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: John Darnielle
2015 Alex Award - Selection

Creating fantastical mail-order role-playing games from his apartment where he endures a life of solitude after a disfiguring injury, Sean is blamed for a disaster involving two high school student clients, an event that compels him to reevaluate his own past.

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Author: Mark Slouka
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Still reeling from the death of his older brother, a sixteen-year-old track star befriends a street-fighting rebel and together they search for redemption amidst the social changes of 1968.

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Author: Abigail Tarttelin
2014 Alex Award - Selection

The Walker family is good at keeping secrets from the world. They are even better at keeping them from each other. Max Walker is a golden boy, with a secret that the world may not be ready for. Written by 25-year-old rising star Tarttelin, this novel is a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.

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Author: John Searles
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Struggling with the loss of her parents, who helped haunted souls find peace, Sylvie Mason pursues the mystery, moving closer to the truth of what happened that night as she comes to terms with her family's past.

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Author: Max Barry
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as poets, adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

Author: Wesley Chu
2014 Alex Award - Selection

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn't. He now has a passenger in his brain - an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions - the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix - the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that's what it takes.

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Author: Koren Zailckas
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Josephine Hurst has her family under control: two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home. But living in this matriarch's determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn't been easy for her family. When her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.

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Author: Lucy Knisley
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe-- many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions

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Author: Lisa ODonnell
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Trying to keep the death of their parents a secret, Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own until several residents in Glasgow's Hazelhurst housing estate suspect that something is not right.

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Author: Katja Millay
2014 Alex Award - Selection

Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett.

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Author: Gavin Extence
2014 Alex Award - Selection

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was 10 years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. Through a bright young voice, the novel is a celebration of curious incidents and the unexpected connections that form this world.

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Author: Tupelo Hassman
2013 Alex Award - Selection

In this heart-stopping, original debut, Hassman tells the story of young Rory Hendrix, who is determined to get out of the Reno trailer park where she lives with her bartender mother and prove she's not the feeble-minded imbecile she's been labeled.

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Author: Robin Sloan
2013 Alex Award - Selection

After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.

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Author: Chris Ballard
2013 Alex Award - Selection

In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to become the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There, sporting long hair, and warming up to Jesus Christ Superstar, the Ironmen would play a dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change their lives forever.

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Author: Julianna Baggott
2013 Alex Award - Selection

In a post-apocalyptic world, Pressia, a sixteen-year-old survivor with a doll's head fused onto her left hand meets Partridge, a Pure dome-dweller who is searching for his mother, sure that she has survived the cataclysm.