Edwards Award

margaret a. edwards awardAbout the Edwards Award

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. 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.  The Edwards award celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.

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2015 Winner

Sharon M. Draper wins 2015 Edwards Award for “Tears of a Tiger,” “Forged by Fire,” “Darkness Before Dawn,” “The Battle of Jericho,” “November Blues” and “Copper Sun”


Sharon M. Draper is the recipient of the 2015 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “Tears of a Tiger”; “Forged by Fire”; “Darkness Before Dawn”; “The Battle of Jericho”; “November Blues” and “Copper Sun.” 

 The Book Thief                

The three novels in the Hazelwood Series, “Tears of a Tiger,” “Forged by Fire” and “Darkness Before Dawn,” all published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, focus on the interwoven lives of teens at Hazelwood High. Andy, Tyrone, BJ and Keisha struggle with the deaths of close friends by drunk driving accident and then suicide, while step-siblings Gerald and Angel try to free themselves from their parents’ addiction problems and physical abuse.

The first two novels in the Jericho series, “The Battle of Jericho” and “November Blues,” both published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, address the tragic outcomes of cruel hazing traditions by Douglass High’s elite Warriors of Distinction club, as well as teen pregnancy.

“Copper Sun,” published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is a harrowing, yet ultimately hopeful, account of 15 year-old Amari’s abduction into slavery in 18th century West Africa and the Carolinas.

“For decades, Sharon M. Draper has imbued her characters with deeply human complexity and born witness to the universality of their experiences, sparking powerful conversations and building empathy among teen readers,” said Edwards Committee Chair Sophie Brookover.

Sharon M. Draper will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Luncheon and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, June 26 – July 1. The award is sponsored by School Library Journal.

Members of the 2015 Edwards Committee are: Chair Sophie Brookover, LibraryLinkNJ-The New Jersey Library Cooperative, Piscataway, N.J.; Amy J. Alessio, Schaumburg (Ill.) Township District Library; Alicia Blowers, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School, Alexandria, Va.; Jackie Parker, Sno-Isle Libraries, Lynnwood, Wash.; Elizabeth Saxton, Tiffin, Ohio; and Gail Zachariah, Keene (N.H.) Public Library.

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