Alex Award

Adult Books for Teen Readers

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. 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. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

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Author: Holly Jennings
2017 Alex Award - Selection

A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming... Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV. She's died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier... The RAGE tournaments--the Virtual Gaming League's elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death...

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Author: Hannah Hart
2017 Alex Award - Selection

As a professional Internet personality, Hannah Hart spends a lot of time walking the line between public and private. Here, she shares stories from her life that have taken her time to process, in the hope that it will help readers do some internal processing of their own.

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Author: Rob Rufus
2017 Alex Award - Selection


In the tradition of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes the incredibly moving true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.

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Author: Seanan. McGuire
2017 Alex Award - Selection

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. No matter the cost.

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Author: Diane Guerrero
2017 Alex Award - Selection

Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.

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Author: Ryan North
2017 Alex Award - Selection

Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It's Shakespeare as you've never played him before. Packed with exciting choices, fun puzzles, secret surprises, terrible puns, and more than a billion possible storylines, this book offers a new experience every time you read it. You can choose to play as Romeo or Juliet, but you can also play as both of them, or as Juliet's nurse, or, if you're good, you can even unlock a fourth playable character.

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Author: Scott Stambach
2017 Alex Award - Selection

Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko is a life-long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Born severely deformed, yet mentally keen with a frighteningly sharp wit, strong intellect, and a voracious appetite for books, Ivan is forced to interact with the world through the vivid prism of his mind. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan. That is until the seventeen-year-old Polina arrives at the hospital. At first, Ivan resents Polina. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. But eventually, he is drawn to her and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. And now Ivan wants something: Ivan wants Polina to live

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Author: Sarah Beth Durst
2017 Alex Award - Selection

In Renthia, everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river. But the spirits of the land want to rid it of all humans. The queen is the only woman who stands between the spirits and the end of humankind, and no matter how strong or good the queen is, the threat of danger always looms. And so, Daleina is one of the young women chosen and trained as heirs to the throne. She joins forces with Ven, a disgraced champion who has nevertheless spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. The partners embark on a quest to find the source of the spirits' restlessness, which will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land.-- adapted from author's website.

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Author: Manuel Gonzales
2017 Alex Award - Selection

In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization the Regional Office and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack.

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Author: Matt Simon
2017 Alex Award - Selection

On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber's anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators.

These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution's most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food.

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Author: Ryan Gattis
2016 Alex Award - Selection
A propulsive and ambitious novel as electrifying as The Wire, from a writer hailed as the West Coast's Richard Price a mesmerizing epic of crime and opportunity, race, revenge, and loyalty.
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Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
2016 Alex Award - Selection
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.
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Author: Sara Nović
2016 Alex Award - Selection
When her happy life in 1991 Croatia is shattered by civil war, ten-year-old Ana Juric is embroiled in a world of guerilla warfare and child soldiers before making a daring escape to America, where years later she struggles to hide her past.
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Author: Joe Abercrombie
2016 Alex Award - Selection
Set in the same world as Half a King, Half a World follows a new protagonist, Thorn, a fifteen-year-old girl in training for the king's army. But even as she's learning the ways of war, she's also growing up... and falling in love for the first time
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Author: Brandon Stanton
2016 Alex Award - Selection
In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project -to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog "Humans of New York." His audience steadily grew from a few hundred followers to, at present count, over fifteen million.