Jan. 12th, 2011

astern: illustration from Lane Smith and Dr Seuss's HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY (Big Brother is Reading)
As probably most everyone reading this knows, Monday was the announcement of the ALA awards! This is basically my Oscars. I have been reading a ton of books in preparation (although I haven't read nearly as many winners as I'd hoped- way to go, DARK HORSES) and I was really excited. So I'm really disappointed that there are two things that jumped out to me as problematic.

I don't mean problematic as in "I disagree." I disagree that Hush didn't get at least a Printz honor, but I understand it. I disagree with the choice of A Sick Day for Amos McGee for the Caldecott, but I can see how people would choose that. But two things rubbed me the wrong way. First of all, while I think Terry Pratchett deserves many awards, I'm not really sure he deserves the Edwards specifically. And second, the distribution of awards for the Stonewall confuses me.

cut for length )

To be clear, I do think it's important that the award goes to the best books. But "best books" doesn't exist in a vacuum. That's why the Stonewall exists: because the books for LGBTQ teens deserve their own attention, and because the ALA is making a great move toward making sure they're better serving an under-served population. And I don't think they're adequately serving that marginalized community if they've chosen five books to recognize, but none of them acknowledge any type of lesbian or bisexual female experience.

For what it's worth, I can think of at least two books about the relationship between teen girls (A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner and Scars by Cheryl Rainfield) that were strong, engaging YA reads published in 2010. If you have any other recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

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astern: illustration from Lane Smith and Dr Seuss's HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY (Default)
Amy Stern

February 2012

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