For immediate release | January 30, 2023

'Love, Violet' and 'When the Angels Left the Old Country' win 2023 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award

NEW ORLEANS — “Love, Violet,” by Charlotte Sullivan Wild and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, and “When the Angels Left the Old Country,” by Sacha Lamb and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido, are the 2023 recipients of the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award. The awards were 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’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience held January 27-30, in New Orleans.

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.

“Containing rich, vivid language, compelling illustrations, and insightful observations on the human experience, these books reflect the beautiful, wide diversity of the queer community.”, said Stonewall Book Awards – Children’s and Young Adult Committee Chair David C. Saia.

One Stonewall Book Award — Children’s Award Book was named:

“Love, Violet,” written by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, illustrated by Charlene Chua and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, a division of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

This Valentine’s Day, all Violet wants is to give a valentine to her crush, Mira. But can she find the courage? With its rich watercolor illustrations and relatable, understated prose, this picture book fills a much-needed gap in the realm of Valentine’s Day picture books by depicting queer children.

One Stonewall Book Award — Young Adult Award Book was named:

“When the Angels Left the Old Country,” written by Sacha Lamb and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido.

An angel, a demon and their human friend leave the Old Country and become embroiled in the labor uprising and social justice of Lower East Side Manhattan around the turn of the 20th century. Combining historical fiction, humor and fantasy, Lamb captures a queerness rarely seen in Jewish culture.

Eight Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Award Honor Books were named:

In the Children’s Book category, the four Honor Books are:

“In the Key of Us,” written by Mariama J. Lockington and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, a division of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Trumpet-player Andi has lost her joy in music since her mother’s death. Flautist Zora bears the weight of parental expectations for Black excellence. At an elite music camp, both girls struggle alone in a mostly white environment until finding connection in their love for the arts and each other.

“Kapaemahu,” written by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, illustrated by Daniel Sousa, and published by Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Pairing Olelo Niihau with English, this bilingual Indigenous Hawaiian legend tells of four Tahitian healers. Known as Mahu, a mixture of male and female spirits, they share healing arts and are honored with sacred stones infused with their gifts. Over time their history was suppressed - until now.

“The Real Riley Mayes,” written by Rachel Elliott, illustrated by Rachel Elliott and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, and HarperAlley, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

No one gets fifth-grade cartoonist Riley Mayes! Despite her quirky sense of humor and artistic skills, she wrestles with schoolwork, mean girls, celebrity crushes and gender expectations. Filled with energetic artwork and authentic interactions, this graphic novel is a hilarious, heartfelt story of finding your people and accepting yourself.

“Strong,” written by Rob Kearney & Eric Rosswood, illustrated by Nidhi Chanani and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

As a kid, Rob was STRONG! But as an adult, is he strong enough to show his true self? His trademark rainbow style helps him stand out as the first real-life openly gay professional strongman. With the love of another man, he gains confidence to truly be a champion.

In the Young Adult Book category, the four Honor Books are:

“I Kissed Shara Wheeler,” written by Casey McQuiston and published by Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group.

Before disappearing from False Beach, Alabama, Shara Wheeler leaves three kisses as clues. Snarky overachiever Chloe teams up with unlikely allies to reveal the truth about seemingly perfect Shara. McQuiston’s clever writing, humor, and pacing shine in this story of finding queer community even in the most unexpected places.

“Kings of B’more,” written by R. Eric Thomas and published by Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Best friends Harrison and Linus have one week before Linus moves away. In a grand gesture often reserved for romantic love, Harrison plans a last day of adventures for Linus. Full of joy, this is a love letter to queer Black boys, friendship, and the city of Baltimore.

“Man o’ War,” written by Cory McCarthy and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

A chance encounter with a former classmate at the local aquarium in small-town Ohio launches a Lebanese-American swimmer on a journey of discovery about queer identity, found family, and love. This is a transformative story about hope and healing that takes us from high school through college and beyond.

“The Summer of Bitter and Sweet,” written by Jen Ferguson (Métis/white) and published by Heartdrum, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Lou, a demisexual Métis teen, spends the summer before college working at her family’s ice cream shop. News from her estranged white biological father throws her life into chaos. This book speaks with sensitivity to the spectrum of identities that many teens encounter in the intersections of their lives.

The members of the 2023 Stonewall Book Awards - Children’s and Young Adult Committee are: Chair David C. Saia, Heim Middle School, Williamsville, New York; Kathleen Balma, New Orleans Public Library; Angharad Daly, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, Arizona; Whitney Etchison, Severn School, Severna Park, Maryland; Lindsey Helfrich, Sacramento Public Library, California; Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library; Juliana Paslay, Contra Costa County Library, Antioch, California; Shira Pilarski, Detroit Public Library; Sarah F. Rodriguez, Scarsdale Public Library, New York; Victoria M. Ross, Princeton, New Jersey; Angie Rundle, St. Louis County Library; Keiko Sanders, Oceanside, California; Gregory Taylor, Hillside Junior High School, Boise, Idaho; and Award Administrative Assistant Julia Verbanic, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, New York.

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 GLBT 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.

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