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.

Award Web Site: Alex Award

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Author: Joey Comeau
2018 Alex Award - Selection

Already grieving for her dying father, Sunday plans to release a computer virus that memorializes his words and laugh. But she begins to realize that to fully understand him, she needs to embrace his relationships with other family members.  

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Author: Jeff Lemire
2018 Alex Award - Selection

In the snowy recesses of northern Canada, a down-and-out former hockey player must confront his past when his long-lost sister returns to town battling demons of her own. Can they save each other? Or will violence swallow them both? 

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Author: Jordan Harper
2018 Alex Award - Selection

Polly, an 11-year-old girl with “gunfighter eyes,” her teddy bear, and her estranged father suddenly find themselves struggling for survival in a world ruled by gangs. Fast-paced and thrilling, this will get even reluctant readers' hearts racing. 

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Author: Daniel Wilson
2018 Alex Award - Selection

Automata Elena and Peter are "born" in Peter the Great's Russia… or are they? Can they really live in the power-hungry world of humans? And can they find the "breath of life" before it is too late? 

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Author: Tasha Kavanagh
2018 Alex Award - Selection

Yasmin wants to be close to the most beautiful girl in her school, but surely a freak like her has no chance. Unless, that is, she can save her from the man who was staring at her from the woods. 

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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.