All locations of Richmond Public Library are closed March 14 until further notice. All programs and meeting rooms are cancelled through May 15 per CDC guidelines. Book drops will be unavailable - please hold onto any checked out materials until we reopen. We are always open online!  



April 2020
Main Library
3:00 pm

Cancelled - YAVA Celebration

Celebrate with almost a decade of YAVA nominated authors! Book fans of all ages are invited to party like Gatsby with previous, nominated YAVA authors. We will be hosting food, giveaways, time to chat with authors and book signings. Authors in attendance will be Vanessa Barger, Bill Blume, Susann Cokal, Mary Crocket, Sarah McGuire-Koeler, Libby McNamee, Meg Medina, Kat Spears, Sarah Sullivan, Steve Watkins, A.B. Westrick and Daniel Wheatley.

April 2020
Main Library

Teens Apply to Judge

As a part of this year's new judging process, we will begin accepting applications from teens to apply to be judges. Check back in April to apply to be one of the judges that decides this year's winning book!

April 2020
Main Library

Nominated Titles Release

Also during National Library week, we will release the nominated titles participating in this year's YAVA Award.

June 2020
Main Library
6:00 pm

Judging Applications Closed

Judging applications will be closed by the end of the day.

April 2021
Main Library
2:00 pm

2021 YAVA Award Celebration

The winning author will be recognized and received a $1,000 cash prize as the 2021 YAVA Award Celebration at the Richmond Public Library on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 2 - 4pm.


Nominated Titles Release

Check back at the beginning of National Library Week (April 19 - 25) as we'll be announcing this year's nominated authors and titles.

Meanwhile, browse our previous winners and check out their winning books!

What's New

We're Mixing It Up in the New Decade for the YAVA Award

This Year Means Some New and Exciting Changes

  • There’s an all new judging process. This year the YAVA Award will be decided based on a panel of teen judges who will read and evaluate each of the nominated titles.

  • Our timeline is shifting. Reading and judging by our panel of teens will begin this summer and continue until early 2021.

  • There is technically no 2020 YAVA Award. But do not despair! We will still be hosting our annual YAVA celebration.

2020 YAVA Celebration

  • Instead of our annual YAVA Award ceremony, this year we will be celebrating almost a decade of the YAVA Award with Newbery Award winning author Meg Medina and our previous nominated authors. Join us at the Main Library on Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 3 - 5pm for a rip roaring good time!

Past Winners

The Impossibility of Us

Katy Upperman
Katy Upperman’s book, The Impossibility of Us, is a contemporary novel with a romantic spin. Set in San Francisco during the Afghan War, The Impossibility of Us tells the story of Elise and Mati, two teens from very different backgrounds. Elisa and her mother are grieving the loss of her brother who was killed in the war in Afghanistan. When they move to a new town, Elisa meets Mati, an Afghan teen visiting with his family from overseas. The two unexpectedly fall in love but face the disapproval of Elise’s family. Can their relationship overcome the deep-rooted prejudice that confronts them? Upperman’s novel has been described as “timely, tender, romantic and impressively honest.” Readers will relate to Elisa and Mati’s struggle and the book’s themes of racism will feel very real and relevant.

It Started with Goodbye

Christina June
It Started with Goodbye is a modern day Cinderella story for today’s teens. Confined to her house for the summer after being unfairly implicated in one of her best friend’s ideas gone awry, 16-year-old Tatum launches a graphic design business and falls for a cello-playing client who lives in Ireland.


Lisa Maxwell
From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.


Kat Spears
When Jason Marshall's younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates—Mario, Jordie, and Chick—to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who's not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick. Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold onto the friendships he has always relied on.

Come August, Come Freedom

Gigi Amateau
In a time of post-Revolutionary fervor in Richmond, Virginia, an imposing twenty-four-year-old slave named Gabriel plotted a rebellion involving thousands of African- American freedom seekers armed with refashioned pitchforks and other implements of Gabriel’s blacksmith trade. The revolt would be thwarted by a confluence of fierce weather and human betrayal, but Gabriel retained his dignity to the end. Interwoven with original documents, this poignant, illuminating novel gives a personal face to a remarkable moment in history. This edition includes extensive research notes on the story behind the plot.