Young Adult Virginia Author Award
2023 YAVA Awards Celebration
Join us IN PERSON or virtually for the 2023 YAVA Award Celebration!
This year's theme is "Retro Video Games" so, grab your controller and mark your calendars!
Meet Virginia Authors, Book sales, signings, swag, and giveaways.
Spread the word!
Educators, attend and enter for a chance to win an author visit for your school!
Funded by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library, the Richmond Public Library Foundation, and Dominion Energy.
2023 AWARD NOMINEES
Hey, White Girl
My Contrary Mary
A Psalm of Storms and Silence
A Season of Sinister Dreams
The Girls are Never Gone
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
Thrill seekers : 15 remarkable women in extreme sports
What Big Teeth
When You Look Like Us
Within These Wicked Walls
Purchase YAVA Books
Lamar Giles’ 2020 novel, Not So Pure and Simple (Quill Tree Books, 2020), is his first contemporary YA book. It is a story about growing up, first love, how to handle sex and peer pressure as a teen, toxic masculinity, and so much more. The author tells a narrative that is both heartfelt and authentic all while being hilarious and approachable to the teen reader.
Giles’ novel was selected as this year’s winner of the YAVA Award by a panel of teen judges. Here are some of the things they had to say about Not So Pure and Simple:
“I loved this book. I thought the pacing, plot, and characters were all excellent and I loved the theme of defeating toxic masculinity and confronting your own flaws. 10/10!”
“I found this book hilarious the entire way through. It grabbed my attention when I first started and never released it.”
“I expected the book to be primarily focused on a romance between the main character and his crush. However, as I got farther into the book, the plot deepened and layered into a multi-textured portrayal of teenage life.”
“I appreciated the many layers of themes (secular vs religious education, feminism vs toxic masculinity, friendship vs romance, and more) that ran through the novel. This is the book I would recommend my local library add to their collection.”
“This book was extremely enjoyable! I could not put it down and always read more than I intended to when I picked it up. The plot never slowed down and always kept the reader engaged. The message against toxic masculinity was clearly established and presented in a way that did not feel forced or overly educational to the point of taking away reader interest. This message felt timely and relevant to many genders, races, and ages, which made it a fantastic book!”
In addition to this novel, Giles has published both middle grade and YA fiction, across multiple genres. He is a two-time Edgar Award finalist in the YA category, for his debut YA thriller Fake ID (HarperCollins, 2014), and his second YA thriller, Endangered (HarperTeen, 2015). His third and fourth YA thrillers, Overturned (Scholastic, 2017) and Spin (Scholastic, 2019), as well as his middle-grade debut The Last Last-Day-of-Summer (Versify, 2019) received glowing New York Times reviews, and were named to multiple Best Of lists, including Time Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, and Amazon. Spin was also a YAVA Award Finalist in 2021.
Aside from his writing, Giles is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books, an organization that advocates for essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
The Impossibility of Us
It Started with Goodbye
Come August, Come Freedom
The Richmond Public Library’s annual Young Adult Virginia Author (YAVA) Award highlights excellence in writing for readers at the middle and high school level by Virginia authors. The YAVA Celebration began in 2013 as “Teen ‘13.” It has grown to include a year-long award process culminating in the spring with our annual celebration. Beginning in 2020, the YAVA Award winner will be selected by a panel of teen judges and announced during the annual YAVA Celebration. This is our Library's biggest teen event, providing readers an opportunity to interact with local authors, learn about current young adult literature, and engage with others in the community. We value the entire YAVA Award process as an opportunity for teens to connect, engage, and become inspired.
- January 1st - Nomination period begins, Teen Judge applications open
- February 28th - Nomination period ends, Teen Judge Applications close
- 3rd or 4th Saturday in April - YAVA Award Celebration & winning author announced
- May 1 - YAVA Teen Judges notified
- Summer - Nominees are announced
- Rolling - YAVA committee applications open
Apply to the Committee
Thank you for your interest in becoming a YAVA Committee Member! We are always looking for librarians, educators, and other community members who work with teens to become part of our team. You don’t have to live in Richmond to apply, we love virtual members as well! We only have three requirements:
- You must live and work in Virginia.
- You must currently work with teens in some capacity.
- You must love YA books and have a passion for literacy!
Committee members may be involved in one or more of the following activities:
- Read/screen nominated YAVA titles.
- Selection of teen judges.
- Planning the annual YAVA Award Celebration.
- Planning/implementing YAVA-related programs across the state.
- General promotion of all YAVA-related activities.
- Helping to generate new, innovative ideas for the YAVA program and all its components.
We accept committee member applications on a rolling basis. For questions, please email Committee Chair, Jennifer Deuell, at email@example.com