Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brian Katcher, Winner of Stonewall Book award for Youth for "Almost Perfect" comes to Stonewall Live! March 3, 9PM EST

Winner of the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.
Almost Perfect was listed by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults in 2010.
A Capitol Choice Noteworthy Book for 2010
A Lambda Award nominee, 2010
A 2011 TAYSHASH (Texas) Reading List Book

After a painful breakup with the only girl he ever loved, senior Logan Witherspoon is gun-shy when it comes to romance. New girl Sage, however, makes him reconsider, even though she makes it clear early on that she can’t offer anything more than friendship, and even though her parents keep her under strange and severe strictures. When Logan and Sage find their attraction rising, she tells him her secret: she was born male. Katcher, author of Playing With Matches, manages a delicate balance here: Sage is utterly credible and utterly sympathetic, but so are Logan’s shock and reservations. His narration explores the emotional issues—does this mean he’s gay? Can he face his small Missouri town if people know?—while the story conveys the daunting details of Sage’s everyday realities, such as going to great lengths to avoid showing her driver’s license, which classifies her as male. Though the book is programmatic at times and gives Logan too much responsibility for Sage’s well-being and identity, this is a solid, reality-based exploration of transgender issues and the possibly insurmountable task of facing them as a teenager in a small town. While transgender readers will find support here, the book’s focus on a bystander broadens the book’s credence, and the message of acceptance is thoughtfully conveyed.

From School Library Journal, December, 2009 edition
A small-town Missouri boy’s world is rocked when he falls for the new girl at school, and she eventually confesses that she is a biological male. Logan’s world is small, as is his mind at first, but throughout the book he grows to accept and love Sage for who-not what-she is. This remarkable book takes a hard look at the difficulties and pain experienced by young male-to-female transsexuals from an easily relatable perspective, as Julie Ann Peters did in Luna. Logan is a conservative 18-year-old Everyman whose generic voice isn’t-and doesn’t need to be-anything special; although readers follow his growth; it is Sage’s story that is truly important. A remarkably “clean” book dealing with sexuality and identity, this is neither preachy nor didactic while directly challenging prejudice and intolerance. With realistic characters and situations, it is a first purchase for all high school collections, and could easily be given to middle school readers who are undaunted by its length.

Join me on Thurs, March 3 9PM EST at as I welcome Brian Katcher for what I know will be a fantastic interview.