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Let’s Connect: My New Bookshop page

By #LetsStayConnected, What I'm Reading
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. 
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Celebrate with Your Favorite Authors on World Read Aloud Day

By Appearances, What I'm Reading
It’s World Read Aloud Day this Wednesday, February 3. I hope you’re planning to take some time to read aloud to your favorite kid this week – in person, by Zoom, or in whatever way you can manage. And do the voices – no skimping! I’d be very honored if you chose one of my picture books, in English or Spanish, but any good book will do.   And just in case you're rusty, here are some tips on how to up your reading game from Reading Rockets. The celebration isn't just for the picture book set. To honor World Read Aloud Day – and give you some ideas for your bookshelves ­­‑ a few book friends and I will be on Kate Messner’s site this week doing five-minute readings of titles due out in 2021. I'll be previewing Merci Suárez Can't Dance, coming soon on April 6. The whole thing runs just under an hour, I think. So, follow #WorldReadAloudDay on twitter and bookmark this link to Kate's site on Wednesday when the video posts. Thanks, Kate, for the gracious invitation! Also keeping me busy this week is a school visit with students through Brooklyn Public Library  – virtually – of course. (In person visits? Fuggedaboudit for a while.) I'll also be marking the start of Black History month. I'm always on the fence about these designated months, like Hispanic Heritage Month and Women's History month. We should be reading inclusively all year long and encouraging those habits in young...
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Three brand new titles that warmed my winter break

By What I'm Reading
I'm back from two glorious weeks of  baked goods and hours spent on the sofa reading for pleasure. Part of my holiday haul always includes new books from the past year. This time around, I received Mexican Gothic, Furia and The Enigma Game, all of which I'll be savoring in the coming days. But first, I wanted to give a shoutout to three titles that were part of my couch vacation and that are due out in the next few weeks. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (YA; Dutton, Jan 2021):  I've been a fan of Malinda Lo's fantasy novels for a good while, but here she turns her storytelling skills to historical fiction, immersing us in San Francisco during the late 1950s. Lily Hu is in her last year of high school, a girl who dreams of space exploration – and exploring her own sexual identity as a lesbian. The novel weaves in so much erased history, not only about San Francisco's Chinatown community, but of LGBTQ Asian women, early space exploration and US/China relations. It's a hefty read, but one that is meticulously researched and told with unflinching honesty. Here's Malinda talking about Last Night...     Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson (YA; Bloomsbury, Feb 2021):  This is a sweet YA love story set in Harlem, one that follows high school senior Nala through a hot crush on Tye, a handsome social justice warrior she meets through her cousin, Imani. What's the trouble?...
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Some titles for Hispanic Heritage Month

By Latino Life, What I'm Reading
Repeat after me:  "I will read works by Latinx authors throughout the year." It goes without saying that good books are good books - any time of the year. And yet, I know it's Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15. So, here's a quick look at a few hot-of-the-press works that I think you might want to pick up. Prev 1of7 Next Dancing Hands by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López (picture book, August 2019) The Gumazing Gum Girl: Book 4 Cover Blown by Rhode Montijo (chapter book, October 2019) Strange Birds:  A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia Pérez (middle grade, September 2019) The Fresh New Face of Griselda by Jennifer Torres  (middle grade, August 2019) Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya (middle grade, August 2019) The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Barcarcel (middle grade, August 2019) The Truth Is by NoNieqa Ramos (young adult, September 2019) For more great title ideas all year long (remember, you promised,) visit my go-to site for the latest in Latinx kid lit: Latinosinkidlit.com
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Summer reads on the airwaves in a city near you

