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Meg Medina, 2023-24 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, January 24, 2023. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

Meg Medina Sets Off on National Ambassador Tour

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This is a guest post by Anya Creightney, the Library’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program lead and a member of the Literary Initiatives team.

Meg Medina, the 8th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, officially kicks off her national tour this week. Over the course of the next two years, Medina will travel the country making stops at area schools and local libraries. The tour is part of Medina’s platform, Cuéntame!: Let’s Talk Books—a signature effort that fosters reading and writing and is inspired by the Spanish phrase that friends and families use when catching up with one another.

Medina begins her nationwide tour with public events at the Calcasieu Parish Public Library in Lake Charles, Louisiana and at the Newburgh Free Library in Newburgh, New York. Medina will also visit Fairview Elementary and Balmville Elementary (private only), two area schools in Lake Charles and Newburgh respectively. We couldn’t be more excited!

During her tour, Medina will inspire students and families to deepen a passion for reading and a curiosity for learning by experimenting with “book talks.” A book talk is like a quick commercial that encourages someone to read a specific book. Not to be confused with a book report, a successful book talk is not only honest and fun, it also opens a discussion about the reader—their life journey, their likes and dislikes, their hopes for the future, etc. With a little practice, young people can book talk with friends, family, teachers, coaches or anyone else in their lives. Medina, a master book talker, demonstrated this special superpower on January 21st 2023, during her inauguration as National Ambassador—check it out here:

Current and future participating tour stops will receive a host of resources including: Medina’s book(s), in-classroom activities, tailored info sessions about Library resources and opportunities, and more.

We encourage you to follow Medina’s journey by visiting her National Ambassador LibGuide—available in English and Spanish. To apply for Medina’s 2024 tour, check for details on Medina’s LibGuide in August 2023 or subscribe to the Library’s Bookmarked blog for updates.

Comments (2)

  1. I tutor K-12. Covid, short attention spans, and seduction by video media have all contributed to drops in reading. My 3rd-6th graders (especially boys) don’t like to read. All they want is graphic novels, which I suppose is better than nothing. My high schoolers suffer in SAT prep because they haven’t been readers; they find passages from classics (e.g. books from 19th and early 20th centuries in English) nearly incomprehensible. Anything you can do to get kids reading will help them in the long run, so thanks!

  2. I am so excited to learn of Meg kicking off her national tour in Lake Charles, LA. A location that has been hit by two major Hurricanes within weeks apart. This area is still recovering and our children need books!! Thank you for choosing this location!

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