Blanca & Roja

blancayrojaBlanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Feiwel Friends, Oct 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Plot Summary: This retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” crossed with Swan Lake, with hints of other fairy tales, centers two sisters who grow up knowing that one day one of them will be turned into a swan. In their predominantly white town, being latina links Blanca and Roja both to witchcraft and strangeness, but Blanca’s sunshine yellow hair affords her better treatment than Roja, whose red-stained black hair marks her at a glance as other. Despite their differences, they’ve spent their whole lives trying to become indistinguishable from one another, to prevent the swans from being able to choose between them. The arrival of the swans to their family home coincides with the arrival of two local boys, Page and Barclay, and rising tensions breed jealousy and resentment. As the trust the sisters have worked so hard to make unbreakable begins to dissolve, will they still be able to protect one another? And will they want to?

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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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Hurricane Child

hurricane-childHurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
Scholastic, March 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Plot Summary: Caroline’s mother disappeared over a year ago, leaving Caroline with her father on Water Island, part of the US Virgin Islandsthe part tourists don’t see because they don’t want to. Troubled by questions about her self-worth, Caroline is determined to find her mother and get an explanation for her abandonment. The arrival of new girl Kalinda to the Catholic school Caroline attends on St Thomas brings a welcome reprieve from the bullying of classmates and teachers. Caroline is intent on making Kalinda the first friend she’s ever had, only to succeed and discover that her feelings are also romantic. Caroline suspects that she and Kalinda share an ability to see things that no one else can, which might mean that Kalinda is just the person to help her find her mother.

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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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Picture Book Roundup, Part 2

This is Part 2 of our spotlight on Stonewall-eligible picture books with queer content. Unlike those mentioned in Part 1, most of the books I’ve selected here break the gender binary (wahoo!). I also threw in two picture books that are unique in their portrayal of same-sex attraction in young children because it’s something I haven’t really seen before.

The number of queer picture books for children is growing each year. I had hoped to cover them all but have since learned that there are even more titles than the 15 we counted before—three cheers for that!! Having too many books to cover is a good thing, right? (On that note, check out Mombian’s fabulous end-of-year-list and other posts if you want even more recommendations.)

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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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Teen Nonfiction

As slim as the pickings for LGBTQ+ nonfiction usually are, there’s a recognized need for informational books that center queer experience. Though proportionally small compared to the amount of fiction published, nonfiction tends to do well at the Stonewall Award. In seven of the past nine award years, a nonfiction book has been among those honored. In this post, I’ll cover a few nonfiction titles for teens on MoMM’s radar this year. (See Alec’s post on Pride and Sewing the Rainbow for a look at some of this year’s nonfiction picturebooks.)

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