The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the winner of the inaugural Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author, Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.
The winner of the 2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award is:
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park
by Steve Kluger (Dial)
2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
Me, The Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)
All Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award titles will be identified by an award sticker—gold for the winner and silver for the four finalists.
This year’s winning title was announced at an open reception and reading on Monday, November 23 during the 2009 ALAN Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Finalists Steve Kluger (My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park) and Jacqueline Woodson (After Tupac and D Foster) were present to read from and sign their nominated titles. Members of the 2009 committee, Jennifer Buehler, Erica Berg, and Mary Arnold, read from the remaining nominated titles.
The 2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: NCTE and the ALAN Board of Directors; all of the publishers who nominated books for consideration; Scottie Bowditch and Kimberly Lauber from Penguin Group for making arrangements for their authors to attend the reception and for supplying books for the signing; Daniel Gill for designing the beautiful award seal; Gerard Mendoza, event planner for the Philadelphia Downtown Marriot, for his assistance in planning the reception; and Don Gallo for photographing the reception.
The 2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee was comprised of ten members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities who considered 232 young adult titles over the duration of the process:
Dr. Wendy Glenn, Chair
Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Teen Services Manager, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Classroom Teacher, Rockville High School
Dr. Jean Boreen
Professor, Northern Arizona University
Retired Classroom Teacher and Educational Consultant
Dr. Jennifer Buehler
Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, MO
Youth Services and Adolescent Literacy Consultant
Dr. Teri Lesesne
Professor, Sam Houston State University
Classroom Teacher, Dundee Alternative High School
Dr. Barbara Ward
Assistant Professor, Washington State University, Tri-Cities
For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents http://www.alan-ya.org/ .