Ever see those shiny yellow stars on a book that looks something like this:
Yeah, me neither. Ok, just kidding. Turns out there are many awards that a book can win, such as the Printz, YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, ALEX, YA Choice, Margaret A. Edwards, and much, much more. Did you know that when publishers expect a book to do really well that designers will often craft a cover in such a way that there is space for the award (a place that one would look well) just in case it wins? A majority of the available awards can be found at
Awards and Criteria:
Printz: “The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature” (YALSA). They have a Teen Book Finder Database where you can search for award winning books via list name, year, author, and genre. Here is a 2018 winner: (I really like the cover.)
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction: “…honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year. The winner is announced annually at the ALA Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December” (YALSA).
Alex Awards: “…are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12-18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. These awards can also be found in the “Teen Book Finder Database” linked above. Here is one of the 2018 winners: (Also very alluring.)
YA Choice: “Since 1986, the Young Adults’ Choices project has developed an annual list of new books that will encourage adolescents to read. The books are selected by the readers themselves…” (International Literacy Association). There is a fact sheet, a call for submissions, a list template, and online application form. Here is one of their winning titles:
Margaret A. Edwards Award: “…honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature… It recognizes an author’s work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world” (YALSA). 2017 Winner below: (This cover makes me envious.)
How to access them: Most awards can be found on the YALSA homepage under “Awards and Grants.”
It’s nice that authors get recognized for their contributions. Now, not only can I appreciate that author, but I can appreciate them a little more than I otherwise might have. It’s a nice pat on the back, but it is great for promotion as well as for librarian’s and parent’s when trying to decide on which books to purchase/read. I know that there are many awards given each year with many different criterion. If you or I want a good book with specific qualities, all we have to do is look them up and read the criteria and review of the author and their work. From now on, when I pick up a book with some kind of shiny sticker, or blurb in the back that mentions an award, I will check out the award’s criteria. I will also know that I have a reputable book in my hand that I can read and share with others. In all, awards are an added perk to authors, librarians, parents, and many more.
#amreading #YALSA #bookreviews