The Chicago Tribune announced David Levithan as the recipient of its 2017 Young Adult Literary Prize. Levithan is the award-winning author of many bestselling works, including Boy Meets Boy, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Will Grayson Will Grayson, Every Day, Hold Me Closer, and You Know Me Well.
“The Chicago Tribune has a longstanding history of celebrating literary innovators,” said Chicago Tribune Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Bruce Dold. “We are thrilled to recognize David Levithan for his extraordinary work and keen insight into the lives of young adults. We applaud his ability to connect with readers and touch on themes that resonate so closely with adolescents today.”
Each year, the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Prize honors an author whose work is aimed at a young adult audience, addresses themes especially relevant to adolescents, inspires young readers, and champions literacy. Past winners have included R.L. Stine, Lois Lowry, James Patterson, John Green, Judy Blume, and LeVar Burton.
Levithan, who is also an editorial director at Scholastic Corporation and the founding editor of the Scholastic young adult imprint PUSH, has written 23 novels to date, both as a solo author and in collaborations with John Green, Andrea Cremer, Nina LaCour, Rachel Cohn, David Ozanich, Chris Van Etten, and illustrator Brian Selznick.
“It’s important to have a range of LGBTQIA+ voices in YA literature because there is a range of LGBTQIA+ experiences in life,” said Levithan. “Every teen deserves to be represented in some way in the books he or she or they or ze reads. It’s as simple as that.”
Levithan will be honored at the 2017 Printers Row Lit Fest on June 10th in downtown Chicago. The festival is free and open to the public, as is the majority of its programming.