I’m a little late on this, but now that the Lambda Literary Award finalists have been announced, there’s some consensus on what critics and librarians thought were some of the best books for GLBTQ youths from 2011.
Let’s start with the Lammys. The finalists this year are as follows:
Gemini Bites, by Patrick Ryan, Scholastic
Huntress, by Malinda Lo, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I am J, by Cris Beam, Little, Brown Books for Children
PINK, by Lili Wilkinson, HarperCollins
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, by Bil Wright, Simon & Schuster
Patrick Ryan is a good friend of mine, and I believe he’s been nominated for every book he’s written. Yay, Patrick! I also blurbed Cris Bean’s I Am J, and can vouch for its excellence. As always, this category is one of the strongest in the entire Lambda list. More info about the wards ceremony on June 4 can be found here.
Bil Wright’s Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, a Lammy nominee, also won this year’s Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association. PINK, another Lammy nominee, was named an honor book, as were these three books:
a + e 4ever drawn and written by Ilike Merey, published by Lethe Press
Money Boy written by Paul Yee, published by Groundwod Books
With or Without You by Brian Farrey, published by Simon Pulse.
I haven’t read any of those. But I’m always and shamefully behind on my reading.
Finally, the GLBT Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table of the ALA also named their annual Rainbow List for 2012. The full list is here, but here are their “10 exceptional choices from the list,” including a few of the aforementioned titles:
*Beam, Cris. I Am J. New York: Little Brown for Young Readers.
*Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. New York: Scholastic.
*Brezenoff, Steve. Brooklyn Burning. Minneapolis: Carolrhod Lab.
*Goode, Laura. Sister Mischief. Sommerville: Candlewick.
*Lo, Malinda. Huntress. New York: Little Brown for Young Readers.
*Myracle, Lauren. Shine. New York: Abrams.
*Newman, Leslea. Donovan’s Big Day. Illustrated by Mike Dutton. New York: Tricycle Press.
*Peters, Julie Ann. She Loves You, She Loves You Not. New York: Little Brown for Young Readers.
*Ryan, Patrick. Gemini Bites. New York: Scholastic.
*Wright, Bil. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Bil Wright’s book is the only one that made all three lists. Might that make it a favorite for the Lammy? Who knows. Either way, check out the lists and check out the books. I know I’ve added quite a few to my impossibly long and ever-growing “to be read” stack.