Monday, November 1, 2010

Prize Is Created for Gay Literature for Young Readers

 From the November 1, 2010 edition of the New York Times:

Prize Is Created for Gay Literature for Young Readers

The American Library Association has added an award for gay and lesbian literature to its annual prizes for children’s books. The prizes, which include the prestigious John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, will be announced on Jan. 10.

The new award, called the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, is for an English-language book “of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience,” the association said on Monday. Stonewall Awards for adult books have been handed out since 1971.
Robert Stevens, the president of the American Library Association, said in a statement that children’s books that include the experiences of gays and lesbians “are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity.”

Books that win awards from the association are closely watched by librarians, teachers and parents, and are typically distributed widely in bookstores, schools and libraries after receiving a prize.

The American Library Association said there was a growing demand for hihg-quality children’s books that reflect the experiences of gays and lesbians, citing a national statistic that about 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent.

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