As with so many great books I read, I discovered this week's review book, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by reading an article about how it was being banned in a school. It wasn't too surprising... the book has the word "ass" right there in the title, and it's about bullying and violence and there's some stuff about a girl experiencing puberty (noticing new body parts and whatnot). But what I remember most about the article (I wish I could find it to link it for you) was what the author, Meg Medina, had to say about the banning. I don't remember her response specifically, but it had to do with how kids should be able to read about situations similar to what they're going through, to see that they aren't alone and there are ways out of their predicaments.
Medina's website says that she's about "strong girls, tough circumstances, and the connecting power of culture." All three of these are major themes in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.
She is Cuban-American and currently lives in Richmond, Virginia. Between bouts of writing, she works on community projects that benefit young girls like the ones in her books. This year, she won the Pura Belpre award (named after the first Latina librarian at NYPL, awarded by the ALA since 1996 to a Latino/a writer/illustrator who portrays, affirms, and celebrates Latino culture in a work for youth) for Yaqui Delgado.
She has also written The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, Tia Isa Wants a Car, and Milagros: The Girl from Away. They all feature strong Latina girls, something YA books need more of.
This is a great time of year to be reading Meg Medina... Hispanic American Heritage Month is September 15 - October 15, and Banned Books Week is September 21-27!