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Meg Medina’s “Let’s Talk Books!” Video Series Launched

May 14, 2024

NEWS from the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina unveils her new video series featuring 18 notable children’s and young adult authors, including Elizabeth Acevedo, Chelsea Clinton, Rita Williams-García, Jarrett Krosoczka, Sabaa Tahir, Gene Luen Yang, and more!

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina is launching a new video series starting on May 14, featuring beloved children’s and young adult authors, illustrators, and graphic novelists to foster a lifelong love of reading among young learners.

Primarily intended for families and children between the ages of 9-12, and for librarians and educators, this dynamic 18-segment series is part of Medina’s “Cuéntame!: Let’s Talk Books!” platform, which encourages children and their families to engage in fun and lively conversations about books, often described as “booktalking.” Medina believes that when we booktalk, we naturally share our values, hobbies, and personal stories. For Medina, this effortless sharing of books and stories is what inspires children to read, write, and create.

“The ‘Let’s Talk Books!’ video series is a quick and fun way to introduce young readers to some of the many talented people writing today. With one click and a few minutes, they’re on the way to new authors to love and new titles to explore. I’m very grateful to the authors who opened their hearts to the project, and I can’t wait for kids to hear all they had to share,” Medina said.

In each “Let’s Talk Books!” video, guest authors will booktalk a book of their choice, discuss their upbringing and path to a writing career, and offer advice for young learners. “Let’s Talk Books!” is meant to model the joy, magic, and connection that books bring to our lives.

The video series and its corresponding promotional clips will drop two at a time monthly on the Library’s YouTube channel between May 14 through Dec. 10. The videos, running no longer than 8 minutes, are filmed in unique spaces at the Library of Congress, including the Young Readers Center and Programs Lab. They will also be aggregated on Medina’s Library Research Guide, which documents her tenure as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Beloved, award-winning authors Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Wendy Wan-Long Shang kick off “Let’s Talk Books!”

Iconic children’s book author Rita Williams-Garcia, and one of Medina’s personal heroes, reflected on her participation in the series.

“It was like going to a surprise party for books! Everything was a complete delight — from the questions Meg asked, to bringing my childhood activities to life. Who saw that coming? ‘Let’s Talk Books!’ allowed me to share my writing process, my book love, and to spark imagination in others,” Williams-Garcia said.

“Let’s Talk Books!” Video Series Lineup


Award-winning author of El Deafo and wacky music lover Cece Bell and Jarrett J. Krosoczka, dynamo author-illustrator of more than 40 books for kids, including the bestselling graphic novel memoir Hey Kiddo.

Bilingual superstar and creator of ¡Vamos! picture books, Raúl the Third and Gene Luen Yang, former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2018-2019) and author of young adult title Superman Smashes the Klan and award-winning graphic novel American-Born Chinese.


Chelsea Clinton, author of New York Times No. 1 bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World and other books in the She Persisted series.


Former public school teacher and Pura Belpré Honor winner of Iveliz Explains It All, Andrea Beatriz Arango, and all-around library lover and bestselling-author of Amina’s Voice and More to the Story, Hena Khan.

Ellen Oh, author/editor of Flying Lessons & Other Stories and founding member of We Need Diverse Books, and Torrey Maldonado, author of Tight, and dynamic stories that are often inspired by Maldonado’s experiences as a public school teacher.

Author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Wednesday Wars, co-editor of the acclaimed short story collection A Little Bit Super, and ancient mythology champion Gary D. Schmidt and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, author of Great Wall of Lucy and The Way Home Looks Now, who focuses on the many experiences of Chinese-Americans with humor and warmth.

Christina Soontornvat, beloved author of The Last Mapmaker and nonfiction book All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, and Traci Sorell, Cherokee Nation citizen who offers insight into modern Native American life and best-selling author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga.

Rita Williams-García, legendary and long-celebrated author of the Gaither sisters trilogy (One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama). Williams-Garcia is a three-time Coretta Scott King Author Award recipient, three-time National Book Award Finalist, and Newbery Honor Award winner.


Eliot Schrefer Stonewall Honor-winning author of genre-bending novel The Darkness Outside Us and groundbreaking nonfiction Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality. Multi-talented poet and novelist Elizabeth Acevedo is the author of six books and is the Young People’s Poet Laureate. Her debut novel-in-verse The Poet X, won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Lamar Giles, acclaimed author of many young adult thrillers featuring Black boys, such as The Getaway, has been trapping people in stories since 1987. Sabaa Tahir, former newspaper editor, author of the Ember in the Ashes series and recipient of the National Book Award for contemporary young adult novel All My Rage.

This video series is the start of an archive that directly supplements Library of Congress collections and, as born-digital materials, are immediately available for access by the public. While the Library’s collections span all formats, languages, and years of publication, the “Let’s Talk Books!” series enhances the Library’s commitment to families and young readers who are passionate researchers, learners, and explorers. The series will augment the Library’s existing family engagement resources and strategies, especially important for those who are learning at a distance.

As the first Latina writer named as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2023 by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Medina travels the country to promote literacy and booktalks, interacting with students at local public schools and libraries. Last year, more than 2,800 students were served at schools and public libraries, and over 3,000 books were donated by Candlewick Press as part of her national tour.


Meg Medina is the author of the Newbery Meda-winning book “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” which was followed by two more acclaimed books about the Suárez family: “Merci Suárez Can’t Dance” and “Merci Suárez Plays It Cool.” Her young adult novels include “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award and will be published in 2023 as a graphic novel illustrated by Mel Valentine Vargas; “Burn Baby Burn,” which was long-listed for the National Book Award; and “The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind.” She is also the author of picture books “Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away,” illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, Jumpstart’s 2020 Read for the Record selection; “Mango, Abuela, and Me,” illustrated by Angela Dominguez, which was a Pura Belpré Author Award Honor Book; and “Tía Isa Wants a Car,” illustrated by Claudio Muñoz, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award; the forthcoming “No More Señora Mimí,” illustrated by Birttany Cicchese (Sept. 2024); and the biography for young readers “She Persisted: Sonia Sotomayor.” The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.
To learn more about Meg Medina, her platform, or about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program, visit Medina’s LibGuide in English and in Spanish.


The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is an initiative of the Library of Congress, in partnership with Every Child a Reader, with generous support from The Library of Congress James Madison Council, The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, and Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
The program was established in 2008 by the Library, the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader to emphasize the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.
Previous National Ambassadors include authors Jon Scieszka (2008–2009), Katherine Paterson (2010–2011), Walter Dean Myers (2012–2013), Kate DiCamillo (2014–2015), Gene Luen Yang (2016–2017), Jacqueline Woodson (2018–2019) and Jason Reynolds (2020-2022).


The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at


Every Child a Reader, the co-founder of the National Ambassador program, is a 501(c)(3) award-winning literacy charity whose other national programs include Children’s Book Week, since 1919 the longest-running literacy initiative in the country, and Get Caught Reading, a classroom role model poster project.

Media Contact: María Peña, Library of Congress | Phoebe Kosman, Candlewick Press Public Contact: Anya Creightney

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