David Levithan wins 2016 Edwards Award for 'The Realm of Possibility,' 'Boy Meets Boy,' 'Love is the Higher Law,' 'How They Met, and Other Stories,' 'Wide Awake,' and 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist'

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/11/2016


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



CHICAGO – David Levithan is the recipient of the 2016 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “The Realm of Possibility”, “Boy Meets Boy”, “Love is the Higher Law”, “How They Met, and Other Stories”, “Wide Awake”, and “Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.”  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 Jan. 8-12, in Boston.

David Levithan has given a voice to teens who often feel marginalized.  His work has allowed readers to experience life and love from many different perspectives.  While his stories are written with high literary quality, they are accessible and engaging to everyone who reads them.  He has been on the forefront of issues that are vital to teens; his writing shows teens the importance of inclusion and the acceptance of themselves and others just as they are.

The six novels  that are being cited are: “The Realm of Possibility”, “Boy Meets Boy”, “Love is the Higher Law”, “How They Met, and Other Stories”, “Wide Awake”, and “Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist,” co-written with Rachel Cohn, all published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. From a simple request in a club to the interpersonal ramifications of 9/11, from the first gay Jewish President to a society where acceptance is the norm, from short stories of love told in verse to short stories of love told in prose.  David Levithan shows that love and acceptance are always worth standing up for even when the cost seems high

“In a tumultuous time of a teen’s life, David Levithan’s work is a beacon of light and hope. His stories are lead-ins to difficult conversations as well as reminders that the reader is not alone,” said Edwards Committee Chair Valerie D. Davis.

Levithan will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Brunch and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, June 23 - 28. 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 2016 Edwards Committee are: Chair Valerie D. Davis, Campbell (Ky.) County Public Library; Dr. Joni Richards Bodart, San Jose (Calif.) State University School of Information; Elizabeth A. Burns, New Jersey State Library, Talking Book & Braille Center, Trenton, N.J.; Jose M. Ocasio, LaPlace (La.) St. John the Baptist Parish Library; Diane P. Tuccillo, Fort Collins (Colo.) Poudre River Public Library District.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and library workers to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or email, yalsa@ala.org.

For information on the Margaret A. Edwards Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.