Block honored for lifetime contribution to young adult readers with Edwards Award

Contacts: Larra Clark, Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release

January 17, 2005

Block honored for lifetime contribution to young adult readers with Edwards Award

BOSTON - Lanky lizards! Francesca Lia Block is the slinkster-cool recipient of the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her outstanding contributions to young adult readers. The award was announced Monday, January 17, during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The Edwards Award recognizes Block’s ground-breaking Weetzie Bat books, which enable teens to understand the world in which they live and their relationships with others and society.

Block encourages teens to celebrate their own true selves, helping them discover what time they are upon and where they do belong. Her books, “Weetzie Bat” (1989), “Witch Baby” (1991), “Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys” (1992), “Missing Angel Juan” (1993) and “Baby Be-Bop” (1995), deal with complex issues such as blended families, the many types of love, and the sometimes heartbreaking real world challenges teenagers face. In Block’s Shangri-L.A., there is pain and sadness, but love, magic and hope prevail.

“Block’s work has been considered groundbreaking for its magical realism and bringing alive the L.A. scene,” said Award Committee Chair Cindy Dobrez. “Block takes traditional folklore archetypes and translates them for contemporary teens with her inventive use of lyrical language – transforming gritty urban environments into a funky fairy tale dreamworld.”

All the books were edited by Joanna Cotler and published by Joanna Cotler Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award is sponsored by School Library Journal and administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Block will receive $2,000 at the YALSA Awards Luncheon during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23-29. YALSA is a division of the ALA.

Members of the 2005 Edwards Committee are: Cindy Dobrez, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, Mich.; Eva Davis, Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library.; Kevin A. R. King, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library.; Dawn M. Rutherford, King County Library System, Bellevue, Wash.; and Gail C. Tobin, Schaumburg Township District Library, Ill.

More information about the Edwards Award can be found at For information on other ALA literary awards, please visit