The Cardinal Cup Award Committee

About the Cardinal Cup Committee

Established in 1982 and presented since 1983, the Cardinal Cup Committee's, formerly the Jefferson Cup, goal is to promote reading about America’s past; to encourage the quality writing of United States history, biography, and historical fiction for young people, and to recognize authors in these disciplines. From 2012-2021 two books were selected: one for geared toward young adult readers and one for young readers. Beginning in 2022, the Committee returned to the original model, honoring the most distinguished biography, historical fiction, or American history book for young people. Read more and see previous winners here.

The Cardinal Cup Committee selects the winning titles. The committee has ten members: a chairperson and vice-chairperson (selected by the previous year’s committee), one person from each VLA region (total of six persons) selected by the current chair, the past chair of the previous year’s Cardinal Cup Committee, and the outgoing chairperson of Youth Services Forum. All committee members must be members of VLA. Members may be employed by public libraries, schools, or any type of bookstores; they may also be unemployed or retired.

Get Involved

You may nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration. Persons selected must be willing to commit a large amount of personal time to read and evaluate books; committee members may receive over 200 titles. Members will attend monthly virtual meetings, with a final in-person meeting to conduct the final vote. This meeting is usually held in Richmond. Persons who serve on the committee should be knowledgeable of literature for young people and have book evaluation experience. Cardinal Cup Committee members are expected to present programs at the annual VLA and, possibly, VAASL conferences, so a supervisor must sign this application, indicating he or she will allow the person to attend the conferences and will assist with the member’s expenses. When the committee is seeking new members, an announcement will be made on


2023 Cardinal Cup Winners and Honor Books Announced

2022 Jefferson Cup Winners and Honor Books Announced

2021 Jefferson Cup Winners and Honor Books Announced

2020 Jefferson Cup Winners and Honor Books Announced

Want to help choose the 2025 Cardinal Cup winners? Click here to learn more and how to volunteer.