Margaret A. Edwards Award


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The Margaret A. Edwards Award

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author's lifetime contribution in writing for young adults as well as a specific body of his or her work. S.E. Hinton received the first Edwards Award in 1988 for her books "The Outsiders," "Rumblefish," "Tex" and "That Was Then, This is Now." Judy Blume received the 1996 award for "Forever."

The award is named in honor of the late Margaret A. Edwards, an administrator of young adult programs at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., for more than 30 years. Edwards brought young adult literature and library services to the attention of the library profession. She spent her professional life bringing books and young adults together, pioneering outreach services for teenagers and establishing a stringent training program designed for librarians beginning their work with adolescents.

The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. Winners receive $2,000 and a citation.

2009 Recipient Laurie Halse Anderson

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Laurie Halse Anderson is the winner of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Catalyst, Fever 1793, and Speak.

These gripping and exceptionally well-written novels, through various settings, time periods, and circumstances, poignantly reflect the growing and changing realities facing teens. Iconic and classic in her storytelling and character development, Anderson has created for teens a body of work that continues to be widely read and cherished by a diverse audience.    

In Catalyst, published by Viking Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group,  overachiever Kate Malone is forced to confront unresolved issues when girl bully Terri and her family move into her home. Fever 1793, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, shows how Mattie Cook’s dreams for the future are reduced to a day-to-day struggle for survival as a yellow fever epidemic fills the streets of Philadelphia. In Speak, a 2000 Printz Honor Book, published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, Melinda Sordino is silenced by a trauma and ostracized by her classmates until she once again faces her attacker and finds the strength to fight back

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