Neal Shusterman wins 2024 Edwards Award for 'The Arc of the Scythe: Scythe, Thunderhead and The Toll,' 'Bruiser,' 'Challenger Deep,' 'Everlost,' 'Full Tilt,' 'The Schwa Was Here' and 'Unwind'

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/22/2024


ALA Media Relations

Communications, Marketing & Media Relations Office

American Library Association

BALTIMORE — Neal Shusterman is the recipient of the 2024 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “The Arc of the Scythe: Scythe, Thunderhead and The Toll,” “Bruiser,” “Challenger Deep,” “Everlost,” “Full Tilt,” “The Schwa Was Here” and “Unwind.” The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the award today during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held Jan. 19–22 in Baltimore. 

Shusterman's works are of the moment and timeless, engaging readers of all abilities and interests across generations. Shusterman has fostered teens' intellectual curiosity by presenting stories that prove that, even in a world that does not always take them seriously or trust them, they have the capacity to create a better, brighter and more hopeful future.

Shusterman’s novels show how connections save people, whether in the guise of a fear-based amusement park, as in “Full Tilt,” or in a dystopian society’s relationship with immortality in “Unwind” and “The Arc of the Scythe.”

He uses characters who are misjudged and overlooked in “Bruiser” and “The Schwa Was Here” and teens stuck in limbo in “Everlost” to highlight the need for connections. Finally, with “Challenger Deep,” he shows the struggle with mental health can be as deep as the ocean floor. 

His stories remind readers they aren’t alone, their views are important and the world is a better place with them.

“Across genres for three decades, Neal Shusterman has met teens where they are by creating stories that center them as leaders, decision makers and agents of positive change,” said Edwards Committee Chair Valerie Davis.

Neal Shusterman will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Luncheon at the YA Services Symposium and be presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000. 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 2024 Edwards Committee are: Chair Valerie Davis, Newport, Kentucky; Kendra Fitzpatrick, Santa Clarita, California; Karen Keys, Brooklyn, New York; Emily Mills, Cromwell, Connecticut; and Jessica B. Woods, Glen Burnie, Maryland.

The mission of the YALSA is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face and in putting all teens—especially those with the greatest needs—on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources, go to or contact the YALSA office at e-mail:

For information on the Margaret A. Edwards Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit

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