Awards Everywhere!

So, you might be the kind of person who knows exactly what the Youth Media Awards are and has been anxiously ticking the days until the awards ceremony on your calendar since last year.  Or, you could be like me, and only sort-of-kind-of know what the awards are. If you’re in the second category, have no fear! I’m going to give you the scoop on all the young adult awards so you can sound like a pro when the everybody is talking about the winners over the water coolers on January 23 (the awards are announced starting at 7:45 Central Time that day). Let’s get started!

The Award: Michael L. Printz Award

The Deal: If you’ve heard of any YALSA award, it’s probably this one. Given every year to the one book that best represents excellence in literature in a book written for young adults, this award is, to say the least, kind of a big deal. The book selected can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or an anthology, and, along with the award winner, up to four honor books can be chosen.

Notable past winners:

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Award: Alex Awards

The Deal: This award is given to ten books written for adults that teens will also think are awesome. It’s pretty much around so that anyone who reads primarily YA (be it librarians, teens, or just interested adults!) can get an idea of ten books for adults published in the previous calendar year that would appeal to them.

Notable Past Winners:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Stardust by Neil Gaiman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Award: Margaret A. Edwards Award

The Deal: Three words: Lifetime. Achievement. Award. The Edwards Award honors authors (and specific works they have created) for their contributions to the world of young adult literature. This award is given to folks who you just couldn’t imagine YA literature without.

Notable Past Winners:

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett
Madeline L'Engle
Madeline L'Engle
Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Award: YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

The Deal: Um, this one is totally a case of “does what it says on the tin.” Awarded to the best book published the previous year that is written for young adults and is nonfiction. The other books that have been shortlisted for the award each year, but don’t win, get the designation of Honor Titles.

Notable Past Winners:

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Award:William C. Morris YA Debut Award

The Deal: This award is given to the best book published in the previous year by a debut author. It’s okay if an author has been published in other countries, as long as their first American edition is published during the award period. This is a great place to look for books you might have otherwise missed because they’re from up-and-coming authors.

Notable Past Winners:

Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston
The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Award: Odyssey Award

The Deal: This award is given to the best audiobook produced in the previous year. It’s different than the other YALSA awards, because it’s administered in conjunction with the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and it can go to an audiobook published for kids or teens. All that matters is that it’s the awesomest audio book!

Notable Past Winners:

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Jazz by Walter Dean Myers
Jazz by Walter Dean Myers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— Ariel Cummins, currently reading Every You, Every Me by David Leviathan

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