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Books Read in November: Middle Grade, YA, and Adult Fiction

Steve Kluger's My Most Excellent Year Wins Walden Award from ALAN

MMEY-PB3-300x452 I was pleased to see the news that one of my favorite titles from last year just won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden book award. Here is some information from the press release (sent to me by Daria Plumb, Chair of the 2010 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee):

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the winner of the inaugural 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 winner of the 2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award is:

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park, by Steve Kluger (Dial)

2009 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

  • After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam)
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
  • Me, The Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when I first read about this award. Specifically, the part of the criteria about "demonstrating a positive approach to life". But I think that the committee did a great job picking a book that's not even a tiny bit message-y, while meeting the criteria. The rest of the shortlist is pretty impressive, too (Graceling was another of my favorites published last year).

Anyway, here is my review of My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park (I mean, really, look at that sub-title. How could I have resisted? The author's website lists him as "Author, Red Sox Fan, Uncle".) I hope that this award brings the book additional readers.