The Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (AEWA) is an award given to young adult books by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN). The AEWA was established in 2008 and has been awarded since 2009. The criteria of the award is that the book must have widespread teen appeal, literary merit and a positive approach to life. I love that it does not only focus on the writing, but what is within the story.
Its winners so far have been Steven Kluger's My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park, Kristin Cashore's Fire and Francisco X. Stork's The Last Summer of the Death Warriors and its honors have included books by Jordan Sonnenblick, Matt de la Pena, Rick Yancey, Jaqueline Woodson, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Quick, Kristen Chandler, Justina Chen Headley, Jenny Valentine and Jill S. Alexander, all amazing authors. I was honored to be present at the ceremony for the 2010 and 2011 awards where I got to see many of these authors share the stories behind the books. I could definitely tell why the chosen authors were honored.
Last summer when I was told that the ALAN was looking for new members to join the AEWA committee, I was so excited to even have the opportunity to apply. When I was accepted to be part of the committee, I was ecstatic and so honored. I didn't think that something like an award committee was something that I would ever be able to be part of, but here I was suddenly part of one!
Over the last year, the committee considered nearly 300 young adult titles throughout the process. The committee consists of 11 members including librarians, universities and K-12 schools. Through the process, we narrowed it down to 4 finalists and 1 winner. I am happy to share them with you today. I have reviewed all of them in the past, so if you would like to learn more about them please click on the book covers.
Congratulations to all of the award winners
and I truly recommend you read all of these books if you haven't yet,