year of the face mask, and they’re going to be with us for a while. So why not make the best of it and go in style? To me, Etsy has the best selection, including those that pull up like turtlenecks. bbgb books Gift cards to our favorite bookstores are always a good idea, and this year is a really good time to support our Indies. My local go-to bookstores are bbgb, Fountain Bookstore and Chop Suey Books. And bbgb has a fabulous subscription program, aptly called A Year of Tales. Ornaments: How about trimming the tree with a way to remember how we felt about this loooong year? Here are two of my favorite ornaments: Santa and his mask, as well as this rather cute bottle of hand sanitizer. Portable lighting: Authors who normally do school visits or attend conferences have had no choice but to become video stars. One thing is for sure: you need good lighting. Lume cube has a range of products, from standing lights to little ones that clip on to your laptop to give you a well-lit effect. Computer eyewear: All those hours on screen has spelled eye-strain for some of us. If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, how about glasses…
October 28, 2020
Read for the Record: Join the whole wide world as we read Evelyn del Rey is Moving Away
Art by Sonia Sanchez, Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away It's here! Read for the Record Day, when millions of readers will read EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY and spend a day enjoying activities with little ones. Here is the official virtual schedule from Jumpstart, which has events throughout the day - including readings, arts and crafts and even yoga! This page will be updated in real-time as each event takes place on social media. If you want to follow along on Facebook, you can have the Jumpstart page open. And check out my Jumpstart landing page for more resources. But another truly exciting aspect are all the other events going on worldwide. Your best bet is to follow the #readfortherecord hashtag on twitter where you'll get the exact times and virtual locations of other readings, such as Sonia Manzano, as well as Hugh Jackman, and Alejandra Espinosa from Univisión and many more. I'll be closing out the evening at the Orange County Public Library in California at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT I'm a bag of nerves, but thrilled. Happy reading and thank you for joining in the fun with your little ones! Everyone at my house is ready for Read for the Record