Read Brave: Author Visit by Robert Htoo

Read Brave is a city wide reading program set around a common theme. There are different themes each year. In the year 2019, the theme was housing; an important topic where thousands of people in St. Paul struggle to afford housing.  One of the books this year was “Burn Baby Burn” by Meg Medina.

                                                                          Medina’s book “Burn Baby Burn”


The book is set in Queens, New York in 1977. There is a lot going on in New York during this time. The book tells the story of Nora Lopez and her struggles with racism and violence.  Many students were able to connect with the struggles of Nora. Nora had several conflicts that she had to work her way through, just like many of Humboldt’s students.

Meg Medina came to visit Humboldt and OWL students in February of 2019. In this author visit, she talked about her history, what type of books she writes, and why she chose to write “Burn Baby Burn.” Medina faced similar struggles as her character Nora did. Medina described her connections with Nora as well as explained many insights to the book.

Author: Meg Medina  Photo by Steve Casanova


The visit was thrilling for many students. For many Humboldt students, this was their first time meeting with an author. After she spoke, there was a Q&A session where students could ask her questions. Proceeding the Q&A Medina stayed and signed all the students’ books.

Humboldt 8th grade Coreti Soe asking Medina a question during the Q&A session. 


Humboldt 8th grade Kylan Moss asking Medina a question during the Q&A session. 



Humboldt 7th grader Teresa Rivera Valdovinos said, “I thought she was going to be really serious. But once she started talking I realized that she was fun and the opposite of what I thought.”


Valdovinos added “I also think it was great to see a Latina author. I was able to connect with her as a Latino student. Many of her experiences as a Latina girl I also faced. The one thing I wish we would have been allowed to do was film and take pictures. I was sad I couldn’t film this experience.”

Overall, the author visit was a success. Students were pleased to be able to attend the author visit. This is a great program to engage kids in reading diverse books and to talk about issues that impact them.