The 2020 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner & Finalists!


The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the 2020 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction winner and finalists. 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 2020 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award winner is:

Lovely War by Julie Berry
(Penguin Random House/Viking)

The 2019 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
(HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
(Penguin Random House/Kokila)

White Rose by Kip Wilson
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt /Versify)

The winner and finalists will be honored at the 2020 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 23rd in Denver, CO, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.

The 2020 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 2020 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered over 300 young adult titles throughout the process. The committee included ten members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities. They are:

Beth Shaum, Committee Chair
K-8 Librarian
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Ann Arbor, MI

Wendy Stephens, Past Chair
School Library Program Chair
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL

Robert Bittner
SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Jodi Blair
Alcoa High School, Alcoa, TN

Nicole Clawson
Visiting Professor
Brigham Young, University, Provo UT

Bryan Gillis
Professor of English Education & Literacy
Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

Sarah Mulhern Gross
English Teacher
High Technology High School, Lincroft, NJ

Walter M. Mayes
The Girls’ Middle School, Palo Alto, CA

Elizabeth Parker
English Teacher
Saunders Middle School, Manassas, VA

Jennifer Paulsen
English and Social Studies Teacher
Holmes Junior High School, Cedar Falls, IA

For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents:

Congratulations to the winner and finalists! We love this award so much, and are so happy to share this year’s recipients! 

Visit for reviews of each of these books by members of the Walden Committee and a special video interview with Julie Berry!

Our posts about the Walden Award and our time on the committee:

1 thought on “The 2020 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner & Finalists!”

Leave a Comment