2019 Mock Winners

ivy aberdeen
The votes are in: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashely Herring Blake wins Medal on My Mind’s mock Stonewall Award!

Notably, the Stonewall Award often goes to more than one book, in some cases representing discreet categories, like children’s and YA or fiction and nonfiction. In a committee setting, our results would call for further deliberation, but we feel good about naming The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang a second winner, with honors to Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram and Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender.

Here’s the total breakdown of votes for our finalists:

  1. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake – 39 points
  2. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang – 34 points
  3. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram – 30 points
  4. Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender – 29 points
  5. The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell – 27 points
  6. PS I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy – 26 points
  7. A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson – 11 points
We can’t wait to see what the committee has chosen when the award is announced at the ALA Youth Media Awards on Monday (8:00AM PT). We’ll be back with some final thoughts after the fact.

A hearty congratulations to all our winners! And a big thanks to you for speculating with us!

Second Ballot

…And the results of the first ballot are in! Five titles tied so we’re calling it a top seven rather than a top five. Per the official award process, committee members would next vote for a single title out of the five. We’re going to deviate from that just a bit because (a) we have already broken the rules and (b) we think it will help us get a more meaningful picture of your opinions since we don’t get to have face-to-face discussion.

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First Ballot

It’s voting time! According to the official award process, committee members would have each nominated 10-15 titles to be semi-finalists back in December. The 10 titles with the most votes are the only titles discussed at the Midwinter meeting in January. For the first ballot, committee members vote for their top five. For the second ballot, committee members vote for their top choice from the top five and discuss whether there will be honor books named or separate categories within the award (children’s, young adult, etc.).

We’ve obviously done things a little differently here at Medal on My Mind. In the past few months, we’ve covered 46 titles. Not all of those titles received glowing recommendations. And we haven’t narrowed down the list to a top 10. But that’s where you come in!

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Girls of Paper and Fire / The Storyteller

Our guest blogger today is Sabrina Montenigro. Sabrina (she/her/hers) is a bookseller at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and a reviewer for Kirkus. She is a recent graduate of the Children’s Literature M.A. program at Simmons College, where her thesis research centered contemporary queer YA. Find her @sabrina_reading on Twitter and Instagram.


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
JIMMY Patterson Books / Little, Brown & Co, Nov 2018
Reviewed from ARC

The Storyteller by Traci Chee (Reader/Sea of Ink and Gold Book 3)
Putnam / Penguin Random House, Dec 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Caution: spoilers ahead!

Plot Summary: Both books take on the overarching project of grappling with identity and destiny, and their intersections with language, in a way that speaks to the queer experience on multiple levels.

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Let’s Talk About Love

Today’s guest blogger is Stephanie Allen. Stephanie (she/her) is a University of Washington MLIS student, a teacher, and a young adult writer. You can find her on Twitter as @stephandrea_.


letstalkaboutloveLet’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Swoon Reads, Feb 2018
Reviewed from Hardcover

Plot Summary: After Alice’s girlfriend breaks up with her, her summer plans consist solely of hanging out with her best friends and working her part-time job at the library. What she didn’t plan on was developing a huge crush on her new coworker, Takumi, and she especially didn’t plan on Takumi liking her back. The thing is, the reason Alice’s girlfriend broke up with her is because Alice is asexual. Now, she’s spending her summer worrying about how to tell Takumi she’s ace and if telling him will ruin whatever is going on between them. Alice’s easy summer vacation just got a lot more complicated.

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Graphic Novels & Comics Roundup

We’ve probably said this before, but it bears repeating: we LOVE comics and graphic novels, and we love seeing them get due consideration in awards predictions.

So far, Medal on My Mind has covered Cardboard Kingdom, Check, Please! Vol. 1: #Hockey, Moonstruck, Vol. 1, and A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, and we have a post about The Prince and the Dressmaker still to come.

Here are a handful of others we think are worth keeping an eye on:

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Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey

Our guest blogger today is Angela Ocana. Angela (she/her) is a fierce queer Latina, not to mention a saucy and sassy Teen Services Supervisor for Eugene Public Library.


checkpleaseCheck, Please! Vol 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
First Second, Sept 2018

Plot SummarySamwell College’s newest freshman, Eric ‘Bitty’ Bittle, has handed in his figure skates for a hockey a stick in Ngozi Ukazu’s webcomic turned graphic novel, Check, Please!. As the newest member of the Samwell hockey team, Bitty finds himself in a strange world of straight men, steeped in ‘bro’ culture. It is hilarious how disgusting and gross college boy can be, and better yet, how Bitty deals with it. For the most part he spends his college days posting on his baking blog, fretting about the team, and learning to take a hit on the ice. Indeed, as the title implies, Bitty struggles with taking a checkor, for those of us who do not understand hockey, a hard hit delivered to block out an opponent. You fall in love with Bitty during his pie baking monologues and watching him sing his heart out to Beyoncé. As the book draws to a close, we discover the fate of the Samwell hockey team’s championship aspirations, and maybe more intriguing, Bitty opens up about his crush on fellow teammate and captain, Jack Zimmerman.

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I Felt A Funeral In My Brain

Our guest blogger today is Nicole T. Cunha. Nicole (they/she) is a librarian, traveler, and avid bookworm. You can find them on Twitter at NicoleTCunha, discussing disability rights, libraries, and anything they feel like fangeeking over.


waltonI Felt A Funeral in My Brain by Will Walton
Push,  June 2018
Reviewed from hardcover, library binding

Plot SummaryAs summer starts, Avery Fowell and his mother are delivering cakes and BOOM. The car crash sets in motion a narrative of a young man’s coming to terms with the good news and bad news.  Avery Fowell writes poetry so he can understand all that is going on in his life. Moving from past to present, we follow transitions between Avery’s inner and outer dialogue through changes in tense and form. Stream of consciousness and poetic form intertwine as the protagonist processes multigenerational alcohol addiction, self- and family parenting, loss of a grandparent, personal injury, and feelings for his best friend.

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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.

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What It’s Like To Be on the Committee

The call is out! ALA’s GLBT Round Table is accepting applications to volunteer for the Stonewall Book Award and Book List committees until Friday, December 7.

What’s it actually like serving on the Stonewall committee? How does it differ from other award processes? Guest blogger Amanda Foulk provides insight based on her experience as a 2018 committee alum.


My year on the Stonewall Book Award Children’s & Young Adult Committee was eye-opening. I’m proud of the outcome of our deliberations – I think we selected two exceptional winners of the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award and two excellent honor books. What I felt qualified me to serve on the committee was previous experience evaluating children’s books based on set criteria, and a willingness to thoughtfully and passionately discuss those books in a way that built consensus. What I didn’t realize going in was how different the process would be from my previous experiences.

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