Meg Medina

Episode 1

Meg Medina

Cultivating story: Meg Medina on the importance of storytelling in life, writing, and the fight against book bans

Masthead Waves

About this episode

Meg Medina (Merci Suárez series) talks about the role storytelling plays in her life, from writing to passing on her culture to the fight against book bans.


"I feel like writers, especially who are wordsmiths, who can name things, tricky things in clear ways ... should be where we put our efforts. Really creating an offensive, an offense in this campaign to win the hearts back."- Meg Medina


Meg Medina's passion for telling stories goes back as far as she can remember. Crafting words into lessons and engaging experiences has always been her calling, but it took her a few careers to fully dive in. Now, she's a Newbery Award-winning children's author, best known for her Merci Suárez trilogy.


In this episode of The Reading Culture, she joins to share her thoughts on the craft of storytelling. Meg talks about the power of storytelling to pass on the knowledge of tradition and to share experiences. She also talks about the increase in book bans and challenges and why she believes leaning into the gift of storytelling will help authors and the industry create the ultimate offense.


Meg has also developed a reading challenge called "Girls in Motion," in partnership with Beanstack, for listeners and Beanstack partners. For the challenge, Meg curated a diverse list of stories featuring athletic girls facing various life challenges. You can hear her talk more about it in the episode and see the details and full list of books here.



  • Chapter 1 - Meg's Beginnings as a Writer (2:00)
  • Chapter 2 - Telling Her Own Story (8:35)
  • Chapter 3 - “Letters of E.B White” (11:14)
  • Chapter 4 - Reading to Be Human (16:12)
  • Chapter 5 - On Visiting Schools (20:27)
  • Chapter 6 - Storytelling to Fight Book Bans (21:55)
  • Chapter 7 - Saying Goodbye to Merci Suárez (27:55)
  • Chapter 8 - Girls in Motion (32:48)
  • Chapter 9 - Beanstack Featured Librarian (35:01)


Meg's Reading Challenge

Download the free reading challenge worksheet, or view the challenge materials on our helpdesk.

Meg Medina Challenge.   Meg Medina Challenge 



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Meg Medina: I feel like writers, especially who are wordsmiths, who can name tricky things in clear ways, that should be where we put our efforts, really creating an office in this campaign to win the hearts back.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Storytelling is everything to Meg Medina. It's her career, it's how she holds on to and passes down her heritage, and it's how she believes we can win the fight against book bands. Medina is a Newberry award winner known best for her Merci Suarez trilogy, but also for works like "Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass", and "Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away". Meg's writing spans from picture books to young adult fiction. She has something for every reader yet, believe it or not, writing as a career was something she came to later in life. She'll tell us about how she finally gave in to her passion and the impact Meg believes repressing that creativity can have. She'll also talk about why she believes in writers giving a look behind the curtains and airing their struggles.

Meg Medina: It's important to hear what writers have to say about the process, about the struggles in it, the doubts, the missteps, the failures.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: My name is Jordan Lloyd Bookey and this is The Reading Culture, a show where we speak with authors and reading enthusiasts to explore ways to build a stronger culture of reading in our communities. We dive into their personal experiences, their inspirations, and why their stories and ideas motivate kids to read more. Meg also shared her own reading challenge that has a unique theme and a wonderful set of suggested books. You can hear more about that at the end of our conversation. Today we welcome Meg Medina. So Meg, you are a very successful author and you've won all the awards, including the big one, and Newberry, and have written so many different types of books and different for different grade levels and all around, but I think what's really interesting is that you didn't become an author full-time until much later in your career. So maybe we can start by just telling us a little bit about your path to becoming an author because it was not a direct one. So I'd love to hear a little bit about that.

Meg Medina: I was one of those people who came into their own pretty much later. I always did like storytelling and reading, writing, all of that stuff, but it felt like a very far away dream, and it really felt like something ridiculous to say within an immigrant family, right, where there are a lot of money issues, and there's a lot of practical things. Like you need health insurance, that kind of thing. It seemed almost impossible to say, "Oh, I'm gonna be a writer." It was like saying, "I'm going to go to Mars." And also there was just no one in my family who was a writer, there was no one to ask, there was just no background at all. I knew I was gonna be going out into strange territory or a new territory. My family would have really preferred the things that I did try, teaching. I did lots of different things. I wrote PR press releases, I did teaching, and then I did on the side like freelance for newspapers and so on, but I think when you're made for something, you have to do it or you don't feel well, and that's what ended up happening over time as I got older, as I started having children. I had all these wonderful things in my life, wonderful, wonderful things, wonderful children, a husband I really liked.

