2022 Barnes & Noble Children’s & YA Book Award Winner

For the second year in a row, Barnes & Noble has curated a shortlist of their best books for kids and teens. We are thrilled to congratulate Xiran Jay Zhao whose novel, Iron Widow, has won in this year’s YA category!

“Our booksellers have spoken and enthusiastically voted for this captivating sci-fi tale that we expect to become a mainstay in our YA assortment for years to come.” – B&N Category Manager

As part of the virtual celebration, Xiran Jay Zhao will be in conversation with Elizabeth Lim (Six Crimson CranesThe Dragon’s Promise) on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 7:00 pm ET – register at this link to attend!

Iron Widow
By Xiran Jay Zhao
400 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269934 | Penguin Teen Canada
The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected – she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way – and stop more girls from being sacrificed.