ELL News Headlines

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Meg Medina Wins Newbery Medal and Sophie Blackall Is Awarded Her Second Caldecott

Meg Medina won this year's John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature for her novel "Merci Suarez Changes Gears," the story of an 11-year-old girl who navigates her home life with a Cuban-American extended family and her experiences as a scholarship student at a private school. Medina is the second Latinx writer to win the award — Matt de la Pena won in 2016 for the picture book "Last Stop on Market Street," illustrated by Christian Robinson — and the first to win for a novel.

Meg Medina Weaves Family Memories Into 'Merci Suárez Changes Gears'

"It was a big whoops moment," said Meg Medina about the real-life incident that also appears in her novel, "Merci Suárez Changes Gears," which was awarded the 2019 Newbery Award. Medina was a middle school teacher when it happened. Like her 11-year-old main character, Merci, she made a huge mistake on a project about ancient Egypt.

Elizabeth Acevedo and 'The Poet X' Add Printz, Pure Belpré to Awards Collection

Elizabeth Acevedo, whose debut novel won over the publishing world, critics, and award committees in 2018, continued her streak into the new year as The Poet X nabbed the 2019 Michael L. Printz Award and the Pure Belpré Author Award at the Youth Media Awards ceremony at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on Monday. The Pure Belpré Author Award shocked Acevedo — who says the recognition of a Latinx writer whose work best "best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience" wasn't on her radar as an award she might win. "To get that honor is so special," she says. "There were so many good books this year written by the Latinx community. I was really honored. That one caught me by surprise."

The education crisis for children of deported parents

What should families who have relocated to their home country following a deportation do about their children’s education? Children of deportees sometimes speak little Spanish, and they are strangers to the Mexican public school system and the intricacies of Mexican society. Now, as the Trump administration ramps up its deportation efforts, a makeshift and unconventional education model has emerged in response to the growing number of American children caught in this academic limbo.

Gratitude and Rocket Science: Sylvia Acevedo thanks librarians for helping her reach the stars

Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo said she was excited to be invited to be an Auditorium Speaker at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle because she wanted to say thank you. "Libraries and librarians changed my life. I would not be who I am today without libraries and librarians," she told the crowd, which included a few young Girl Scouts in their distinctive green uniforms and badges.

‘This was wrong,’ says Denver schools chief of email threat to immigrant teachers

Less than three weeks into her tenure as Denver schools superintendent, Susana Cordova stood in the lobby of the district’s downtown headquarters Friday afternoon and apologized. Ringed by television cameras, Cordova said she was shocked the evening before to learn that a district human resources employee had sent an email to schools on Tuesday that said immigrant teachers working in Denver Public Schools on visas would be reported to immigration authorities if they participated in an impending teacher strike. "This was wrong," said Cordova, flanked by three Denver school board members. "I cannot begin to express how shocked I was to learn of this message, and how deeply sorry I am for the anxiety and fear this has caused our educators, our families, and our community."

We Need Diverse Books Announces 2019 Walter Awards Winners

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes are the winners of the 2019 Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children's Literature, We Need Diverse Books announced Monday. The award, given in two categories — teen and young readers — recognizes titles by diverse authors that "feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way." Two Honors Books were named in each category as well.