I just learned that the ALA awarded Tamora Pierce the Margaret A. Edwards award for her Song of the Lioness quartet (Alanna) and the Protector of the Small quartet (Keladry). It doesn’t say this on the website, but it’s probably for her being generally awesome as well.
The thing I love about all of her books is that her female characters are strong and proud of who they are regardless of other people’s judgments. It’s sometimes hard to do that, even as an adult. She was committed to making books about strong young women who exist in the world as humans well before many of her peers in the fantasy world.