Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
And the Mibby goes to… Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This book was probably a surprise nomination to a lot of people because it’s a really funny book. Funny books don’t tend to win serious literary awards, just as funny movies don’t tend to win Best Picture at the Oscars. (My Fair Lady over Doctor Strangelove? Please.)
The plot: Simon is a closeted high school student who finds an email pen pal, known only as Blue, via his school’s anonymous Tumblr account. Blue is gay and closeted too. His mom’s Episcopalian and his dad’s Jewish (they’re divorced) and Blue feels that religion only makes the process of coming out to them more confusing. “Technically, Jews and Episcopalians are supposed to be gay-friendly,” he notes in an email to Simon, “but it’s hard to really know how that applies to your own parents. Like, you read about these gay kids with really churchy Catholic parents, and the parents end up doing PFLAG and pride marches and everything. And then you hear about parents who are totally fine with homosexuality, but can’t handle it when their own kid comes out. You just never know.” Indeed.