The 2009 Maryland Author Award was presented to Phyllis Reynolds Naylor on May 14, 2009. Award committee chair Todd Krueger presented the award to Naylor before a large audience at the Maryland Library Association's annual conference, at the Fontainebleau Resort in Ocean City. Krueger noted that this award recognizes Naylor's outstanding body of work and specifically honors her many excellent contributions to young adult literature.
The eight-member award committee represented school, public and academic libraries from around the state. In determining the award winner, the committee read the works of a number of excellent writers, but, according to Krueger, one stood out due to her incredible output and the consistent high quality of her writing. Krueger remarked that Naylor has written "picture books, books for young readers, for middle grades, for teens, and for adults. For an author to write for these very different age groups and maintain the quality she has is a remarkable achievement."
Committee members enjoyed their discovery and re-reading of books by the winner and other authors. The award program specifically mentioned the fine contributions to young adult literature by the following authors, whose books and bodies of work particularly stood out during the committee’s deliberations: Kathleen Jeffries Johnson, Annette Curtis Klause, Katherine Paterson, Catherine Reef, and Cynthia Voigt. The Maryland Library Association established the Maryland Author Award in 1996 to recognize and honor the bodies of work of authors who “belong” to Maryland.