Meg Medina: I had a stable life, which is very different than when I was little, and something just was missing. So I think the year that I turned 40, I was at a school, not teaching at that time. I was their development person. I was raising a lot of money for a gym. It was my oldest daughter's school. It was a school for kids with intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities, and so it was very purposeful work, it was very beautiful work, but it was not the work that I was meant to do. So I quit one day. I just got up and I said, I'm gonna go write a novel, and so I feel very lucky that when I came home and I said to my husband, "I quit my job and I'm gonna write this novel." We had three little kids and all of our income was gonna fall to him, right, and that's very hard to do. He internally freaked out, I think, but he didn't externally freak out. He said, "I think you could do it." Which has been such a gift, and I say that to everybody who has creative people in their life, if you can find it in yourself, not to warn them about how they will starve, but instead give them a window and give them an opportunity.

Meg Medina: Say, "I think you can do it, you can try." I think that's really helpful.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: So it seems like storytelling was always something that meant a lot to you, but despite not reaching the decision to follow that passion till later in life, it was still tugging at you through everything else that you did. You had a really understanding family, which is great, but for others, or often parents or family members who may struggle to encourage a path of creativity, what impacts do you think that not cultivating that creativity could have on young people? 

Meg Medina: So listen, I really understand parents who feel so strongly, right, pointing their kids in careers... Toward careers that make it possible for them to sustain themselves, feed themselves, have a standard of living, all of those things because my mother came to this country, had no money, and it's not fun or romantic to struggle. It's just... It isn't. And so we want good things for our kids. I understand that. Here's what I will say about creativity. Three things, first just sort of in a very basic human way, we need our own story, we need the story of our family, we need the story of who we are, we need to be able to hear the story of others to sort of knit together a sense of being human, right, and where our place is. So I think just inter-generationally sharing those stories and encouraging that and giving that value, not thinking of it as an extra, "Oh, I don't know about that, or I don't remember." Like finding out and sharing those things, that's important.

Meg Medina: That's the first thing I'll say. The second thing I'll say is that the person in business and in life who you generally wins is the one who can articulate and say what they need to say clearly, whether it's written or orally, right? And so when we practice storytelling and writing and reading, we are helping kids know how to do that in many different styles, and so I think this is really applicable and it's gonna be applicable even if your kid goes into some... I don't know, accounting, finance, whatever. They need to be able to take hard things and break them down and talk about them in an easy and engaging way. We've all been trapped in situations where the person has a lot of knowledge and zero ability. Oh, it's painful. I'd rather have all my teeth removed. It's just... You're just like, "Oh man, I can't do it."

Meg Medina: And so I think you're giving your kid a leg up on that skill, and I just think further that promoting reading and writing, and the development of an engagement with language and with words and with how we say things promotes an engagement across people, because we have different words, we have different ways that we communicate and so on. I think that's fantastic, whether it's bilingually or just in dialect or in ways that we speak. I just think connecting kids to language, to vocabulary, to words, to the joy of it, it gives them tools, it makes them interesting, it gives them a way to connect. So that's what I would say.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Meg grew up as a first-generation American as her family relocated to the country from Cuba just before she was born. Her Cuban heritage and those early experiences of immigration often play large themes in her stories, but her ability to chronicle and pass these stories down has been important to her in more personal ways as well.

Meg Medina: Part of the issue, right, is when you come to the United States, just invariably over time with each generation, you get more separated from the country of origin, whereas I look at my own children and they have work passable Spanish, but not... I mean, I have fair Spanish. I don't think that I could write these three books, for example, in using my own Spanish. I have a translator, but I interact with Spanish media, I can read, I can write, I can... But not at the same level. My kids are one step removed. Their kids will be one step removed from that, but I think that if you ask my children what they are, they identify very strongly with being Cuban-American children.

Meg Medina: And so part of it is when you're in the US, there's a temptation, just a tradition really of thinking of our country as exceptional and wonderful and all those things, and that may be true, but not because there aren't valuable, incredible things that happen in other countries, right? And so it is very important and was always was to me to talk about Cuban history, the leaders and the shining people from our own background, the literature from our own background. It was important for me to share stories of how my parents got here, what their trajectory was, what life was for a factory worker when you first arrived here, all of the things, the hardships and the positives to sort of knit for them a sense of where they came from.

