The American Library Association is creating an award for children's books that address LGBT themes. Cue the apocalypse!
According to the AP, the Association announced today that it's adding the Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award to its slate of prizes for kids' books. The award will honor "English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience." There's been a Stonewall award for adult books for 40 years, but until now, no corresponding prize for kids' lit — probably because homophobes freak out about kids' books with gay characters, even if those characters are penguins. However, says ALA president Roberta Stevens,
Millions of children in this country are being raised by gay or lesbian parents. There are young people who are gay and sometimes they feel very alone. This is a real opportunity for youths who may be feeling alone to read about other like themselves.
Right now, gay kids and kids with gay parents are hearing all too often that stories about their families are immoral or dirty (one parent called And Tango Makes Three "a homosexual storyline that has been sugar-coated with cute penguins"). Hopefully the Stonewall awards will send these kids a better message.
Kids' Book Prizes To Include Gay And Lesbian Award [AP, via Yahoo News]