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January 13, 2016
At the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Latino authors experienced an unprecedented honor: recognition by the ALA Youth Media Awards that have not traditionally been inclusive of Latino children's literature. In fact, this is the first time in the award's history that a Hispanic author has won the most prestigious award in the field of children's literature, the John Newbery Medal. Matt de la Peña received the award for his picture book "Last Stop on Market Street”. De la Peña says, "I intended to write a book in which a young city boy learns to see himself, through his city, as beautiful. I get to visit schools all over the country, and it breaks my heart when I encounter a poor kid in the inner city who has no idea how beautiful he or she is. I know this, it's powerful to see yourself in literature. And it's even more powerful to see yourself in literature that has been critically acknowledged in this way. That's a really exciting part of this whole Newbery experience."
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