March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Meg Rosoff Is 2016 Astrid Lindgren Laureate

Meg Rosoff

The American-born young adult author Meg Rosoff was named the 2016 Laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) on April 5. Rosoff, who has lived in London since 1989, is the author of several YA novels, including How I Live Now (Penguin, 2004), which received the 2005 Printz Award, and Picture Me Gone (Putnam, 2013), a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

“Meg Rosoff’s young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect,” said Boel Westin, the jury chair, in making the announcement during the Bologna (Italy) Children’s Book Fair. Rosoff was selected from a list of 215 candidates from 59 countries. “It is an unimaginable honor to have won this prize. It’s thrilling simply to be on the list,” Rosoff told School Library Journal. The list of nominees included such notable names as Ursula K. LeGuin, Peter Sís, Quentin Blake, and Eric Carle. “Every one of us, writers, illustrators, promoters of reading….has worked to enrich and expand the imaginations and the internal lives of children,” said Rosoff in praise of her fellow nominees.

In the award citation, the jury praised Rosoff for writing about the search for meaning and identity “in sparkling prose,” adding that her brave and humorous one-of-a-kind stories leave no reader unmoved.

Rosoff said that she considers it a privilege to write for children. “At a time when children around the world are alone, running away from violence, homeless, damaged, without families, the best that we writers can do is to invite a child to think deeper and dream bigger—to imagine a better self and a better world.”

ALMA is the world’s largest award for promoting interest in children’s and young adult literature. It may be given to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers, or reading promoters. The award amounts to over $600,000, which is granted annually to a single laureate or to several recipients.

ALMA was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.  It is named after Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish author and creator of Pippi Longstocking, who died in 2002. “As a child, I modeled myself on Pippi Longstocking,” said Rosoff.  “I was desperate to grow up brave enough to sail the seven seas, strong enough to lift a horse, unconventional enough to live by my own rules.”

Rosoff is the recipient of numerous prizes, including Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Carnegie Medal, and Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. She became Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2014. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages

ALMA will be presented in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on May 30, 2016.

Extra Helping header

This article was featured in our free Extra Helping enewsletter.
Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to you twice a week.

Rocco Staino About Rocco Staino

Rocco Staino @RoccoA is the retired director of the Keefe Library of the North Salem School District in New York. He is now a contributing editor for School Library Journal and also writes for the Huffington Post.

Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
Teens want to make a difference and become advocates for the things they care about. Librarians working with young people are in a unique position to help them make an impact on their communities and schools. Ignite your thinking and fuel these efforts at your library through this Library Journal online course—April 24 & May 8.


  1. Denis Markell says:

    Let’s not forget that Meg Rosoff has also written hilarious and adorable picture books with Sophie Blackall, including WILD BOARS COOK and our family favorite, JUMPY JACK AND GOOGLY