“Charles and Emma” wins inaugural YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations
312 280-4393/5043
mmorales@ala.org / jpetersen@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010

BOSTON – “Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith” written by Deborah Heiligman and published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has been named the 2010 winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, the first national award that honors the best nonfiction books for teens. The award was presented today by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, held Jan.15 – 19 in Boston.

After creating a list of pros and cons of marriage, science-minded Charles Darwin chooses to marry his strictly religious first cousin, embarking upon the most loving, creative and intellectually important relationship of his life. Heiligman flawlessly integrates primary source research into intimate, novelistic prose.

“Charles and Emma represents a perfect union between author and material and stands out for writing that is gorgeous and evocative of the era it depicts,” said Award Chair Angela Carstensen.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 - October 31 publishing year. Future award winners will be announced annually during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The award will be presented to Deborah Heiligman at a reception in Boston on Jan. 18.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults finalists include: “Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream” by Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick; “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books/ Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; “The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum” by Candace Fleming, published by Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House; and “Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland” by Sally M. Walker, published by Carolrhoda/Lerner. The full list of titles nominated for the award are available online at www.ala.org/yalsa/nonfiction.

Members of the 2010 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York; Sallie H. Barringer, Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati; Betsy J. Fraser, Calgary (Alb.) Public Library, Canada; Joyce K. Giuliani, Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, Va.; Andy Howe, Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy Simms Library; Dr. Jami L. Jones, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.; Tena Litherland, Webb School of Knoxville, Tenn.; Stephen L. Matthews, Foxcroft School, Middleburg, Va.; Jody Sharp, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Md.; Judy Sasges, administrative assistant, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, Wash.; and Daniel Kraus, Booklist consultant, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.

For more information on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.