For immediate release | January 30, 2023

'Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice' wins 2023 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award

NEW ORLEANS — “Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice,” written by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, has been named the 2023 winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award—the first national award that honors the best nonfiction books for teens. The book is published by Norton Young Readers, an imprint of W. W. Norton &Company. The award was announced today by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held January 27-30 in New Orleans.

In this stunningly illustrated graphic memoir, 1968 Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith recounts how his love of running and his passion for activism resulted in one of the most enduring images in sports history and the fight for civil rights.

“The Committee was so impressed by the way the graphic novel blends text and art to successfully present Tommie Smith’s fascinating life and place his famous gesture at the 1968 Olympics within the context of American Civil Rights, ongoing racism, and Smith’s indelible spirit,” said YALSA Nonfiction Award Committee Chair B. Allison Gray.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year. The 2023 YALSA Nonfiction Award finalists, which were announced in December, include:

“Abuela, Don’t Forget Me,” written by Rex Ogle and published by Norton Young Readers, an imprint of W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324019954

“American Murderer: The Parasite That Haunted the South,” written by Gail Jarrow and published by Calkins Creek, 9781684378159

“A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome,” written by Ariel Henley and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 9780374314071

“Unequal: A Story of America,” written by Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Favreau and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers a division Hachette Book Group, Inc. 9780374314071

The full list of official nominations for the award will be available online at

Members of the 2023 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair B. Allison Gray, Goleta Valley Library, California; Elizabeth Bast, Racine, Wisconsin; Molly Dettmann, Norman North High School Library, Oklahoma; Katy Henderson, Chatham Community Library, Pittsboro, North Carolina; Loren Hinton, Norman Public Library Central, Oklahoma; Dana Hutchins, Dwight Middle School, San Antonio, Texas; Pamela Kranenburg, Defiance Public Library, Holgate, Ohio; Bethany Martin, Trinity School, New York; and Heather Richard, Independent Educational Literacy Consultant, Northampton, Massachusetts.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is networking, advocacy, and professional development. The Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse, and inclusive teen services. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources drive to

For more information on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit


The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” For more information, visit

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