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.
Winners of the 2017 Alex Awards:
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 Burford. 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 Chooseable-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.
PDF to download: 2017 Alex Awards