Meg Medina to Appear at Newburgh Free Library

NEWBURGH – The Newburgh Free Library and the Newburgh Enlarged City School District is proud to announce that the 8th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Meg Medina, will visit the Newburgh Free Library on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. She will also meet with select classes (grades 3-5) from Horizons-on-the-Hudson Elementary School and Balmville Elementary School for a separate student event.

A Community Event will be held at the Newburgh Free Library Plaza located at 124 Grand St. Newburgh NY beginning at 6 p.m. weather permitting, indoors if necessary. Community members are invited to arrive early at 5 p.m. for music, games, and snacks. Folding chairs or blankets are recommended to enjoy the outside festivities.

Lisa Kochik, Head of Youth Services said,“Newburgh was chosen as one of a very limited number of communities to host a visit from the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from all across the country. This opportunity to show the entire country that Newburgh is a place of joy and celebration of reading and books for families and young people is truly special and unique. What a fantastic way to kick off a summer reading program with the theme “All Together Now.”

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina to visit Newburgh. Medina to discuss books with community, share her Initiative ‘Cuéntame!: Let’s Talk Books’. Photo: Shawn Miller
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina to visit Newburgh. Medina to discuss books with community, share her Initiative ‘Cuéntame!: Let’s Talk Books’. Photo: Shawn Miller

Executive Director, Mary Lou Carolan: “This is an opportunity for Newburgh to be at the forefront of this celebration of children, literacy and community! We recently had over 550 people attending our Family Reading Day on Library Plaza. Encouraging our families to read together is a goal of ours. Our children want to see themselves in the stories they read, as well as others, and to learn about their community and the world. Meg Medina’s visit unites all of this in one exciting opportunity: during her visit, Medina will inspire students and families to experiment with “book talks” — the process of sharing books to start conversations and build excitement about reading. This is how we create a community that reads and becomes life long learners – that is our mission as librarians.

About the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
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.

As National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Medina will engage readers in book talks across the country through her initiative Cuéntame!: Let’s talk books. Inspired by the Spanish phrase that friends and families use when catching up with one another, Cuéntame! encourages connection among families, classrooms, libraries and communities by talking about books — both books that reflect the readers’ lived experiences and those that expose readers to new perspectives.

About Meg Medina
Meg Medina is the author of the Newbery Medal–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; 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. Visit her online at

Copies of Medina’s books in both English and Spanish are available to order in advance through Oblong Books, in collaboration with the Friends of the Newburgh Free Library. An opportunity to have a book signed by Medina will follow the event, as time permits. A limited number of free books will also be made available to children, while supply lasts.
Explore the National Ambassador’s LibGuide – available in both English and Spanish – on the Library’s website:

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