Meg Medina is new ambassador for young people's literature

NEW YORK (AP) — Novelist Meg Medina is the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a selection made by the Library of Congress.

Medina, a Cuban American whose books include the acclaimed middle grade novel “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” is the eighth National Ambassador. Medina, the first Hispanic ambassador, succeeds Jason Reynolds and will serve two years. She hopes to build relationships between families and libraries and host ”book talks" with kids around the country.

“It’s an enormous honor to advocate for the reading and writing lives of our nation’s children and families,” Medina said in a statement Wednesday. “I realize the responsibility is critical but with the fine examples of previous ambassadors to guide me, I am eager to get started on my vision for this important work. More than anything, I want to make reading and story-sharing something that happens beyond classroom and library walls."

Medina will formally begin as ambassador next week, when she is inaugurated by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

“Meg’s warmth and openness, coupled with her long-running commitment to young readers, libraries and librarians, is extraordinary," Hayden said in a statement. "I look forward to the ways she will invite young people — especially Spanish and bilingual speakers — to share their favorite books and stories.”

Previous ambassadors also include Jacqueline Woodson, Walter Dean Myers and Katherine Paterson.

The Associated Press