“When Aidan Became a Brother” and “The Black Flamingo” win 2020 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020

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Macey Morales

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PHILADELPHIA – “When Aidan Became a Brother” written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita and published by Lee & Low Books Inc., and “The Black Flamingo” by Dean Atta with illustrations by Anshika Khullar and published by Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group, part of Hodder and Stoughton, are the 2020 recipients of the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award. The award was announced today by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Stonewall Book Awards – Children’s & Young Adult Committee of the Rainbow Round Table, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, held Jan. 24 - 28, in Philadelphia.  

The Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. The award will be presented to the winning authors or editors at the American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago in June.    

“This historic year we are thrilled to present a slate of entirely #ownvoices award books,” said Stonewall Book Awards – Children’s and Young Adult Committee Chair Mary Gen Davies. “The exceptional depiction of a trans boy of color in ‘When Aidan Became a Brother’ elevates and empowers trans children in ways never before seen for this age group.” 

Aidan is a transgender boy whose family lovingly embraces his identity. Now that there's a new baby coming, Aidan is excited to be a great big brother. But what if the family makes mistakes? Together they learn from Aidan's experience to show love for whoever the baby becomes. 

“The lyrical verse of ‘The Black Flamingo’ leads readers on a stunning flight of self-discovery through drag, community, and spoken word,” continued Davies. 

Michael, a British Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican poet, narrates his journey from childhood through university in stunning free verse. Navigating being femme, Black, poor, and queer in a world inundated with toxic masculinity and white supremacy, Michael’s story flies free on the wings of a long lineage of queer Black power.  

Three Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Award Honor Books were named: “Pet,” written by Akwaeke Emezi and published by Make Me a World, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.   

Jam, a transgender teen girl who sometimes communicates through sign language, lives in Lucille, where the human Monsters who committed harmful acts against humanity were eradicated by the Angels of previous generations.  One night, a Monster-hunting creature named Pet emerges from a painting, making Jam realize that Monsters still exist. 

“Like a Love Story” written by Abdi Nazemian and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 

Iranian-American Reza, together with his friends Judy and Art, becomes involved in AIDS advocacy in 1989 New York City. Interwoven with tributes to gay history, the book depicts the social and political climate of the time in vivid detail, capturing the tension between fear, love, and acceptance. 

“The Best at It” written by Maulik Pancholy and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 

Charming and relatable, seventh grader Rahul Kapoor follows his grandfather’s advice to become the best at something. Once he does, Rahul is sure his classmate Justin will finally notice him. Unsuccessful attempts and compulsive behaviors lead Rahul to wonder if he will ever be the best at anything. 

The members of the 2020 Stonewall Book Awards - Children’s and Young Adult Committee are: Chair Mary Gen Davies, Chicago Public Library; Hayley C. Botnen, Billings West and Skyview High School, Billings, Mont.; Christopher R. Brackett, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Library System; Alyson R. Feldman-Pitch, Christina Seix Academy, Trenton N.J.; M'issa Fleming, New Orleans Public Library; Ari Gofman, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.; Kevin Kelley, New York Public Library; Elizabeth Lippoldt, St. Charles (Mo.) City-County Library District; Mary Catherine Miller, United Way of South Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Va.; William Ottens, Lawrence (Kan.) Public Library; Bintal Patel,  Redondo Beach (Calif.) Public Library; T Sokoll, Noble and Greenough School, Putnam Library, Dedham, Mass.; and Deidre Winterhalter, St. Charles (Ill.) Public Library District.   

For information on the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma

The Rainbow Round Table (RRT) – formerly known as the GLBTRT - of the American Library Association, is the oldest professional association for LGBTQIA+ people in the United States. It is committed to serving the information needs of the LGBTQIA+ professional library community and information and access needs of individuals at large. It is home to Rainbow Book Month, a nationwide celebration every June, and the Stonewall Book Award, the first award honoring LGBTQIA+ books. The Rainbow Round Table is committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association and democratic institutions.  

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.