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NYT best-selling author Meg Medina to discuss writing about painful experiences for kids at PLU virtual lecture

NYT best-selling author Meg Medina to discuss writing about painful experiences for kids at PLU virtual lecture

Posted by:
February 9, 2021
By Rosemary Bennett '21
PLU Marketing and Communications

Pacific Lutheran University’s eleventh annual Jolita Hylland Benson Education Lecture will be held virtually at 5:30 p.m. on May 5. Meg Medina,, and New York Times best-selling author will deliver this year’s Benson lecture titled “Rough Patch: On Writing About Painful Experiences for Kids`` and will be followed by a Q&A session with Medina.

 A Newbery Medal and Pura Belpré winner, Medina is a children’s, middle grade, and young adult author of Cuban descent whose books celebrate Latinx culture and the lives of young people. She serves on the National Board of Advisors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is a faculty member of Hamline University’s Masters of Fine Arts in Children’s Literature. Her works have been called “heartbreaking,” “lyrical” and “must-haves for every collection.”

“Less than 7 percent of children’s books published last year were written by authors of color,” says Wendy Gardiner, PLU’s Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education. “Which is a real and ongoing problem in publishing because all children need diverse literature. It can open up a whole world for them—letting them see their experiences represented in books, see new perspectives, disrupt stereotypes, and celebrate human experiences. So, reading authors like Meg is especially important.” 

For pre-lecture reading, event organizers recommend Medina’s acclaimed books “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” “Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away,”  “Burn Baby Burn,” and Medina’s most recent book “Merci Suárez Cant Dance,” publishing on April 8. 

“Using children’s literature to introduce, educate, and guide children through difficult subjects is challenging, yet necessary,” says Gardiner. “Meg has mastered this in her own work time and time again, making her the perfect author to present on this topic.” 

Since the first Jolita Hylland Benson Education Lecture in 2011, the series has sought to encourage the thoughtful exploration of education in its various capacities and different ways education can and should be accessible to all. The series is named in honor of PLU alumna Jolita Benson. Benson graduated from the School of Education in 1963 and dedicated her life to educating children. 

Virtual admission to the eleventh annual Jolita Hylland Benson Education Lecture is free. Visit the event website to register and please note, the webinar is limited to 1,000 attendees.

Register Here