Meg Medina: That feels important to me and my... At this point, the elders in my family are gone. My mother and my Abuelo died within the last few years, and I have a suitcase filled with their passports from Cuba, their teaching degrees from Cuba, rings and pens and things like that, and those are family heirlooms that I keep that I will share among the family members giving kids a sense of what happened before. Their own sense of history is important and empowering. 

Meg Medina: Dear Cass, your note was very encouraging and you were good to write it. After I get through with a book, it always seems terrible, and for a while anyway, that's how it is. I'm glad that I rewrote "Charlotte's Web", even though it took me an unconscionable time to do it as it gained something in the process, I think. Whether children will find anything amusing in it, only time will tell. No doubt they'd probably like it better if my barn-seller were loaded into a spaceship and exploded in the general direction of Mars. Yours, E. B.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: What you just heard was a letter from EB White, which can be found in the book, "Letters of EB White", published in 1976. White is a legend in children's literature, revered for classics like "Stuart Little", "The Trumpet of the Swan", and of course, "Charlotte's Web". That's why hearing about his own doubts and struggles was so impactful for Meg Medina.

Meg Medina: "Charlotte's Web" is my favorite children book of all time, and I say that because it was the first book that I can remember eliciting a really strong emotional response from me. I was reading it in reading time. We always had reading time after lunch and recess. We'd come in and we had to read for half an hour probably just to get our energy back down for the afternoon, but it was a treasured time, and I had gotten to the part where Charlotte leaves the egg sac for Wilbur, and it was such a touching moment 'cause you suddenly realize that she will pass. Her life has come to an end and she's trusting her good friend. So it was this beautiful thing, and I remember crying and being embarrassed that I was in a classroom crying, but prior to that, all the books that I had read were like reading to learn to read, and this was that first step into reading to learn how to be human or to reflect on being human. Many years later, I'm in a used bookstore in New York and I find this fabulous book. It's called "The Letters of E.B White."

Meg Medina: And I just said, "Oh, how fabulous." And in this book, he's writing about his struggle to write "Charlotte's Web". And I like this quote because I often struggle when I wrote The Merci books. When I write any book, I'm struggling at some point. At some point in every book, I decide I am the wrong person to write the book, that I can't write the book, that I'm a hack, and that this book is my career-ending book, right? It happens virtually with every book that I've written because it's hard... It's hard to do. That sense of doubt, "Kids like spaceships. They like modern things. Why are they gonna read my book about a farm and a spider and a pig?" I do the same thing. Why is somebody gonna write about a girl and her... Read a story about a Cuban girl in Florida with her grandfather or about a girl in New York? There's all these doubts, and I love his belief in revision.

Meg Medina: It's important to hear what writers have to say about the process, about the struggles in it, the doubts, the missteps, the failures. Among writers, we almost don't wanna share those things because it's a very curated look at who we are, right? But we're not all sitting here with success after success after success. There are plenty of times when we have those dark moments where we're sure we can't do it, or things have happened in our career with our book or whatever that are not good and we're sad. So that reality is important to share with students as they struggle with their own writing within the publishing world of the classroom or the school. If I could go back to teaching and do it again, what I wish I would do differently is this.

Meg Medina: So I used to assign multiple different writing projects right throughout a semester, let's say, a nine-week period, and they'd be graded and we discuss it in group and all of those things, but it's just too much. I wish that I had done fewer assignments and parse them out. So like, "Today we're gonna talk about how we do certain kind of punctuation in dialogue or all the different possibilities for dialogue, and we're working on this story." Same story a week later, "We're gonna talk about tension and how we build tension." And gives kids a sense of how long you work on something.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: When you were talking about "Charlotte's Web", you said something really interesting about reading to be human, and I really love that. Were there other breakthrough reading moments in your youth or your local libraries over those in quintessential magic and wonder places for you? 

Meg Medina: I can't say that it was an especially rich experience. I had... For sure, I had a library card. I visited the Queens Borough Public Library all the time. It was a Godsent because certainly we couldn't afford to buy books, and we had the old model in elementary school where we would visit the library twice a week, that kind of thing, or sometimes they would bring that little squeaky cart and we would select. As I got older, what ended up happening, I was... I ended up being a very good reader, right? I read lots of things. I read all the things of girls of that age, Judy Blume, "The Witch of Blackbird Pond", "My Side of the Mountain", all of it. Then when I started to get older and teenager and my life started to get much significantly more complicated, I sort of receded into books as an escape, as a way to deal with loneliness, I think also a way to sort of escape hard things going on. I was living with my dad, all kinds of stuff. So I think I read every Agatha Christie book that was in the basement.

Meg Medina: I read a lot. So I think reading has different functions for us at different times. Sometimes we read to learn, to satisfy our curiosity, sometimes we read to heal ourselves, sometimes we read to escape and not have to think too hard about what's going on, and all of those reasons are okay. It's like how we eat, right? We eat all kinds of stuff that's freezing.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Also for some of the same reasons.

Meg Medina: Yeah, right. And they sustain it. It also stains us, and so I think it's okay not to judge how people read or what they're reading. I learned that lesson the most with my oldest daughter who's intellectually disabled. She used to watch a lot of television when she was a young teen, but was only reading like the Henry and Mudge books, very early readers, right, but she was 13. It felt sad to me because I love books and story, and this was gonna be this thing that we can connect on, but she watched, oh my gosh, Hannah Montana and all these old shows, right? And so we'd go to what was then Borders Bookstore here in Richmond, and she'd want to buy these books, and it was like I was buying pornography or something. I'd buy these Disney books and slide them over and try to pay quickly without anybody noticing, and it was, how silly is that? Because you know what happened, my daughter could predict the story and the words, because she watched so much of the television shows and she started to build her site vocabulary and so on. She ended up being a teenager who liked People Magazine.

Meg Medina: Do I read People Magazine? No. My daughter read People Magazine. And today, my daughter is a reader. She is 30, she reads about middle grade, early young adult level. But that's huge, that's a lot of stuff that she can read and a lot of stuff...

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Especially nowadays.

Meg Medina: Yeah, and so I feel excited for her. And I wish I hadn't had all those judgment things. So when I see parents judging, let's say, graphic novels or judging all kinds of formats, I want to encourage them to take a deep breath and trust that their kids are gonna read what they want to read, what's feeding a need that they have and they will have other chances to read other things as well. I mean, never stop introducing them to other things but let them choose. There's something very powerful in student choice, in letting kids tell you what's interesting to them, what they find funny, what they find scary, what they find interesting.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: In your school visits and seeing some of the libraries and schools that you visited, have you ever seen either the way they welcome you or just in general like a space or a place that really has stayed with you like the way that they approached reading in the school? 

Meg Medina: It would be impossible for me to pick one because typically when I'm invited, it's already a big deal for the school. So my big face is in their library window, like that kind of thing that you have to... You get a student ambassador who takes you around all kinds of stuff. I have loved the schools in so many places. I'm thinking Wisconsin, I'm thinking Fayetteville, I'm thinking North Carolina, all over this country where the students... Sometimes it's a class or a student group that's read, and so they are constructing the event, they construct the questions, the event. Sometimes they... Instead of me on stage with a PowerPoint about what I think is important, I'm on stage with them in conversation and they're asking me the question that they want answered based on the book. And then I can cover all the things that I was gonna cover in a PowerPoint but it's tailored to what they really wanna know.


Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Something you'll hear our guests reference often in this podcast is the movement in the US by some to ban or challenge books. Nearly everyone in the book industry can agree that this is one of, if not the most pressing issues we face. This fear and frustration is something that Meg has felt too. It's also something she's been very vocal about. In October 2021, Meg wrote a detailed piece on her blog about the matter. In that post she wrote, "To pull books from a school library because of the discomfort they create in adults is a recipe for disaster. It erodes the trust young people have in the adults in their lives and pushes them to secrecy. It undermines the studied opinion of professional librarians and educators. It supports a false idea that there is one version of life that is acceptable and it denigrates the work of authors who are brave enough to name experiences that are difficult and real." Part of what's driving the recent spike in book bans is ironically, it's a very shrewd storytelling by the anti-book activists. They're successfully selling a narrative that is igniting fear and passion.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: And to paraphrase what Meg said earlier, "In life, the person who wins is the one who's best at articulating their story." A narrative is being sold that is driving the passion of those calling for bans, and it's a dangerous one. But storytelling is something that authors know best and when it comes to taking action to fight back, that's something Meg believes that we should lean into.

