2022 Youth Media Awards Debrief

Congratulations to the 2022 Stonewall Book Award winners and honors! We’d like to give a special shout out again this year to Dani Crickman, blog co-founder, who chaired this year’s Real Committee. Yay Dani!

Winners: Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo and Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Honors: Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate, The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer, and Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow

With the exception of Lukoff, all the recipients this year are first-time Stonewall Book Award recipients. But both Lo and Lukoff’s accolades didn’t stop with Stonewall…

Last Night at the Telegraph Club also won the National Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, AND got both a Printz and Walter Honor. That’s FIVE stickers! Wow! Is there even enough space on the book cover?

Too Bright to See also got a Newbery Honor. That makes Lukoff the first author ever to be acknowledged by both Stonewall AND Newbery (“Newstoneberywall”). That’s huge! Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that the book was also a National Book Award finalist.

Let’s dig into some Youth Media Award history, shall we? The Newbery was first awarded in 1922. Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Together (Newbery Honor, 1973) could certainly be read as the first Newbery title to feature LGBTQIA+ characters. But was the Real Committee thinking that back then? Probably not. As far as we know, then, the first Newbery book to feature an on-the-page confirmed queer character is Jacqueline Woodson’s After Tupac and D Foster (Newbery Honor, 2009). The second is Tae Keller’s When You Trap a Tiger (Newbery Medal, 2021). Both feature queer siblings.

Now, in 2022, we get not one, but two Newbery books with LGBTQIA+ protagonists: Kyle Lukoff’s Too Bright to See and Darcie Little Badger’s A Snake Falls to Earth. While this is a Stonewall and not a Newbery blog (for that, see Heavy Medal) it’s pretty affirming.

We also want to celebrate Grandad’s Camper for being one of the first picture books with a queer elder.

Here are some more of our favorite tweets from the Youth Media Awards:

Before we sign off again this award season, it’s our tradition to share a list of all the queer books that were recognized in other categories this year. They are:

  • A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger (Newbery Honor, National Book Award Longlist)
  • Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa (Pura Belpré Honor)
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Morris Finalist)
  • Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth (AIYLA Young Adult Winner)
  • Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (AIYLA Young Adult Honor)
  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (Alex Award)
  • Malice by Heather Walter (Alex Award)
  • Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (Alex Award)
  • The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec (Alex Award)

That’s all, folks! If you have thoughts on the Youth Media Awards or have books you’re looking forward to in 2022, drop us a line.

Note: A previous version of this post erroneously left out After Tupac and D Foster as the first Newbery book with queer representation.

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