Yesterday was a big day. Some of my readers are right there with me and some are saying, “What?”
In case you are not sure what I am talking about, yesterday, the American Library Association Youth Media Awards were announced. This means that there are many children’s books now wearing shiny new medals. This day really does feel like the Oscars for me. I followed blogs and Twitter feeds in the days leading up to the event to see what books the experts predicted to win. Yesterday morning, I wasn’t able to completely clear my schedule to watch the event streaming live which I’ve done in the past and I was really sad. Fortunately, thanks to Twitter I was able to tell what was going on as I sat and waited for an appointment.
Of course, I love seeing who all the winners are. I was thrilled that there were some titles I already loved and some titles that I haven’t read yet to add to my list. The most exciting part for me though was that I know one of the winners.
Years ago, I worked at a small school in Richmond, Virginia and had the most amazing client. This most amazing client also had the most amazing mother. Meg Medina quickly became a friend and a mentor to me. I could talk to her for hours about books and writing and children. When we knew each other well, she would write in the corners of time between mothering and working. Fortunately for all of us, after we left Richmond, Meg took the leap and became the writer that she always was.
And now one of her books, Yaqui Delagado Wants to Kick Your Ass, has a shiny new sticker on it. Meg is the 2014 recipient of the Pura Belpre. As taken from the ALA website: “The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.”
I could not be more proud of my friend. And I could not be more excited for this symbol of a dream realized.