For immediate release | February 12, 2018

Angela Johnson wins 2018 Edwards Award for Heaven, Looking for Red, The First Part Last, Sweet, Hereafter, Bird, and Toning the Sweep

DENVER — Angela Johnson is the recipient of the 2018 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for Heaven, Looking for Red, The First Part Last, and Sweet, Hereafter published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Bird, published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, and Toning the Sweep, published by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the award today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Feb. 9 – 13, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.

Whether exploring teenage pregnancy, the devastating effects of war, complex family dynamics, or the search for selfhood, the young adult novels of Angela Johnson are notable for their depiction of teens in crisis, plumbing the depths of grief and sorrow to find hope and resilience.

“With lyrical and understated prose, exquisitely crafted characters, and universally relevant themes, Angela Johnson creates stories that show teen readers that every dark cloud has a silver lining,” said Edwards Committee Chair Jonathan Hunt.

Angela Johnson will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Brunch and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, June 21 – 26, 2018. 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 2018 Edwards Committee are: Chair Jonathan Hunt, San Diego County Office of Education; Sarah I. Flowers, Morgan Hill, Calif.; Vanessa Irvin, University of Hawai’i – Mānoa, Honolulu; Deborah Johns Parrott, Limestone County Schools, Athens, Ala.; and Jennifer A. Rothschild, Arlington (Va.) Public Library.

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

Deputy Director

American Library Association

Public Awareness Office