2017 Alex Award Winners

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The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.

The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
Daleina is determined to keep her family safe from vengeance-seeking spirits, placing her in the crossfire of an insecure queen and powerful spirits.

The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
Fraught with explosive action, female assassins, teenage crushes, and even a cyborg, this fast-paced, dynamic story of revenge explores what happens to a group of woman hell-bent on defending the world from evil forces.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burfor
After Diane Guerrero returned home from school one day to find her family deported, the 14-year-old went on to combat self-injury and suicidal thoughts, finish her education, and to become a successful actress and citizenship activist.

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
Candid and thoughtful, Hart’s memoir details her difficult childhood and rise to internet fame.

Arena by Holly Jennings
Virtual gaming: Kali’s team is competing to win, not to die.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Sometimes kids disappear. Sometimes they come back. And when they come back, they need a place to go. At the Home for Wayward Children, everybody has a story, and some stories have better ending than others.

Romeo and/or Juliet: A Choosable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
Take the lead in this choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel. Fantastic, dense illustrations draw you into a Romeo and Juliet retelling like none other you’ve ever experienced. Romance isn’t dead and in the end, maybe Romeo and Juliet aren’t either.

Die Young with Me: A Memoir by Rob Rufus
A story of punk rock, first love, cancer and the incredible power of music to get us through the hardest times in our lives. Rufus details his brave fight for his life in this tender and contemplative memoir.

The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar by Matt Simon
Simon explores the benefits of evolution, in these odd yet compelling stories that range from creatures adapting to find food to having sex.

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
He has no arms or legs. She has blood that is betraying her. They are the smartest people in the children’s hospital and the only ones who understand, and they take “star-crossed lovers” to a whole new level.

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2016 Alex Award Winners

Alex-AWARDSWinner_lowres

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.

The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

All Involved by Ryan Gattis
Los Angeles, 1992: in the chaos of a rioting city, between settling scores and surviving another day, 18 young men and women—gangbangers, a nurse, an artist, a dreamer—give intense and sometimes brutal voice to their complex human experiences.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coates writes to his 15-year-old son about the inborn hazards of being black in America and his own intellectual, political and emotional confrontation with the need to live fully, even in the face of racialist culture.

Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
Sixteen-year-old Maren literally eats the ones who love her, bones and all. When her mother abandons her, Maren sets out to find the father she has never met, hoping he can help her understand why she is a monster.

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
Zoey never had much ambition beyond being a barista, but when her father leaves her in control of the lawless city of Tabula Ra$a, she goes from steaming milk to slaying supervillains.

Girl at War by Sara Nović
Ana’s early life was ravaged by the 1991 Balkan wars. Now a college student, Ana relives her war and its consequences as she unravels the mystery of herself and the meaning of home.

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
A bloodthirsty girl and a reluctant warrior are recruited by a cunning minister for a mission that will either save or doom their kingdom.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton
In pictures and interviews that captivate, puzzle and reveal, photojournalist Brandon Stanton collects an immeasurable range of human emotions and perspectives. The photos draw us in and their subjects’ words leave us wondering and cheering at the variety of humanity.

Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia
Adults have disappeared, and Ben Schiller is trying to keep things together until their return in this unsettling graphic novel. A series of mysterious deaths may be a sign of impending doom for Alexandria’s troubled kids.

Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Overstaying his visa in the U.S. before he was in kindergarten, Padilla Peralta joined other young DREAM Act scholars to erase his illegal status. His humor, wisdom, success and very American boyhood smash anti-immigration stereotypes.

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
Mercy, a high school basketball star, lives under the thumb of her grandmother, a fierce believer in Y2K as the apocalypse. The year 1999 alters Mercy’s life in a small Texas refinery town and gives her a future beyond it.

2015 Alex Award Winners

Alex-AWARDSWinner_lowres

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.

The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A blind Parisian girl and an orphaned German boy conscripted by the Nazis for his radio skills meet in the chaos of the American bombing of a French coastal resort.

