2021 Edwards Award

2021 Winner    

Kekla Magoon wins 2021 Edwards Award for “X: A Novel,” “How It Went Down,” “The Rock and the River,” “Fire in the Streets”

Kekla Magoon is the recipient of the 2021 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “X: A Novel” co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz and published by Candlewick Press; “How it Went Down” published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group; “The Rock and the River” and “Fire in the Streets” both published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

      X by Kekla Magoon

Kekla Magoon’s powerful prose and complex characters enrich literature for young adults by bearing witness to the trauma and triumph of the American Civil Rights Movement. In “X,” co-authored by Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, Magoon depicts Malcolm Little’s struggle to overcome unfavorable circumstances to transform into legendary Civil Rights leader, Malcolm X. In “The Rock and the River” and its companion novel, “Fire in the Streets,” two Black teens, Sam and Maxie, lose faith in peaceful protest and civil disobedience and embrace more aggressive action. “How it Went Down,” the story of a senseless shooting of an African American teen by a white man, illustrates the persistence of racial violence in America. Magoon’s books inspire teen readers and future authors to seek truth and reminds readers of their moral duty to confront racism, white supremacy, and injustice.

Kekla Magoon will be honored at YALSA’s 2021 YA Services Symposium, which is to take place November 5-7, 2021 in Reno, NV, where she will be presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000. The award is sponsored by School Library Journal.

2021 Committee Members

Members of the 2021 Edwards Committee are: Craig Marasco (Chair), Stephanie Burdic, Lynn Carpenter, Carol Edwards, Jessica Lorentz Smith