What Are We Missing?

It’s December, which means that the ALA Youth Media Awards announcement on Monday, January 28 is practically just around the corner. Are you as excited as we are?

According to the CCBC’s Diversity Statistics, 136 children’s and young adult books with queer content were published last year in 2017. Our (less formal) spreadsheet of this year’s titles counts 162—a 26 book increase! Because of the growth in the market, it gets harder and harder to pick the best of the best each year. We think that’s a good thing.

On that note, here is our work-in-progress longlist of Stonewall Book Award titles from this year, with links to their individual posts. Which titles are your top choices? What titles are we missing?

If you feel passionate about a title, leave a comment or email us about writing a guest post!


8 thoughts on “What Are We Missing?

  1. This is middlegrade but PS I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy is amazing and deals with a young girl coming out (to herself and later to others) and it’s so good and so sensitively done.


    • Dani says:

      I’ve heard such good things about this one, but I don’t think any of us has had the chance to read it yet. I’ll have to bump it up on my TBR. Thanks, Kelly!


  2. Out of things I think have a reasonable chance (e.g. not new volumes of long-running comics, books published without a clear indication of market/audience age, etc.), I’d push forward Summer of Salt and On a Sunbeam. I’d also love to know what y’all thought of Hurricane Child.


    • Alec says:

      We’ll cover both ON A SUNBEAM and HURRICANE CHILD soon. But I’m embarrassed to say that SUMMER OF SALT completely escaped our radar! I’ll see if I can track a copy down, but let us know if you’d like to write a guest post!


  3. Is it too much to hope for separate awards in picture book, middle grade, and YA categories in a future year, now that we have so many more books to choose from in each age range?

    I’d add for consideration:

    Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper and Fire (Little, Brown). YA fantasy, terrific Chinese- and Malaysian-influenced worldbuilding, and a central queer romance. (Major trigger warning for sexual assault, however.)

    Also, a few other picture book and middle grade faves from my much longer list (https://www.mombian.com/2018/11/28/2018-gift-guide-to-lgbtq-inclusive-childrens-and-middle-grade-books/):

    Picture books:

    When We Love Someone We Sing to Them/Cuando Amamos Cantamos, by Ernesto Javier Martínez, is a lyrical bilingual book celebrating both the love between two boys and the supportive relationship between the boy and his father. Pura Belpré Honor Award winner Maya Christina Gonzalez deserves equal credit for her vibrant illustrations.

    In Jack (Not Jackie), by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Holly Hatam, a young girl comes to understand and accept that her sibling, whom she thought was a girl, is really a transgender boy. Their parents are supportive of Jack’s identity throughout.

    The gorgeously illustrated Julián Is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love, tells of a gender creative, Latinx boy imagining life as a mermaid. One day, his supportive abuela takes them to a festival of grown people dressed as mermaids (modeled after the actual Coney Island Mermaid Parade).

    Middle grade

    The Prince and the Dressmaker, a graphic novel by Jen Wang, begins in Paris at the dawn of the modern age. Sixteen-year-old Prince Sebastian’s parents are hoping to find him a bride, but he knows his love of wearing dresses will make him unsuitable. He finds support in one loyal servant and in a dressmaker with dreams of her own. A tale as fresh and textured as the dresses in it.

    The Lotterys More or Less, by Emma Donoghue, continues her series about two same-sex couples (one male, one female) jointly raising their seven children. Their nine-year-old middle child, Sumac, feels responsible for organizing their winter celebrations, but an ice storm brings complications for the diverse family and community in this fun holiday-themed romp.

    The Magic Misfits: The Second Story, continues actor Neil Patrick Harris’ series starring a diverse group of “misfit” friends with skills in the magical arts, including Leila, who has two dads. When a famous psychic and a couple claiming to be Leila’s birth parents arrive in town, the friends must uncover the truth while learning to rely on each other. Puzzles and how-to magic tricks are sprinkled throughout.

    Dana Alison Levy is back with her fourth book set in the universe of The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, her 2014 novel about a two-dad family. Her latest book, It Wasn’t Me, centers around one of the Fletchers’ classmates, whose photography project was vandalized with threats and gay slurs. A well-meaning teacher gathers the victim and five suspects (including the Fletcher’s son Jax) together over school vacation in the hopes of using restorative justice to reach a resolution. The book raises thoughtful questions about friendship, difference, and how well we really know people, all within a hysterically funny narrative. (Much as I loved it, however, I’m not sure the LGBTQ content is significant enough for this award.)


    • Dani says:

      Agreed — it would be wonderful to see awards given to picturebooks, middle grade, and YA. There’s certainly enough to choose from now, and I think that’s the way to make the award most useful for readers and practitioners.

      Thanks for your thoughts on what’s worth covering! Most of these are things we’ve been hearing a lot about and are excited for. Posts for Girls of Paper and Fire and The Prince and the Dressmaker are in the works, and another picturebook round-up that should cover the titles you’ve mentioned.

      When it comes to middle grade, we’ve been focusing somewhat intentionally on stories with queer young people, but the reminder that there are a bunch of solid titles with LGBTQ+ parents this year is much appreciated.

      Also, thanks for including the link to your list — that’s a nice-looking selection of books!


      • Alec says:

        Dana, you make such fabulous lists! I really appreciate your following along and sharing the gift guide here.

        As Dani mentioned, some of the titles you list will be appearing here soon… So, stay tuned!

        Some initial thoughts on your response though:

        -Do you think the 2nd LOTTERYS book was better than the first? I had a huge problem with what seemed to be constant misgendering of Brian in the 1st one.

        -I read IT WASN’T ME last week and I agree that it’s amazing! But I didn’t think the content was there.

        -Somehow I have never read those MAGIC MISFITS books… I think it’s time to change that. One was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist!

        -And, I had a chance to write a guest post about DRESSMAKER over at Calling Caldecott. I think that one has the potential for an awards sweep this year.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s