A book from a long-running, NYT-bestselling series and the first novel by a transgender mother both win the American Library Association’s annual Stonewall Book Award for LGBT-inclusive children’s and young adult books.
The Stonewall Book Award — Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award (to distinguish them from the Stonewall Book Awards for adult books) is part of the ALA’s Youth Media Awards that also include the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott medals. The winners, announced earlier today, are:
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor, by Rick Riordan. Part of the three New York Times bestselling series that comprise Riordan’s mythology-inspired universe (which has included a gay character before), this volume features the genderfluid Alex, child of the god Loki.
- If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo. Russo is herself a transgender woman and mother, and gives us the powerful but never preachy story of a trans girl trying to make a new start at a new school and finding her first romance.
I love that the ALA chose to recognize not only a hugely popular, bestselling, non-LGBTQ author who shows that including LGBTQ characters is no longer a niche thing, but also a first-time, LGBTQ author.
Three Honor Books were also selected:
- When the Moon Was Ours, by Anna-Marie McLemore, a magical tale of identity and love.
- Unbecoming, by Jenny Downham, a family drama with a queer teen protagonist.
- Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community, by Robin Stevenson, the only non-fiction work on the list, which blends a history of the event with a broader look at the struggle for LGBTQ equality.
[Updated to include Rainbow Book List link.] In addition to the award winners, the ALA (via its GLBT Roundtable) has also announced the longer Rainbow Book List, a librarian-recommended list of “quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content” for people under 18 years of age. (For those of you who like a bit of history, here’s my interview with librarian Nel Ward, inaugural chair of the Rainbow List committee, back in 2008 when the List first launched.)
Don’t forget to check out all the winners of the ALA’s various Youth Media Awards, which include books representing many aspects of identity.
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