Meg Medina: We've always had book challenges and book bans and so on. This is always been an impulse, I want to protect children, I want to protect the values that I think are important and therefore I don't want my child exposed to that, that has always been. What's very different now, I think, is that it has been codified, it's been made into a, frankly, a political strategy to get people elected and to sort of stir up fear that lends itself to getting people elected. Right? That's just true about how it's going, it's a very organized and well-funded movement. So if you go to ALA's, the American Library Association's page on censorship and so on, you could see this enormous spike in the number of books and so on that are being challenged in the movement in that way. And I think it's really because of this sort of organized way. What I think needs to happen, frankly, is that typically we have responded like in whack-a-mole fashion, like this book is challenged here, I'm gonna respond there. Book is challenged here, I'm gonna respond there. I think we need to go on the offensive. We have a defense but no offense, and I'm a terrible sportsperson...

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Look at you, sports analogies.

Meg Medina: So I will have no good analogy, I know. It must be that fall is in the air, football is in the air. But we need an offense, and the offense is that ideas, ideas matter. Opening kids up to thinking, I feel like writers especially who are wordsmiths who can name things, tricky things in clear ways, that should be where we put our efforts, really creating an offense in this campaign to win the hearts back. Because what's being sold is that your parental power is being taken from you through the shady books, that's what's being sold and that is not the case. The books being written are about the experiences that actually exist for children right now in communities as they look and function right now. And I think we're in many ways in a golden age of children's literature and team literature. So much incredible work is coming out. I feel like that's where I'd like to see us go.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: You're all writers and storytellers and you're telling these amazing stories but the narrative in this case is controlled and maybe because in the story is very simple, the narrative, that other narrative is a very just one-dimensional.

Meg Medina: It's very unfortunate because as I said, it's just being wordsmithed and filed into this really poisonous dart. So for example, I have a book called Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass which used to get...

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Reading that right now.

Meg Medina: Okay. Well, yeah. Your seventh grader will enjoy it. It's about to come out as a graphic novel next year I should tell you also which is exciting. So it used to get a lot of pushback for the word ass in the title, and I've spoken about why that title made sense and so on. Today, it gets pushback for its cultural content, the fact that her mom has ideas about working as she does. And Burn Baby Burn is another one where it's on some list for what they call critical race theory which is... Its bananas to me, absolutely bananas. But those are really powerful push points, and so you put that button on it and you can get... You guarantee to get people worked up. And that's what's happening and that's the strategy. Shake people up, make them afraid, make them feel that something is being stolen from them, their power, their ideas, etcetera. And so I just think we can't combat that as whack-a-mole, I think we have to come together thoughtfully and cohesively with an offense.


Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Merci Suárez Changes Gears is the book that earned Meg Medina her Newbery Award. It's a coming-of-age story featuring Cuban-American sixth-grader Merci Suárez as she faces new challenges and struggles in her life. The character that Medina created was an instant hit with readers. Pressed with many of the expected setbacks of life at that transformative age, Merci's resilience and perseverance shine in a truly heartwarming story. But one book wasn't enough for such a strong and relatable character. Three years after its 2018 release, Meg Medina published her second Merci story titled Merci Suárez Can't Dance. And on September 12th, the third and final book of this trilogy telling the tales of this infinitely lovable young girl made it to shelves. That book is called Merci Suárez Plays It Cool. As Meg says goodbye to her most famous character, I was interested to hear how this journey with Merci feels coming to a close and how writing a trilogy differs from a single story.

Meg Medina: The Merci trilogy... So the first book, of course, Merci Suárez Changes Gears won the Newbery and then the second book which is also dear to my heart, Merci Suárez Can't Dance, came out during COVID. So it was a COVID casualty book. So it just struggled in there, and I'm hoping that with publishing the third book that people will read the trilogy to just sort of see the whole arc. So the arc of middle school is really something. Just think of yourself in the fifth grade and then who you were in the eighth grade, physically, mentally, socially, it is a metamorphosis, it is huge and not often smooth. And so it was a real unpacking of what that experience is through Merci's eyes. So part of the issue when you write a trilogy without thinking that you were writing a trilogy is that you do not keep track of all things. Boy, did that take a lot of things like, oh wait, what was her teacher's name in the sixth grade? If I'm gonna mention her, I better... So I had to just make sure I had my story straight.

