For immediate release | January 27, 2014

Markus Zusak wins 2014 Edwards Award for 'The Book Thief,' 'Fighting Ruben Wolfe,' 'Getting the Girl' and 'I Am the Messenger'

PHILADELPHIA — Markus Zusak is the recipient of the 2014 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “The Book Thief,” “Fighting Ruben Wolfe,” “Getting the Girl,” and “I Am the Messenger.” The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the award today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held Jan. 24 – 28 in Philadelphia.

As the horrors of war in WWII Germany escalate, Liesel steals books in Zusak’s heart-wrenching, critically acclaimed “The Book Thief,” published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. “I Am the Messenger,” also a publication of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, features slacker Ed Kennedy who discovers the power of chances and his own potential.

“Fighting Ruben Wolfe,” and “Getting the Girl,” two compelling books published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic, introduce readers to the engaging Wolfe brothers, offering them a rare and realistic depiction of teen boys living in a loving working class family.

“With lyrical prose, memorable characters, and authentic dialogue, Zusak’s richly nuanced stories capture and hold teens’ attention from the first word to the last,” said Edwards Committee Chair Cheryl Karp Ward.

Markus Zusak will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Brunch and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, June 26 – July 1. The award is sponsored by School Library Journal.

The award is named in honor of the late Margaret A. Edwards, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults. Through her work at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Edwards demonstrated that only through literature would young adults move beyond themselves into a larger world.

Members of the 2014 Edwards Committee are: Chair Cheryl Karp Ward, Teen Services Consultant, Broad Brook, Conn.; Sarah Ludwig, Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, Conn.; Melissa McBride, Southold UFSD, Southold, N.Y. ; Barbara Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, N.Y.; and Lynn M. Rutan, Bookends: Booklist Online Youth Blog, Holland, Mich.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or email:

For information on the Margaret A. Edwards Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit



Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

Public Information Office (PIO)