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
High-school students gather at the isolated Bellweather Hotel for a statewide music festival only to be trapped by a blizzard with an arrogant fingerless conductor, drunken chaperones, a missing corpse, and perhaps the ghosts of long-dead newlyweds.

Bingo’s Run by James A. Levine
The ultimate hustler, Bingo uses his brains and charm to run drugs in a Kenyan slum, but after witnessing a murder he finds himself an art dealer, an adoptee, and someone caught in a dangerous moral dilemma.

Confessions by Kanae Minato
Japanese teacher Yuko knows two middle-school students killed her daughter, and nothing in their explanations of why and how will stop her revenge.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Lydia is dead. Is it murder? Suicide? As her family grieves for their perfect teen, they learn how little they really knew Lydia and how many secrets died with her.

Lock In by John Scalzi
A virus leaves millions as “Hadens”—locked in and fully aware, but unable to move or speak except when linked to androids. Chris is one of them, working as a rookie FBI agent hunting a murderer who is targeting Hadens.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Marooned on Mars after a tragic accident, astronaut Mark Watney’s supplies are running low and he has no way to signal Earth. Fortunately Mark can grow space potatoes and has a bold plan to escape the Red Planet.

The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim
This true account of Zak Ebrahim, whose father was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is a powerful book about tolerance and choice.

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta
On the day Jace conquers the highest jump of the quarry, he discovers a murder victim and begins to run for his life.

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
After his face is destroyed, Sean manages to carve out a life for himself as a designer of virtual role-playing games. When two teens take the game too far, Sean is forced to relive all his moves.

2015 Margaret A. Edwards Award

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The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author’s work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.

Draper

Sharon M. Draper is the recipient of the 2015 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for Tears of a Tiger; Forged by Fire, Darkness Before Dawn, The Battle of Jericho, November Blues, and Copper Sun.

2014 Alex Award Winners

Alex-AWARDSWinner_lowres

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.

The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

Brewster by Mark Slouka
Feeling stifled and powerless, high school friends Ray Cappicciano and Jon Mosher yearn for change and plan for freedom from their blue-collar town and dysfunctional homes, even while knowing they can never truly escape.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
With their parents dead and buried in the backyard, Scottish teens Marnie and Nelly are finally free from a childhood wracked with abuse. If only the neighbor’s dog would quit digging in the garden.

Golden Boy: A Novel by Abigail Tarttelin
Max, an intersex teen, is confused about who he is and who he is meant to be. After one shattering night, he is faced with a choice that no boy should ever have to make.

Help for the Haunted by John Searles
Sylvie has been dealing with taunting classmates, her erratic older sister and the unsolved murder of her ghost-hunting parents. But perhaps more problematic are the cursed remnants of her parents’ work still lingering in the basement.

Lexicon: A Novel by Max Barry
In this fast-paced, cutthroat story, words are weapons and poets are the ones who wield the swords. Teen prodigy Emily may be the finest poet ever until she makes the catastrophic mistake of falling in love.

Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
Couch potato Roen Tan becomes host to the alien Tao who has lived millennia inside some of the most famous people in history. With Tao on board, Roen enters a war to save mankind.

Mother, Mother: A Novel by Koren Zailckas
Why did Rose run away? Did Violet really stab her little brother? Is her alcoholic father really having an affair? In this chilling novel about family dysfunction, does mother really know best?

Relish by Lucy Knisley
This poignant graphic novel is a wonderful journey of cartoonist Lucy Knisley’s transition from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, framed by the food that shaped her worldview. Through colorful vignettes she tackles complex issues with humor and unique family recipes.

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel by Katja Millay
Nastya has barely survived a brutal attack. Josh has lost his entire family. The two isolated teens are drawn together as they deal with their emotional and physical damage.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
It all begins when Alex is hit in the head by a meteorite and it all ends when he is arrested trying to re-enter England with several grams of marijuana, lots of cash, and the ashes of Mr. Peterson.