2019 Walden Winner and Finalists Announced

2019 Walden Winner and Finalists Announced

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The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the 2019 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction winner and finalists. (Read the press release here.) 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 2019 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award winner is:

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Harper Teen /  HarperCollins Publishers)


The 2019 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson (Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster)

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial Books / Penguin Young Readers)

Blood, Water, Paint by Joy McCullough (Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Young Readers)

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (Little, Brown and Company / Hachette Book Group)


The winning title and finalists will be honored at the 2019 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 25th in Baltimore, MD, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.

The 2019 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the many publishers who submitted titles for consideration.

The 2019 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered nearly 300 young adult titles throughout the process.  The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities. They are: 


Wendy Stephens, Committee Chair

School Library Program Chair

Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville AL


Beth Scanlon, Past Committee Chair

ELA Teacher, Literacy Coach

Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL


Sheila Benson

Associate Professor, English Education

University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls IA


Robert Bittner

SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC


Jodi Blair

Head Librarian

Alcoa High School, Alcoa, TN


Sarah Mulhern Gross 


High Technology High School, Lincroft, NJ


Marie LeJeune

Professor of Literacy

Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR


Kerry Neuberger

Composition I & II, Eng 9, Model Teacher

Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, Garner, IA


Jennifer Paulsen


Holmes Junior High, Cedar Falls, IA


Beth Shaum

K-8 Librarian

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Ann Arbor, MI


Marisa Tassinari

School Librarian

East Windsor High School, East Windsor CT