Walden Award

The Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, presented annually by ALAN, is an award in the United States for a book that exemplifies literary excellence, widespread appeal, and a positive approach to life in young adult literature. Named for Amelia Elizabeth Walden who was a pioneer in the field of Young Adult literature, it is presented annually to the author of a title selected by ALAN's Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee.

The selection committee is composed of ten ALAN members (3 teachers, 3 university professors, 3 librarians, and 1 chair) and is appointed by the previous year's chair and current ALAN President. (Follow this link for a list of the current committee.) They award one winning title and honor up to four additional titles on their shortlist.

Per Walden’s request, honor and winning titles must be a work of fiction, ideally a novel (stand-alone or part of a series); be published within one year prior to the call for titles; be published in the United States but may have been published elsewhere prior; and possess a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit (please see this page for additional details about these criteria).

Award winners and finalists are listed below.

2014 (read press release)

  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Winner)
  • Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott
  • The Milk of Birds by Sylvia Whitman
  • Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
  • Winger by Andrew Smith

2013 (read press release)

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Winner)
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secretes of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
  • Endangered by Sliot Shrefer


  • Shine by Lauren Myracle (Winner)
  • The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall


  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork (Winner)
  • After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
  • I Will Save You by Matt de la Peña
  • Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick
  • Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler


  • Fire by Kristin Cashore (Winner)
  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
  • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
  • North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
  • The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander


  • My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steven Kluger (Winner)
  • After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine

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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