'The Eagles Claw' by Jeff Shaara wins the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

For Immediate Release
Wed, 05/25/2022


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association



“The Eagles Claw” by Jeff Shaara A novel of the Battle of Midway published by Ballantine Books is the winner of the 2022 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award honors the best American Military Fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The $5,000 award and citation, donated by the late author W.Y. Boyd II, recognizes the service of veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. 

Shaara’s novel is a very well-researched account of the Battle of Midway which occurred June 4-7, 1942, between the naval forces of the United States and Japan. The Battle of Midway was the most crucial naval battle of World War II in the Pacific. 

The author had done extensive research and provided the reader with an excellent overview of the actions of both sides during the battle. He has interviewed and researched five American individuals from Admirals to pilots to Gunnery Sergeants to a code breaker( who alone changed history). The Japanese side is represented by three Admirals who had very different roles. They too changed history.  

When the battle was over the Japanese Navy was devastated by the loss of four aircraft carriers, one cruiser, several supply ships, 292 aircraft and over 2500 men killed. The American Navy lost one carrier (the Yorktown) and one destroyer, 145 aircraft and 307 men killed.   The American victory inflicted a devastating loss to the Japanese Navy and Japan’s ambitions to defeat America and continue its expansion in the Pacific.

The W. Y. Boyd Award Jury is very pleased to have selected “The Eagles Claw” as this year’s winner. The annual award will be presented on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the ALA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

Members of the W. Y. Boyd Jury are the chair, Robert Schnare, Naval War College, Newport, R.I., (retired); Roberto C. Delgadillo, University of California, Davis; Andrew Mangels, West Lake Porter Public Library, Ohio; Maxine Reneker, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, Calif., (retired); Ronald. Steensland, Lexington Public Library (retired) residing in Panama City Beach, Fla.; and Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School, Greensburg, Pa.

The deadline for submission of books about American Military Fiction set in a period when the United States was at war for the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award is Dec. 1, 2022. Guidelines and applications for the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award are available on the ALA website.