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I.W. Gregorio and Monica Hesse Receive ALA 2021 Accolades

New York-January 25, 2021

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, a division of Hachette Book Group, is pleased to share the following accolades announced today at the 2021 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, held virtually. Author I.W. Gregorio has received the Schneider Family Book Award for YA for This Is My Brain In Love. The Schneider Family Book Award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Author Monica Hesse has received a Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor for YA for her novel They Went Left.  The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

“We are thrilled to see this recognition for I.W. Gregorio and Monica Hesse from ALA. These spectacular novels intimately portray the experiences of mental illness and post-war trauma with tenderness and depth, and it is an honor to publish them” said Megan Tingley, Executive Vice President and Publisher of LBYR.

This Is My Brain in Love, edited by Alvina Ling (VP/Editor-in-Chief, LBYR) is a stunning contemporary romance that explores the power of mental health, race, and, ultimately, self-acceptance. Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF, and to get at least two months into the year without being confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade. Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper. Then Jocelyn’s father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off as he hires Will to help with their marketing. What starts off as a rocky partnership between the two teens soon grows into something more. But family prejudices, depression, anxiety, and the uncertain future threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant, their budding romance, and themselves.

This Is My Brain in Love received three starred reviews, with BookPage praising, “This Is My Brain in Love is both a sweet love story and a tension-packed drama that provides 101-level advice about overcoming the social stigmas and personal shame that can be associated with mental illness.” The book also received major buzz in outlets like BuzzFeed, Book Riot, The Nerd Daily, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and more.

W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD at Yale School of Medicine, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above(Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins), which is a 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalist, a Spring 2015Publishers Weekly Flying Start, an ALA Booklist Top Ten Sports Book for Youth, and a 2015 ABC Children’s Group Best Book for Young Readers. It was also named to the 2016 American Library Association Rainbow List. She is proud to be a board member of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth and is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Scientific American, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News and The New York Post, among others. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. We invite you to visit her on Instagram and Twitter as @iwgregorio or on her website at www.iwgregorio.com.

They Went Left, edited by Lisa Yoskowitz (Editorial Director, LBYR), is a tour de force historical mystery that follows the journey of eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman in 1945 Poland and Germany as she tries to fulfil a promise to find her younger brother after being spared from the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In this staggering YA novel, Monica Hesse once again explores underrepresented aspects of WWII history:  the aftermath of liberation, Holocaust survivors’ life in a displaced persons camp, and the continued tragedies and remarkable hope that defined the post-war years. They Went Left received seven starred reviews from Publishers WeeklyBooklistBook PageShelf AwarenessSchool Library JournalSchool Library Connection, and Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and The New York Times raved “Hesse writes with tenderness and insight. . . When the plot twists come, they are gut punches—some devastating, others offering hope. . . Crucial.” It was also included on several Best Books of 2020 lists including Booklist, NPR, The Los Angeles Public Library, and The New York Times.

Monica Hesse is the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in the Blue Coat, American Fire, The War Outside, and They Went Left, as well as a columnist at The Washington Post.

 About Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is a division of Hachette Book Group, a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of seven publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Grand Central Publishing; Perseus Books; Orbit; Hachette Nashville; and Hachette Audio. For more information, visit hbgusa.com.