Meg Medina: And the other trick about the novel, of course, is in the eighth grade. So now she's 13 going on 14, she's facing in her shoes, she's about to go on the school overnight trip. She's now very comfortable in her friendships, even in her frenemy relationship with Edna and this chance for a new set of friends sort of emerges. So it's looking at like at that moment when we see ourselves as potentially part of multiple groups and where they intersect and where they don't. And then of course, the notion of what's going on in her family with Inéz, Tia Inéz and the twins, the twins' father reappears in this novel. What do we do with him? And so as I was writing all those things, I knew I had to bring this in for a safe landing for the reader and write about an eighth-grade girl for readers who are middle-grade readers, ages 9 to 12. And so the character has aged but the reader hasn't necessarily, and so...

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Especially the trilogy.

Meg Medina: Yeah.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: It's like one, two, three, where is the next one? Whenever they read it, they're reading the other two.

Meg Medina: So I felt like I learned a lot writing as an author, I learned a lot writing the Merci Suárez trilogy. There were scenes in the book that I didn't wanna write but I needed to because I knew that that was gonna be part of the book. And when I finished it, I just... Now I know that I'm done with Merci. I brought her to this next place of her growth and I love her and I love her family and they feel so real to me. It sounds strange but I feel proud that I gave them life, that I put these characters in kids... In the world of readers. I love how they operate with all of their bumps and boils and missteps and all of it, and so I'm good now. If I had to have stopped after Merci Suárez Changes Gears, I would have felt incomplete, I would have had that itch. But with the short journey and the three books, I feel like I told the story I really wanted to tell about this girl in middle school.


Jordan Lloyd Bookey: That again was Meg Medina, Newbery Award medallist and New York Times best-selling author. Everyone that we speak to on this podcast will also provide us with their own unique reading challenge for all listeners, and also available to our partners on Beanstack. Meg's challenge is called Girls in Motion. She curated a diverse list of stories that feature athletic girls facing various challenges in their lives, I'll let her explain a bit more.

Meg Medina: The first thing I'm gonna say confessional, I am not... I was not a sporty girl as...

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: You did make a sports analogy in this podcast.

Meg Medina: I...

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: Get on the offense.

Meg Medina: And it was pretty good.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: But you were not sporty. Okay, you were not sporty.

Meg Medina: I was not sporty but I was Action Jackson, I was always in motion, I was always moving, I had trouble staying still. I love watching athletic girls, just like the power on the field, I love all of it. And so I... In picking these books, I picked books where the character is on some team, sometimes it's soccer, sometimes it's softball, sometimes they're roller derby queens, sometimes all kinds of things, basketball, but the story is more than the game. Sports are a wonderful way to learn how to work as a team, how to work collaboratively, how to fail, how to win gracefully, how to work hard, it also teaches us some lousy lessons sometimes too. So I don't know, I liked the companionship. I liked Furia, for example, in my Y8 title that I picked because it takes you to another country and how sportswomen are viewed there. I try to pick authors from diverse background, so that you could have the same topic from all kinds of lenses.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: All of our listeners can join Meg's reading challenge, Girls in Motion by visiting There you'll find the full list of Meg's recommended books and more details about the challenge. We've also made Girls in Motion available on Beanstack for our customers. Before we check out from this episode, I also wanted to introduce a very special segment where we give some well-deserved attention to some of the rock star librarians in our own Beanstack community. Today's featured librarian is Meredith Derrick, the Library Coordinator for Klein Independent School District outside of Houston, Texas. She told us about her most successful library program to date.

Meredith Derrick: My most successful library program ever would have to be the Reading Fair. So you remember in elementary school, you'd have a science fair, well, I did a spin on it and we had a reading fair. So students took what they learned in the classroom and during their library lessons, and they created a tri-fold board and it would include all the story elements so they could decorate it how they wanted to and we made a family night of it, and it was a huge success. I do it every year.

Jordan Lloyd Bookey: This has been the reading culture. And thanks again to today's guest, Meg Medina. Again, I'm your host, Jordan Lloyd Bookey. And currently, I'm reading Pieces of Me by Renee Watson and The Guest List by Lucy Foley. If you've enjoyed today's show, please show some love and rate, subscribe and share The Reading Culture among your friends and networks. To learn more about how you can help grow your community's reading culture, you can check out all of our resources at We'll be back in two weeks with another episode of the show, we will be in conversation with Karina Yan Glaser. Thanks again for joining and keep reading.

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