In a move to honor more LGBT books for youth, the American Library Association this year awarded its second Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature prize, announced this week at the ALA Mid Winter Meeting. While the ALA has long spotlighted young adult books of merit, with annual awards like the Printz (for excellence in YA literature) and the Coretta Scott King Award (for outstanding contributions by African American authors to YA and Children’s lit), this is the association’s first major award just for LGBT books for young people.
The winner, Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher , is the story of Logan Witherspoon, a teenage boy who develops a crush on Sage Hendricks, the unusual new girl at school. When Sage reveals that she was born a boy, Logan becomes conflicted about his sexuality and other issues. Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Award committee chair Lisa Johnston described the writing as “sensitive, haunting and revelatory.” The award will be presented at the annual ALA conference this June.
Three honors for the prize were award to the books Will Grayson, Will Grayson, a collaboration by YA superstars John Green and David Levithan; Love Drugged by James Klise and Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin.
While these winners don’t showcase the stories of queer female youth (really, were awesome lesbian/bi YA stories so hard to come by last year?), we can hope that 2011’s contributions to YA literature will feature a few good Stonewall nominations. Julie Anne Peters, National Book Award finalist and author of several compelling queer YA books, is releasing a new novel, She Loves You, She Loves You Not, this June. It tells the story of a girl who is forced to move away from her life when she’s disowned by her father, dumped by her beloved girlfriend, and must go to live with the mother who abandoned her at birth. And this year Malinda Lo returns with Huntress, the prequel to Ash, promising a gripping tale of two girls chosen by fate to save a dying world, and who fall in love on the harrowing journey. Get your library cards ready!
What queer YA or children books are on your radar right now?