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Graphic for "Let's Talk Books!" with an illustrated version of Meg Medina holding a book.

Meg Medina and Beloved Authors Are Book Talking—and You Can Too!

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The following is a guest poet by Anya Creightney, head of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program at the Library of Congress.

Over her term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Meg Medina has described herself as a book friend to this country’s 74 million children and teens. For Meg, this idea of friendship meant encouraging young readers to exchange books and share real book joy. That’s why Meg was so excited to launch her new series, “Let’s Talk Books!” the past May.

“Let’s Talk Books!” is a short-form video series featuring beloved children’s and young adult authors, illustrators and graphic novelists. In each video Meg invites her guests to “book talk” about a favorite book and to discuss their lives as children, readers and writers. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a book talk, think of it as a 1-2 minute presentation—almost like a commercial—aimed at convincing others to read a certain book. Meg sees it as the perfect tool to get kids talking about their passions, interests, and families—it’s so natural and easy to do.

Meg Medina and Jarrett J. Krosoczka having fun during the taping of "Let's Talk Books!"--with puppets behind a children's fireplace play area.
Meg Medina and Jarrett J. Krosoczka having fun during filming of “Let’s Talk Books!” Photo credit: Anya Creightney.

Meg launched Let’s Talk Books! with Jarrett J. Krosoczka, dynamo author-illustrator of more than 40 books for kids—including the bestselling graphic novel memoir “Hey Kiddo”—and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, the author of “The Way Home Looks Now.” She will finish the series with former National Ambassador and mega comic book enthusiast Gene Luen Yang, the author of “American Born Chinese.”

For me, these videos are special because each guest author finds a way to demystify writing, making the process of putting together a book completely approachable for younger audiences. For instance:

  • Wendy connects her long reading life to the courage she needed to start writing books;
  • Jarrett reminds us that our backgrounds can be a secret weapon, helping us unlock new creative energy;
  • Eliot describes just how to pull off a major plot twist without losing your reader;
  • and Torrey shows us how to connect with story even if we felt like books didn’t represent us as young readers.

And these are just the videos currently available on Let’s Talk Books!—so much more to come, featuring National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo; No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Chelsea Clinton; Ellen Oh, author/editor and founding member of We Need Diverse Books; and others. Make sure to check out the full author lineup here.

Ellen Oh in a seat during filming of "Let's Talk Books!"
Ellen Oh during filming of “Let’s Talk Books!” Photo credit: Anya Creightney.

So, what do you say? Go catch up on Let’s Talk Books! You could even start book talking with your friends. And when you are hungry for more, two videos will drop each month until the end of Meg’s tenure in December—subscribe to the Library’s YouTube page for updates. I am eager to see what you discover.


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