By Appearances, Chapter Books, Middle Grade, Picture Books, What I'm Reading, Young Adult
So, I’ll be on a radio tour for the next couple of weeks, which I love, since it involves zero travel and lots of time to talk books. They’ve asked me to recommend a few summer reads, both older and new. Here’s the list of titles I’m drawing from. I won’t be able to talk about all of them every time, but I hope to plug each of them at some point. Check out the list of stations on my events page and tune in if you can! Picture Books A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña Under My Hijab by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed and illustrated by Anoosha Syed  Chapter Books and Early Middle Grade A Boy Called Bat by Elana Arnold (other titles in series: Bat and the Waiting Game and Bat and the End of Everything) Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina (other titles in series: Juana and Lucas) The Magnificent Mya Tibbs by Crystal Allen (other titles in series: Spirit Week Showdown and The Wall of Fame Game) Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon (four books in series; next installment this fall.) Middle Grade The Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles Silver Meadows Summer by Emma Otheguy The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden New Kid by Jerry Craft The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd...
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What the real reading heroes look like

By Uncategorized

I’ve talked about soft censorship of my novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass all over the country: how the book isn’t purchased at all, or is kept with the librarians, or is shared with only a select group of kids. And of course, I occasionally still get comments on my website that look like this: Still, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a full-on challenge that required so much time and advocacy on the part of teachers and school leaders. Last week, I had the pleasure of spending the day at South County Middle School in Lorton, VA, where the entire eighth grade read Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. They invited me as a visiting author to talk with the students about the book. South County Middle School is in Fairfax County, one of the most forward thinking municipalities in my state. The school is basically a little jewel, too. Clean building. Peaceful vibe. Decent kids from all backgrounds. Teachers who get giddy talking about new teaching ideas. Parents who show up for virtually everything. As schools go, it doesn’t get much better. So, it’s interesting to me that it’s also the place where use of my novel was so hotly debated. It was officially challenged by a small group of parents in a fight that dragged on and made its way up through the ranks of the School Board. By the time the English staff took me to dinner, you couldn’t have guessed all…

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Fan trailers: Thanks Melissa Hanes!

By Uncategorized

I took a beautiful ride to Farmville, VA last week to be part of Longwood University’s Summer Literacy Institute. What can you say about a couple hundred teachers, librarians, and library science students gathering in the summer to study strategies for helping people fall in love with reading? These are educators with true passion for books and kids. After the regional authors presented on Friday morning, we had a chance to workshop with the participants on a topic of our choice. (My session was on making zines with kids.) An unexpected treat was seeing how the library science students researched our work and created posters. One of the posters for my work included links to two original trailers for my books. Here are the Vimeo links Melissa Hanes’ trailers for  Tia Isa Wants a Car and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. Thank you, Melissa! It was fun to see your mini-movies! All in all, it was a beautiful experience, so thank you Professors Wendy Snow, Francis Reeves, Audrey Church and friends.) Big shout out, too, for  L.M. Elliott, and Jason Wright, new author friends from Virginia. Happy summer!        

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A True Bienvenidos

By Appearances, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

I spent a wonderful morning at Good Shepherd Episcopal School visiting with students from Pre-K through the eighth grade. It is so exciting to find schools like this where  the students are so obviously honored and loved. Favorite comment: On hearing that my tía Isa was actually a terrible driver:  “Your next book should be Tía Isa Goes to the Emergency Room.” Three best questions: Do you ever find that you accidentally put pieces of one story in another story? How do you know if your idea should be a book? (With a worried look.) Is your tía Isa still driving on the streets? Most touching event: Chef Sue (who cooks homemade from organic produce every day for these sweet kids) made me “lechon” (pulled Cuban pork), white rice and black beans, so that I could enjoy un buen almuerzo. We even had merengues for dessert.  (A big hit. “Yum! You got this cookie right,” said one of the third graders.) Best slang I taught them: ¡Pin Pan Pun! (rollaway bed) Happiest coincidence: Señora Cardounel, the  Spanish teacher, is from Cuba, too. We chatted in Spanish and swapped lots of stories. I hope she’ll visit me soon. Thank you, Ms. Dysart and all the lovely faculty and students at Good Shepherd! If I had to go to school again, I would want to go to a place just like Good Shepherd.

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My Day in DC

By Uncategorized

Here’s a little photo-journal of my recent day in Washington with The Open Book Foundation where I worked with Kindergarten, second grade and eighth grade. Who can resist these young people? So bright and sweet! The Foundation arranges with the publisher to have each student receive a free book by the author.

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