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: Rachel DeWoskin
2012 Alex Award - Selection

With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, Judy should be the star of Darcy Academy, the local performing arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room on the edge of town? A scathingly funny and moving book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and profound

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Author: Jo Ann Beard
2012 Alex Award - Selection

With dry wit and piercing observation, Beard writes about the relationship between two teenage girls in the 1970s--misfits whose friendship is tested by their families' claims on them, by a clique of popular girls, and by the first startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.

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Author: Erneest Cline
2012 Alex Award - Selection

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut--part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

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Author: Daniel H. Wilson
2012 Alex Award - Selection

Two decades into the future humans are battling for their very survival when a powerful AI computer goes rogue, and all the machines on earth rebel against their human controllers.

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Author: Jesmyn Ward
2012 Alex Award - Selection

Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.

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Author: David Levithan
2012 Alex Award - Selection

A modern love story told through a series of dictionary-style entries is a sequence of intimate windows into the large and small events that shape the course of a romantic relationship.

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Author: Brooke Hauser
2012 Alex Award - Selection

Brooke Hauser takes listeners deep inside a unique New York City high school over the course of a year as she follows diverse newcomers whose lives are at once ordinary and extraordinary, international headlines brought to life. The students in this modern-day Babel apply to college, fall in love, and rebel against their families like normal teenagers, but many deal with enormous obstacles.

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Author: Erin Morgenstern
2012 Alex Award - Selection

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

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Author: Caroline Preston
2012 Alex Award - Selection

From the author of the New York Times Notable Book, Jackie by Josie, comes a spirited, visually lush, and stunning novel, inspired by the art of scrapbooking and told through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, starring an unforgettable heroine and set in the burgeoning bohemian culture of the 1920s. 2

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Author: Roland Merullo
2012 Alex Award - Selection

Raised by parents so intentionally isolated that they speak their own hybrid dialect, abused youth Marjorie witnesses her parents' submission to a sadistic cult leader before she is rescued by another abuse survivor who teaches her stoneworking skills.

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Author: Liz Murray
2011 Alex Award - Selection

The memoir of a young woman who at age 15 was living on the streets but survived to make it to Harvard. Murray's story was featured in the Lifetime Original Movie Homeless to Harvard.

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Author: Jean Kwok
2011 Alex Award - Selection

A fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice makes an inspiring debut with this novel about an immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two cultures.

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Author: Emma Donoghue
2011 Alex Award - Selection

Narrator Jack and his mother, who was kidnapped seven years earlier when she was a 19-year-old college student, celebrate his fifth birthday. They live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard. The sociopath, whom Jack has dubbed Old Nick, visits at night, grudgingly doling out food and supplies. But Ma, as Jack calls her, proves to be resilient and resourceful--and attempts a nail-biting escape.

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Author: D.C. Pierson
2011 Alex Award - Selection

Fifteen-year-old Darren, a social misfit who spends his time at school trying not to be noticed while drawing characters for a planned film series and book tie-ins, befriends Eric, another outcast who reveals that he never sleeps.

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Author: Peter Bognanni
2011 Alex Award - Selection

Wholly original, The House of Tomorrow is the story of a young man's self-discovery, a dying woman's last wish, and a band of misfits trying desperately to be heard.