ALAN (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) announces the finalists for the 2016 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 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers / Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

(Penguin Random House / Knopf Books for Young Readers)


Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

(HarperCollins / HarperTeen)


Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

(Lerner / Carolrhoda Lab)


Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


All Walden Award titles will be identified by an award sticker—gold for the winner and silver for the four finalists.  The winner will be announced on Monday, August 8th.  The winning title and finalists will be honored at the 2016 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 21st at 4:30pm in Atlanta, GA, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.

The 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the many publishers who submitted titles for consideration.

The 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered over 350 young adult titles throughout the process.  The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities.  They are:

Mark Letcher, Committee Chair

Assistant Professor of English Education

Lewis University, Romeoville, IL

Lois Stover, Past Committee Chair

Dean – School of Education and Human Services
Marymount University, Arlington, VA

Cathy Blackler

ELA Teacher

Santana Alternative High School, La Puente, CA

Nancy Johnson

Professor of Children’s/YA Literature and English/Language Arts Education

Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Sara Kajder

Assistant Professor of English Education
University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Joellen Maples

Associate Professor, Graduate Literacy Program

St.  John Fisher College, Rochester, NY

Lisa Morris-Wilkey


Casa Grande Union High School, Casa Grande, AZ

Beth Scanlon

ELA Teacher, Literacy Coach

Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL

Lisa Scherff

ELA Teacher

Estero High School, Fort Myers, FL

Jessica Lorentz Smith


Bend Senior High School, Bend, OR

Wendy Stephens

Library Media Specialist

Cullman High School, Cullman, AL

For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents