The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) offers six literary awards to honor the best books for teens each year.

  • The Alex Award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends. The ten 2013 winners are:
    • Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman, published by Soho Press, Inc
    • Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross, published by Richard Ross
    • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams ComicArts, an imprint of Abrams
    • One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard, published by Hyperion
    • Pure by Julianna Baggott, published by Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
    • The Round House by Louise Erdrich, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
    • Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, published by Dial Press, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
    • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, published
  • 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.

Tamora Pierce is the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for Song of the Lioness quartet and The Protector of the Small quartet.

The four books in the Song of the Lioness series, “Alanna: The First Adventure”; “In the Hand of the Goddess”; “The Woman Who Rides Like a Man”; and “Lioness Rampant”, all published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, focus on Alanna’s journey to accept herself both as a woman and a warrior.

Also set in Tortall, two decades later, is the Protector of the Small quartet, “First Test”; “Page”; “Squire”; and “Lady Knight”; all published by Laurel Leaf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.  Keladry of Mindelan goes through struggles, from her First Test, then becoming a Page, a Squire and eventually a Lady Knight. While set in a fantasy world, Pierce’s heroines face realistic challenges that resonate with teen readers.

  • The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, since 2009 honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. The award’s namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. The William C. Morris YA Debut Award celebrates the achievement of a previously unpublished author, or authors, who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers. The work cited will illuminate the teen experience and enrich the lives of its readers through its excellence, demonstrated by: 1) compelling, high quality writing and/or illustration, 2) the integrity of the work as a whole, 3) its proven or potential appeal to a wide range of teen readers.

Seraphina written by Rachel Hartman, published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. is the 2013 recipient of the William C. morris YA Debut Award.

When the death of a royal prince threatens the fragile peace between humans and dragons in Goredd, court musician Seraphina is drawn into the murder investigation. But even as she aids Prince Lucian in his mission to uncover the murderer, Seraphina conceals a dangerous secret of her own—her half-human, half-dragon heritage.

  • Since 2008 the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production has been jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and YALSA, and is sponsored by Booklist.

Brilliance Audio, producer of the audiobook, The Fault in Our Stars won the 2013 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production.

The Fault in Our Stars written by John Green and narrated by Kate Rudd, perfectly captures the mercurial characters of Hazel Grace and Augustus, teens whose chance meeting in a cancer support group, surprises them both as they embark on an emotional roller coaster of a journey.

  • The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas, school librarian who was a long-time active member of YALSA.  The award is sponsored by Booklist.

In Darkness by Nick Lake, published by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers, is the recipient of the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award.

Fifteen-year-old Shorty awakens beneath the ruins of a crumbled hospital in Haiti, where his weakening mind begins flashing back through his own violent history, the loss of his twin sister, and his mystical connection to Toussaint Louverture, the nineteenth-century revolutionary who helped liberate his country.

  • The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18).

The 2013 award winner is Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, written by Steve Sheinkin and published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

In this suspenseful combination of science and history, Sheinkin masterfully exposes the international race to develop an atomic weapon and bring an end to World War II.  This true-life spy thriller features an international cast of characters and will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  Period photographs of key players and an abundance of primary sources bring this well-researched story to life.  Sheinkin gives readers insight into what happened with all of the major players after the end of the war.  A thought-provoking epilogue on the long term implications of atomic weaponry reminds readers that the results of scientific inquiry have long term implications for everyone.