Edwards Award

margaret a. edwards awardAbout the Edwards Award

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world. The Edwards award celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.

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2023 Winner



Jason Reynolds is the recipient of the 2023 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “When I was the Greatest”, “The Boy in the Black Suit”, “All American Boys”, “Ghost” and “Long Way Down”. 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 January 27-30, in New Orleans.

In his writing, Jason Reynolds presents teens with authentic mirrors and windows to the world. “When I was the Greatest” depicts how Ali, Needles, and Noodles’ new friendship changes as they navigate their busy, vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood.

Matt is “The Boy in the Black Suit,” a teen whose job in a local funeral home helps him begin the healing process after his mother’s death. “All American Boys,” coauthored by Brendan Kiely, addresses themes of police brutality and white privilege when Rashad is attacked by a police officer and Quinn has to decide whether or not to remain silent. “Ghost,” newest member of the Defenders track team, learns how to stop running from his past and start running toward his future. “Long Way Down” follows Will on his journey down an elevator while he considers avenging his brother’s death. Each of Reynolds’ books creates opportunities for discussion and reflection among teens.

2023 Committee Members

Members of the 2023 Edwards Committee are: Chair Joni Bodart, San Jose State University School of Information, Stockton, California; Sarah Carpenter, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brook Park, Ohio; Candace Fox, Parma, Ohio; Susan Polos, Greenwich Country Day School, Connecticut; and Celeste Swanson, The Lane Libraries, Richmond, Indiana.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award and 30 Years of Young Adult Literature | School Library Journal

Margaret Edwards Award Winner Angela Johnson Just Wants To Tell a Good Story | School Library Journal

From “The Outsiders” to “The First Part Last”: A Margaret A. Edwards Award Time Line | School Library Journal

The Legacy of Margaret A. Edwards and the Birth of an Award | School Library Journal by Past YALSA President Joel Shoemaker

So You Know Your YA Authors. Who’s on Our Cover? | School Library Journal

See what previous winners had to say about the Edwards Award.

Previous Winners