2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Announced

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the finalists for the 2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction.  Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit. 

The 2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott (Henry Holt / Christy Ottaviano Books)
  • The Milk of Birds by Sylvia Whitman (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Arthur A. Levine Books)
  • Winger by Andrew Smith (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

All Walden Award titles will be identified by an award sticker—gold for the winner and silver for the four finalists.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 30th.  The winning title and finalists will be honored on at the 2014 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 24th at 4:25pm in Washington, D.C. and will be invited to participate in a panel discussion. Click here for the full press release.

ALAN 2014 Elections Approach

In the next few weeks, the balloting for the ALAN President-Elect and ALAN Board of Directors will commence.  As we did last year, we will post a link to an electronic ballot.  Members may request a paper ballot directly from the ALAN Executive Director (alanexecutiveecretary@gmail.com).  Balloting will be open from August 1 through September 30, 2014.  Members will need their membership number to vote.  That number is on the mailing label for The ALAN Review and may also be obtained by contacting Teri Lesesne (at the above email address) if necessary.

Please take some time now to read the biographical statements of the candidates.  There are two candidates for President-Elect with one person to be elected.  Six candidates are standing for the ALAN Board of Directors with three to be elected.  ALAN’s continued success depends on its leadership.  It also depends upon its members casting votes and participating in the process.

Thanks to the candidates who have agreed to serve ALAN.  And thanks in advance to all ALAN members who take the time to cast their votes.  Watch this site as well as the Twitter and Facebook feeds for the link to the ballot in a few weeks. 

Join Us for the 2014 ALAN Workshop!

The 2014 ALAN Workshop will be held in National Harbor, MD (outside of Washington, DC) November 24-25. As always, the workshop will feature exciting young adult authors and titles.

Proposals for the teacher-led breakout sessions are no longer being accepted. Those who submitted proposals should hear soon about a decision.

More details about next year's workshop will be posted here as soon as they're available, so keep checking back!

Current Call for Manuscripts for TAR

Call for Manuscript Submissions: The ALAN Review 42:2 (Winter 2015)

Race Matters: The Presence and Representation of Authors and Characters of Color in YA Literature

Statistics suggest that, by 2019, approximately 49% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools will be Latina/o, Black, Asian/Pacific Island, or American Indian (Hussar & Bailey, 2011).  However, the field has been increasingly criticized for not reflecting these demographics in the literature published for young adult readers. For readers of color, this can result in a sense of disconnect between lived reality and what is described on the page.  For readers from the dominant culture, this can result in a limited perception of reality and affirmation of a singular way of knowing and doing and being.  For all readers, exposure to a variety of ethnically unfamiliar literature can encourage critical reading of text and world, recognition of the limitations of depending upon mainstream depictions of people and their experiences, and the building of background knowledge and expansion of worldview.

In this issue, we invite you to share your experiences, challenges, hesitations, and successes in using or promoting young adult literature that features characters and/or authors of color.  Invite us into your classrooms, libraries, and school communities to better understand the potential value and necessity of broadening the texts we use to capture the imaginations of all readers.

Consider the experiences of Walter Dean Myers: “All the authors I studied, all the historical figures, with the exception of George Washington Carver, and all those figures I looked upon as having importance were white men. I didn't mind that they were men, or even white men. What I did mind was that being white seemed to play so important a part in the assigning of values” (Bad Boy: A Memoir). And ponder Jacqueline Woodson’s words, “Someday somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down” (The Other Side).  What have you done (or might you do) to give that fence a nudge?

As always, we also welcome submissions focused on any aspect of young adult literature not directly connected to this theme.  All submissions may be sent to alan-review@uconn.edu prior to July 1, 2014.  Please see the ALAN website for submission guidelines.



About ALAN

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) promotes communication and cooperation among all individuals who have a special interest in adolescent literature, presents programs and conferences on this subject, promotes and increases the number of articles and publications devoted to it and integrates the efforts of all those with an interest in this literature.

You can find a list of officers and directors in the organization at this page.


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