Sabaa Tahir's 'All My Rage' Wins 2022 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

An emotional Tahir said winning the prestigious award felt like "an impossible dream."

Sabaa Tahir's All My Rage won the 2022 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. 

Sabaa Tahir accepts her award. 
Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

An emotional Tahir accepted the award in front of a cheering audience at the National Book Foundation ceremony in New York City on Wednesday night.

"To my fellow finalists and nominees, it has been the honor of a lifetime to read and hear your words," she said. "I am the first Muslim and Pakistani American woman to win this award in this category, so I must honor my Muslim sisters in too many places to count who are fighting for their lives, their autonomy, their bodies, and their right to live and tell their own stories without fear. Sisters: May you rise, and may you be victorious against the oppressors."

All My Rage was selected over four other finalists: The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill, The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile, and Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee.

"This feels like an impossible dream," Tahir said, before briefly sharing the story of her familyher grandfather, who was a sharecropper with a fourth grade education; her grandmother, who was illiterate; and her parents, who emigrated to the United States 40 years ago.

"Like too many immigrants, they worked so hard, they worked themselves to the bone," she said through tears. "So many of our parents' dreams died so that the dreams of my generation could live. To my mother and father, your love and prayers and sacrifice have lifted our stories beyond my imagining."

After thanking her family, Tahir concluded her speech with this: "Thank you to every librarian, educator, and bookseller who has put my work into the hands of a young person who needs it. And last, my beautiful readers have told me my books make them feel less alone. You make me feel less alone. I have been a misfit and an outcast and lonely and lost, but when I write for you, I am none of those things. And I thank you with all of my heart for that gift." 


[READ: SLJ’s Reviews of the 2022 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Finalists]

See the full press release and list of winners below.


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