Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)

Our guest blogger today is Dr. Rob Bittner. Rob (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the iSchool of the University of British Columbia, working with LGBTQ books for youth and children.


jack of heartsJack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen
Little, Brown, October 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: Jack is a very sexual young man. He’s certainly not afraid to “get it on” and try new things. But when school gossip about his sex life starts to get out of hand, Jack’s friend Jenna suggests he try to use his experiences to educate his classmates through a new sex advice column in the school newspaper. Though a bit hesitant at first, Jack eventually embraces the opportunity, and in the process manages to catch the attention of a secret admirer and get the administration after him for disrupting the status quo.

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Black Wings Beating

Our guest blogger today is Dr. Rob Bittner. Rob (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the iSchool of the University of British Columbia, working with LGBTQ books for youth and children.


Black wings beatingBlack Wings Beating by Alex London
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, September 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: Uztar is a land full of people who revere birds of prey, holding those with the skill for falconry in high esteem. Brysen wants nothing more than to become one of these highly respected falconers, and it frustrates him that his sister has a gift for it that she doesn’t want to embrace. The twins also need money, and their abusive father is certainly not paying the bills. Kylee can’t wait to get out of town, out of the whole business and away from her home, but Brysen puts the two in a precarious position just as the shadows of war are descending. The two end up embarking on an epic quest to find the elusive ghost eagle and hopefully turn the tide of the impending battle. Continue reading

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

Between August and January, 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.

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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