Margaret A. Edwards Award Books
1996 - 1999

1999- Anne McCaffrey
The awards and honors for science fiction’s much-heralded "Dragon Lady", include being the first woman recipient of the Hugo Award. She has received the Nebula Award and ALA notable Book Award Citations. Ms. McCaffrey is the author of over 50 novels for young adults and adults.

"Her books have become science fiction classics and have "impressed" young adult readers for 30 years. Although set in imaginary worlds, McCaffrey’s focus on the personal and emotional need of human beings mirrors the quest of today’s teens to find their own place in society", stated Jana R. Fine, Clearwater (FL) Public Library System, chair of the Edwards Committee. 

McCaffrey was cited for the following books: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and the White Dragon comprise the series know as the Dragonriders of Pern, published by Del Rey. These three fantastic tales explore the bond between humans and dragons on the planet Pern. The Ship Who Sang , also published by Del Rey, takes readers into the artificial world of Helva – who becomes more machine than human. And the Harper Hall Trilogy, published by Bantam Spectra, follows Menolly and her bridge to adulthood through the following titles: Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums.

Dragonflight 1978.  SCI FIC McCaffrey, A. 

1st  in the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy. To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.
But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . .

Dragonquest 1978.  SCI FIC McCaffrey, A.

The 2nd  in the Dragonriders of Pern trilogy. In this book you are faced with a world further developed but still not rid of danger. Though the Dragonriders of Pern fly again to fight Thread, their quarrels are now inside within their midst. And without the unity within the Dragonriders, the world of Pern is doomed. New adventures, new developments and new discoveries are made on this wonderful book. You are here introduced to the young Jaxom, holder of Ruatha Hold, son of ungrieved Fax and the missed Lady Gemma, to whom Lessa, Weyrwoman of Benden Weyr has renounced her right to the Hold, rightful hers. Young Jaxom will have a great part in the 3rd volume of the Dragonriders Chronicles and you will be able to witness the true danger of the Red Star which brings the dangerous Silver Threads to the wonderful world of Pern.


The White Dragon 1978.  YA SCI FIC McCaffrey, A.

The 3rd volume in a Dragonriders of Pern trilogy. The story is titled after Ruth, the runt dragon that Jaxom impressed. It follows the adventures of Ruth and Jaxom as they mature and deal with the population growth of Pern and the conservatives.


The Ship Who Sang 1969.  SCI FIC McCaffrey, A.

Helva had been born human, but only her brain had been saved and implanted into the titanium body of an intergalactic scout ship. But first she had to choose a human partner, to soar with her through the daring adventures and exhilarating escapades in space.


Dragonsong. 1976.  YA SCI FIC McCaffrey, A.

The first book of the wonderful Harper Hall trilogy. Forbidden by her father to indulge in music in any way, a girl on the planet Pern runs away, taking shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, open a new life for her.


Dragonsinger.  1977. YA SCI FIC McCaffrey, A.

This is the second book of Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy. Pursuing her dream to be a Harper of Pern, Menolly studies under the Masterharper learning that more is required than a facility with music and a clever way with words. Sequel to Dragonsong.


Dragondrums. 1979.  YA SCI FIC McCaffrey, A.

This is the third book of Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy. When his boy soprano voice begins to change, Piemur is drafted by Masterharper Robinton to help with political work and is sent on missions that lead him into unusual and sometimes dangerous adventures.


1998 - Madeleine L'Engle
Considered one of the foremost American creators of fantasy and science fiction as well as a perceptive writer of realistic family stories, L'Engle is the author of more than 40 books for young adults and children. "A Wrinkle in Time" won the 1963 Newbery Medal.

"L'Engle tells stories that uniquely blend scientific principles and the quest for higher meaning," said Jeri Baker, chair of the Edwards Award Committee. "Basic to her philosophy of writing is the belief that 'story' helps individuals live courageously and creatively."

L'Engle was cited for the Austin Family Series, which includes "Meet the Austins" and "A Ring of Endless Light"; and the Time Fantasy Series, which includes "A Wrinkle In Time" and "A Swiftly Tilting Planet."

A Wrinkle in Time.  1962. YA Newbery L’Engle, M. 

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.


The Moon by Night. 1963. YA L’Engle, M.    

For the first time Vicky Austin feels the mixed emotions of friendship and love.


Young Unicorns.  1968. YA L’Engle, M. 

 A plot to rule New York City places the Austin family in terrifying danger.


A Wind in the Door.  1973.  YA Sci Fic L’Engle, M. 

Through a day and night of terror, the forces of good and evil fight for the life of a boy and the ultimate salvation of mankind.


A Swiftly Tilting Planet.  1978.  YA Sci Fic L’Engle, M. 

The youngest of the Murry children must travel through time and space in a battle against an evil dictator who would destroy the entire universe.


A Ring of Endless Light. 1980.  YA L’Engle, M.  During the summer her grandfather is dying of leukemia and death seems all around, 15-year-old Vicky finds comfort with the pod of dolphins with which she has been doing research.


Many Waters. 1986.  YA Sci Fic L’Engle, M.  The fifteen-year-old Murry twins, Sandy and Dennys, are accidentally sent back to a strange Biblical time period, in which mythical beasts roam the desert and a man named Noah is building a boat in preparation for a great flood.


Troubling a Star. 1994.  YA L’Engle, M.  As she tries to stay alive after being left on an iceberg in the Antarctic, sixteen-year-old Vicky recalls the series of events that brought her to the bottom of the world and involved her in a dangerous mystery.


