2020 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.

 

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher
In a dystopian future, where the world’s population is believed to be only in the thousands, Griz lives on an isolated island. When a charismatic stranger arrives and absconds with one of the family’s beloved dogs, the 16-year-old embarks on a quest to get her back.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
A crew of 10 astronauts, 6 of whom are teens, set off on a 23-year journey to begin settling an uninhabited planet known as Terra-Two. This character-driven sci-fi novel will draw teens into its orbit with interpersonal conflict.

Dominicana by Angie Cruz
In 1965, 15-year-old Ana Cancion leaves the Dominican Republic married to a man twice her age and eventually discovers her own voice in Washington Heights, New York. Though historical fiction, this powerful immigrant story is increasingly relevant today.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
Kobabe’s path to understanding eir gender and sexuality comes into beautiful focus in this graphic memoir, expressively illustrated with retro colors and simple lines. Readers will recognize a kindred spirit in Kobabe and/or gain insight into what it’s like to identify outside of the cisgender/heterosexual “norm.”

High School by Sara Quin and Tegan Quin
Critically acclaimed indie rock duo Tegan and Sara Quin lay bare their teenage experiences, the oscillating euphoria and scintillation of first love, the jarring process of finding one’s identity, and early forays into making music in this gorgeous dual memoir.

In Waves by AJ Dungo
In this beautiful graphic memoir, perfectly cast in muted beach tones, Dungo interweaves his story of first love with his girlfriend’s passion for surfing, her heroism in the face of cancer, and a primer on the history of surfing.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Roger and Dodger are twins, created in a lab in order to bestow their creator with the power to shape reality—but only if they don’t figure out how to manifest that power for themselves first.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Idealistic Elwood and cynical Turner form an unlikely bond at Nickel Academy, a corrupt 1960s reform school, as they endure the abuse meted out by the sadistic warden. Their heart-wrenching story of physical and mental survival is based on the real-life experiences of children at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
In this quirky political rom-com, First Son Alex fakes a friendship with longtime rival Prince Henry of Britain when an incendiary photo of them is leaked to the tabloids. A genuine romance blossoms between the two, but it must be kept secret for the sake of Alex’s mother’s presidential reelection campaign.

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz
The arrival of a new teacher with a complicated past ignites a student rebellion against Stonebridge Academy’s misogynistic culture, which has gone unchecked for years.

2018 Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.  The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

2020 Winner

Dig by A.S. King

Five teenagers’ disparate lives weave together, unveiling long-buried secrets within a complex shared history. King’s surrealistic narrative confronts themes of white privilege and its dark legacies.

2020 Honor Books

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano
Orphaned Elin learns to use her ability to communicate with animals as she navigates through political unrest. The beauty and power of the natural world are at the heart of this captivating, nimbly translated Japanese fantasy.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Freddy is enamored with the magnetic Laura Dean, but their on-again, off-again relationship is far from healthy. Through soft-hued illustrations and cinematic scope, this graphic novel captures the intoxication of teenage love and the search for identity.

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes
Grimes’ verse memoir traces her development through a tumultuous childhood as she finds her voice as a powerful storyteller. Themes of family, belonging, and identity combine to tell a story of faith and resilience.

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
In 1727, a group of men and boys from St. Kilda sail to a remote sea stack on a fowling trip, only to find themselves stranded. McCaughrean’s exceptional tale evokes the harsh beauty of its setting and the warm humor of its characters.

The 2019 National Book Award: Young People’s Literature

2010_nba_winnerEstablished in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award.

 

2019 Winner:
1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

2019 Finalists:
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

2019 Long List:
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw

 

2019 YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten

 

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year.

 

2019 Teens’ Top Ten :

 

#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil

Wildcard by Marie Lu

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

See all the 2019 Nominees here.

2019 Illinois Reads

Illinois Reads was introduced by the Illinois Reading Council in March 2013. The initiative encourages people to read books by Illinois authors. Each year, the program offers a new list of books at six different age levels. “Illinois Reads” kicks off in March and concludes in November with “Family Reading Night,” an annual statewide event.

 

Grades 9-12

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

How to be an American: A Field Guide to Citizenship by Silvia Hidalgo

Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Various Authors

American Panda by Gloria Chao

 

Grades 6-8

Out of the Wild Night by Blue Balliett

The Unsinkable Walker Bean and the Knights of the Waxing Moon by Aaron Renier

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt

Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm

2019 Edgar Allan Poe Award

mwa

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (popularly called the Edgars), named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America, based in New York City. They honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater published or produced in the previous year.

2019 Winner:
Sadie by Courtney Summers

2019 Nominees:
Contagion by Erin Bowman
Blink by Sasha Dawn
After the Fire by Will Hill
A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

2019 Westchester Fiction Award

The Westchester Fiction Award was founded in 2009 by Suzanne Osman, a teacher librarian for the Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, California. This award honors talented authors who contribute exemplary literature to the Young Adult literary canon & the visionary publishers who bring their texts to life. When evaluating literature, the committee considers the following questions:

  1.  Does the work have immediate and widespread appeal to adolescents?
  2.  Is the theme/topic meaningful and relevant today?
  3.  If the work is part of an established series, can it stand alone?
  4.  Is there a unique quality to the work (voice, message, language, format, etc.)?
  5.  Is the writing rich, compelling, detailed?
  6.  Are the main characters and content age appropriate for high school students?
  7.  Is the work a valuable addition to the Young Adult literary canon?

 

2019 Winners:

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Empress of all Seasons by Emiko Jean

Juan Pablo and the Butterflies by J. J. Flowers

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

We Are All That’s Left by Carrie Arcos

 

2019 Honorable Mentions:

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

2019 Margaret A. Edwards Award

Margaret-A.Edwards-Award

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.

M.T. Anderson wins 2019 Edwards Award for FeedThe Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party, and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves

M.T. Anderson is a powerful force in the field of literature for teens. His creativity, wit and intelligence distinguish him and inform the body of his work, which is further notable for its artful variety, whether it be his fiercely satirical “Feed” or his monumental two-volume “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation.”

“M.T. Anderson is a true nonpareil, demonstrating an extraordinary facility for writing in a variety of forms and genres, standing virtually alone in his creative venturesomeness and bold innovation,” said Edwards Committee Member Michael Cart.

2019 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.

 

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Circe by Madeline Miller

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen

Home After Dark by David Small

How Long ’Til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

2018 Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.  The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

2019 Winner
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo transforms everyday language into transcendent imagery in this novel-in-verse about Xiomara, who struggles to come into her own power amid her restrictive upbringing. Over the course of these lyrical, expressive, and honest poems, she grows from speaking with her fists to embracing her identity as the Poet X.

2019 Honor Books

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy