Tamora Pierce wins 2013 Edwards Award for contributions to teen lit

Tamora Pierce is the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for Song of the Lioness quartet and The Protector of the Small quartet. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the award today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held Jan. 25 – 29 in Seattle.

The four books in the Song of the Lioness series, “Alanna: The First Adventure”; “In the Hand of the Goddess; The Woman Who Rides Like a Man”; and “Lioness Rampant”, all published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, focus on Alanna’s journey to accept herself both as a woman and a warrior.

Also set in Tortall, two decades later, is the Protector of the Small quartet, “First Test”; “Page”; “Squire”; and “Lady Knight”; all published by Laurel Leaf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. Keladry of Mindelan goes through struggles, from her First Test, then becoming a Page, a Squire and eventually a Lady Knight. While set in a fantasy world, Pierce’s heroines face realistic challenges that resonate with teen readers.

Like many aspiring writers, Pierce started writing fan fiction. Now, young people are writing fan fiction about characters and settings she created nearly 30 years ago. Edwards Committee Chair Jamie Watson said that “Pierce’s books and characters have been influencing both readers and writers of fantasy since their inception.”

Tamora Pierce will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Luncheon and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27 – July 2. The award is sponsored by School Library Journal.