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Amelia Elizabeth Walden finalists announced

On Monday, the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) announced the finalists for this year’s Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. The Walden Award recognizes a title with “a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.” As anyone who reads a lot of YA knows, that can be an elusive combination, but the finalists have it in spades. The members of the Walden Award Committee picked five titles; together, the books make up an intriguing and diverse list. It’s got historical fiction, contemporary fiction, a novel in verse, and one of the most under-appreciated dystopias of last year. It also has quite a bit of overlap with YALSA’s awards and selected lists, which hopefully means that both YALSA and NCTE (that’s the National Council of Teachers of English, ALAN’s parent organization) are on the right track!

Here are the five finalists for the 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction:

Berlin Boxing Club

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (a 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults title)

 

Between Shades of Gray cover

 

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten title, a 2012 Morris Award finalist, and a 2012 Readers’ Choice title)

Blood Red Road by Moira Young (a 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults title)

Shine by Lauren Myracle (a 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten title and a 2012 Readers’ Choice title)

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (a 2012 Morris Award finalist and a 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten title)

I’m happy to report that there’s only one of these I haven’t read — The Berlin Boxing Club — but considering how much I enjoyed the other four, I’m adding to my reading list right now!

— Emily Calkins, currently reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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2 Comments

  1. I haven’t read Berlin Boxing Club or Blood Red Road… actually, I hadn’t even heard of those two! I’ll definitely check them out though. I really enjoyed Between Shades of Gray and Under the Mesquite, but I didn’t really care for Shine. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised at all the love it’s getting.

  2. Emily Calkins Emily Calkins

    I LOVED Blood Red Road. It’s Shipbreaker-meets-Graceling-meets-Chaos Walking. It kind of got lost among the glut of dystopias, so I’m super happy to see it getting recognized here!

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