‘Almost Perfect’ Wins Stonewall Award

Children’s Young Adult Lit Prize

On Monday night, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, Printz awards and the Stonewall Literature Award—at its Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Brian Katcher’s acclaimed novel about a young teen who falls in love with trans girl, Almost Perfect (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) won the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award. Full list of winners here.

Now in it’s second year, the award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.

“A young adult novel about a transgender girl—told from the perspective of the straight boy who falls for her—Almost Perfect is exceptional. The writing is sensitive, haunting and revelatory,” said Lisa Johnston, Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Award committee chair, via a press release.

In the novel, Sage Hendricks is the new girl at Logan Witherspoon’s school. She is very tall, a bit awkward and unconventional in manner and appearance. Logan is immediately drawn to Sage’s intelligence and humor; they need each other’s friendship, but Sage’s life is a mystery. Sage reveals she was born a boy. Outraged, Logan begins to question his sexuality and cuts his ties with his friend, when she needs him most.

Brian Katcher is a graduate of the University of Missouri— Columbia. He lives with his wife and daughter in central Missouri, where he works as a school librarian.

Last year’s winner was Lambda Literary Award finalist, Nick Burd, for his novel, The Vast Fields of Ordinary (Dial, an imprint of Penguin Group).

The group also highlighted four honor books including:

  • Love Drugged, written by James Klise (Flux)
  • Freaks and Revelations, written by Davida Willis Hurwin (Little, Brown)
  • The Boy in the Dress, written by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Penguin Young Readers Group)

The members of the 2011 Stonewall Book Awards Committee are: Chair Lisa Johnston, Sweet Briar ( Va. ) College; Incoming Chair Lewis Day, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; W. Stephen Breedlove, Connelly Library, La Salle University, Philadelphia; Amanda Clay, Lakeview Elementary School, Norman, Okla.; Dave Combe, Ventura County Library, Ventura, Calif.; Sharon Flesher-Duffy, Nashua High School Media Center, Nashua, N.H.; Roland Hansen, Columbia College Library, Chicago; Analisa Ornelas, Innovative Interfaces, San Francisco; Stephen Patrick, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Jason Phillips, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Roseann Szalkowski, Skokie ( Ill. ) Public Library; Gypsey Teague, Clemson ( S.C. ) University; Corwin Watts, Lincoln ( Neb. ) Public Schools; and Rose Yndigoyen, St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, N.Y.

For information on the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, visit www.ala.org/yma.