And We’re Back!

It’s almost that time again! Medal on My Mind is getting ready to take a close look at 2018’s queer books for kids and teens in anticipation of the 2019 Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Stonewall Book Award.  Some exciting announcements and housekeeping details before we get into the good stuff:

A New Home

We have an official website! You can now link to Medal on My Mind at www.medalonmymind.com

(Though the wordpress address still works, too.)

Our Team

Stacy and Dani are returning to the blog for a second time round. Kazia won’t be here with us this yearbut for very good reason: she’s currently serving on the 2019 Sibert committee. We’re excited to welcome two new contributors: Alec Chunn (who dreamed up the initial idea for MoMM) and Kit Kavanagh-Ryan.

Alec (he/him/his) is a librarian and book reviewer in the Pacific Northwest. He holds joint masters degrees in library science and children’s literature and served on the 2018 Rainbow Book List Committee.

Kit (she/her/hers) holds a Masters of Information Management and is mid-PhD at Deakin University, specialising in children’s fiction, disability and secondary worlds. She works as an alcohol and other drug librarian at a not-for-profit and lectures in young adult and children’s literature at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

What To Expect

Our blogging format will look a little different this year. Between August and November, every week(ish), there will be a new short post from one of us providing a brief overview of a book and some thoughts on its queer rep. We’ll also do some round-ups to give consideration to as many books as we can.

In December and January, as the award announcement approaches, we’ll take a closer look at the strongest contenders as determined by your feedback. These posts will read more like conversations among the four of us as we try to pin down the specifics of what makes a book award-worthy.

Guest Blogging

We’re looking forward to featuring more guest posts from fellow queer reviewers this year. If you’re interested in writing for Medal on My Mind, please email medalonmymind@gmail.com with the title(s) you’d like to cover and, briefly, why.  

Up Next

You’ll be hearing more from us soon! Subscribe to this page or follow Medal on My Mind on Twitter for updates.

After the Announcement

Congratulations to this year’s Stonewall Book Award winners and honors!

 

 

Though we only had the chance to cover one of the four here, these choices didn’t come at us completely out of the blue. You can find some final reflections at the end of this post.

We are so thrilled to see such diverse and intersectional representation honored this year. The committee awarded all women and nonbinary folks, and while this isn’t unprecedented, it’s unusual enough to merit acknowledgement! Both of the winners address disability, and all four of the chosen titles explore race and racism. Two of the titles feature characters with nonbinary identities (Sasha in The 57 Bus is agender and Charlie in As the Crow Flies is nonbinary). At least two of the books feature characters who are bi.

It was also awesome to see books with queer representation win big in other areas. Printz winner We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is about a queer girl, and Geisel winner Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, with illustrations by Emily Hughes, depicts a gay couple.

We learned a lot from the reading and blogging we did this year–most significantly, that we could use a bigger team! If you are interested in working with Medal on My Mind or know someone who would make a stellar contributor with insightful perspectives on Stonewall eligibles, drop a comment or email us at medalonmymind@gmail.com

We’ll pick back up again in the summer with a broader consideration of 2018’s possibilities. In the meantime, keep up with us on Twitter: Kazia, Alec, Stacy, Dani.

And don’t forget to check out the 2018 Rainbow Booklist

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Graphic Novels & Comics Roundup

We’re not going to lie—the team here at Medal on My Mind loves comics and graphic novels. So we’re particularly excited about this inaugural roundup post!

The Stonewall awards have a short but sweet history of recognizing graphic novels. In the Young Readers category, Drama got an honor in 2013 and a+e 4ever was honored in 2012. In the Nonfiction categories (irrelevant here but still good to know), Fun Home took home the gold in 2007 and Pedro and Me was honored in 2001.

There are a number of graphic novels this year that have the potential to be contenders in the Young Readers category. There are also a number of volumes of comic books that could be eligible, depending on how one interprets the award criteria. The GLBTRT site about the awards notes:

Re-printings of previously published books will not be considered. Substantially changed new editions of previously published works and English translations of foreign-language books are eligible for the awards.

So where do volumes of comics previously published as issues fit into this framework? How about webcomics now published in print? Team MoMM hopes they’ll be considered, so we’re tossing them into the mix here. What do you think?

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