Meet the Austins.  1996.  YA L’Engle, M.  Narrated by twelve-year-old Vicky, Meet the Austins follows the adjustment of Vicky and her siblings (John, Suzy, and Rob) to a new member of the Austin household -- Maggy Hamilton, who is suddenly orphaned when her father is killed in a plane accident. Maggy is at first petulant and spoiled, but gradually, as she witnesses how the Austins stick firmly together through good times and bad, she begins to open her heart and become one of the family.

1997 - Gary Paulsen
From quiet introspective memoirs to edge-of-the-seat adventures, Paulsen grabs and holds the attention of his readers. The theme of survival is woven throughout, whether it is living through a plane crash or living in an abusive, alcoholic household. The six books the committee cited exemplified different aspect of Paulsen's central theme.

With his intense love of the outdoors and crazy courage born of adversity, Paulsen has reached young adults everywhere. His writing conveys a profound respect for their intelligence and ability to overcome life's worst realities. As Paulsen himself has said, 'I know if there is any hope at all for the human race, it has to come from young people.

Hatchet—YA AWARD Paulsen, G.
This Newbery Honor book is a dramatic, heart-stopping story of a boy who, following a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, must learn to survive with only a hatchet and his own wits. Ages 12-up. 

Woodsong—796.5 PAU
With thrilling immediacy, the award winning novelist Gary Paulsen pulls us into the breathtaking drama of his own story. His life-changing adventure begins with sparkling days and moonlit nights spent running with his dogs in the Minnesota wilderness.  

Winter Room—YA Paulsen, G.
Grade 6-9-- Of the four rooms downstairs in the northern Minnesota farmhouse, the one that might be called a living room is where Wayne and Eldon, their parents and great-uncle, and old Norwegian Nels spend their winters. There the family sits near the corner wood stove and listens, uninterrupting, as Uncle David tells stories--of the old country, of old times, of a semi-mythical lumberjack. Eldon, the younger son, begins his own story, in spring, when everything is soft. While he describes for readers the farm activities of each season and narrates memorable pranks and milestones of his boyhood, it is the palpable awareness of place and character that is unforgettable. Paulsen, with a simple intensity, brings to consciousness the texture, the smells, the light and shadows of each distinct season. He has penned a mood poem in prose. Uncle David's final story precipitates within the brothers a fuller understanding of personal identity and integrity. For those special readers who find delight in The Winter Room, it will become a part of their own identity and understanding. Teachers who seek to illuminate the use of ordinary English words with extraordinary descriptive power will find the introductory chapter, in particular, to be a godsend.  

The Crossing—YA Paulsen, G.
Grade 8-12 Manny is a small Mexican street boy in Juarez, an orphan who survives by using his wits and his speed against other desperate boys, against the evil street men who would kill or sell him, against starvation and death. Manny has only one chance to survive, and that means crossing the river into the United States, an incredibly dangerous undertaking for a small boy alone. Robert is a sergeant in the Army. His whole life consists of being a good officer during the day and surviving his haunted nights by drinking himself into oblivion. Robert is haunted by dead friends, gruesomely killed in war. Manny and Robert meet when the sergeant is being sick behind a bar and Manny tries to lift his wallet. Manny doesn't succeed, but this is the beginning of a relationship, brief and brutal, which leads to the sergeant's death and Manny's chance for survival. (Readers may question what language is being spoken, as it is made clear that Robert speaks no Spanish and Manny knows only enough English to hold a ``limited conversation.'' However, it shouldn't matter, as the two have little verbal communication.) Paulsen creates a stark, moving portrait of Mexican poverty and street life, of the desperation facing those who attempt ``the crossing.'' Like the relationship between Robert and Manny, this book is brief and brutal but ends on a note of hope. The short length and simple writing style should give this book special appeal for high-school students who are reluctant readers.

Canyons—YA Paulsen, G.
Brennan is a young loner of the type that will be instantly familiar to Paulsen fans. Coyote Runs is a 19th-century Apache boy who was murdered during the raid that was to mark his entry into manhood. The two boys' stories come together when Brennan unearths Coyote Runs's skull and grows obsessed with the Apache's history. A sort of psychic link is forged, and Brennan learns that Coyote Runs's spirit will have no rest until his skull is taken to a sacred spot in the canyons. Brennan therefore undertakes a grueling and unusual journey which serves as a modern-day coming-of-age ritual. Terse language keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. This novel is not as engrossing as Hatchet , nor is it likely to appeal to as wide an audience. However, readers with an appetite for Paulsen's blend of nature and mysticism will overlook Canyons 's predictable plot and find much to savor in its spirit. Ages 12-up.

Dancing Carl—j PAU. A troubled, battle-scarred veteran who works at the local ice rinks enlightens Marsh and his close friend, Willy, about the devastating consequences and horrors of war and, at the same time, about the redeeming potential of love.

1996 - Judy Blume
In presenting this award to Judy Blume for Forever, the Young Adult Library Services Association recognizes that she broke new ground in her frank portrayal of Michael and Katherine, high school seniors who are in love for the first time. Their love and sexuality are described in an open, realistic manner and with great compassion. The emotions experienced by Michael and Katherine are as true today as they were when the book was written in 1975. The appeal of the book is fresh and continuous because everyday someone, somewhere finds a first love.

Forever—YA Blume, J.
Blume tells a convincing tale of first love--a love that seems strong and true enough to last forever. Katherine loves Michael so much, in fact, that she's willing to lose her virginity to him, and, as the months go by, it gets harder and harder for her to imagine living without him. However, something happens when they are separated for the summer: Katherine begins to have feelings for another guy. What does this mean about her love for Michael? What does this mean about love in general? What does "forever" mean, anyway? As always, Blume writes as if she's never forgotten a moment of what it's like to be a teenager.