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AWARD WINNERS: Alex Award Winners

YALSA's 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.

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Futuristic violence and fancy suits

Wong, David, 1975 January 10- author.

FIC WONG

Zoey never had much ambition beyond being a barista, but when her father leaves her in control of the lawless city of Tabla Ra$a, she goes from steaming milk to slaying supervillains.

2016


Between the world and me

Coates, Ta-Nehisi, author.

305.8009 COATES

Coates writes to his 15-year-old son about the inborn hazards of being black in America and his own intellectual, political and emotional confrontation with the need to live fully, even in the face of racialist culture.

Also available in large type, as an ebook, and as an audiobook download.

2016


Bones & all

DeAngelis, Camille.

FIC DEANGEL

Sixteen-year-old Maren literally eats the ones who love her, bones and all. When her mother abandons her, Maren sets out to find the father she has never met, hoping he can help her understand why she is a monster.

2016


All involved

Gattis, Ryan, author.

FIC GATTIS

Los Angeles, 1992: in the chaos of a rioting city, between settling scores and surviving another day, 18 young men and women—gangbangers, a nurse, an artist, a dreamer—give intense and sometimes brutal voice to their complex human experiences.

Also available as an audiobook download.

2016


Girl at war : a novel

Nović, Sara, 1987- author.

FIC NOVIC

Ana's early life was ravaged by the 1991 Balkan wars. Now a college student, Ana relives her war and its consequences as she unravels the mystery of herself and the meaning of home.

2016


Half the world

Abercrombie, Joe, author.

FIC ABERCRO

A bloodthirsty girl and a reluctant warrior are recruited by a cunning minister for a mission that will either save or doom their kingdom.

2016


Humans of New York : stories

Stanton, Brandon, author, photographer.

974.71 STANTON

In pictures and interviews that captivate, puzzle and reveal, photojournalist Brandon Stanton collects an immeasurable range of human emotions and perspectives. The photos draw us in and their subjects’ words leave us wondering and cheering at the variety of humanity.

2016


Undocumented : a Dominican boy's odyssey from a homeless shelter to the Ivy League

Padilla Peralta, Dan-el, author.

BIO PADILLA PADILLA

Overstaying his visa in the U.S. before he was in kindergarten, Padilla Peralta joined other young DREAM Act scholars to erase his illegal status. His humor, wisdom, success and very American boyhood smash anti-immigration stereotypes.

2016


The unraveling of Mercy Louis : a novel

Parssinen, Keija, author.

FIC PARSSIN

Mercy, a high school basketball star, lives under the thumb of her grandmother, a fierce believer in Y2K as the apocalypse. The year 1999 alters Mercy’s life in a small Texas refinery town and gives her a future beyond it.

2016


Sacred heart

Suburbia, Liz, artist, author.

FIC SUBURBI

Adults have disappeared, and Ben Schiller is trying to keep things together until their return in this unsettling graphic novel. A series of mysterious deaths may be a sign of impending doom for Alexandria’s troubled kids.

2016


All the light we cannot see : a novel

Doerr, Anthony, 1973-

FIC DOERR

A blind Parisian girl and an orphaned German boy conscripted by the Nazis for his radio skills meet in the chaos of the American bombing of a French coastal resort.

2015


The Martian : a novel

Weir, Andy.

FIC WEIR

Marooned on Mars after a tragic accident, astronaut Mark Watney’s supplies are running low and he has no way to signal Earth. Fortunately Mark can grow space potatoes and has a bold plan to escape the Red Planet.

2015


The terrorist's son : a story of choice

Ebrahim, Zak, 1983- author.

303.625 EBRAHIM

This true account of Zak Ebrahim, whose father was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is a powerful book about tolerance and choice.

2015


Those who wish me dead

Koryta, Michael, author.

FIC KORYTA

On the day Jace conquers the highest jump of the quarry, he discovers a murder victim and begins to run for his life.

2015


Wolf in white van

Darnielle, John.

FIC DARNIEL

After his face is destroyed, Sean manages to carve out a life for himself as a designer of virtual role-playing games. When two teens take the game too far, Sean is forced to relive all his moves

2015


Bellweather rhapsody

Racculia, Kate, author.

FIC RACCULI

High-school students gather at the isolated Bellweather Hotel for a statewide music festival only to be trapped by a blizzard with an arrogant fingerless conductor, drunken chaperones, a missing corpse, and perhaps the ghosts of long-dead newlyweds.

2015


Bingo's run : a novel

Levine, James, 1963-

FIC LEVINE

The ultimate hustler, Bingo uses his brains and charm to run drugs in a Kenyan slum, but after witnessing a murder he finds himself an art dealer, an adoptee, and someone caught in a dangerous moral dilemma.

2015


Confessions : a novel

Minato, Kanae, 1973-

FIC MINATO

Japanese teacher Yuko knows two middle-school students killed her daughter, and nothing in their explanations of why and how will stop her revenge.

2015


Everything I never told you

Ng, Celeste.

FIC NG

Lydia is dead. Is it murder? Suicide? As her family grieves for their perfect teen, they learn how little they really knew Lydia and how many secrets died with her.

2015


Lock in

Scalzi, John, 1969-

FIC SCALZI

A virus leaves millions as “Hadens”—locked in and fully aware, but unable to move or speak except when linked to androids. Chris is one of them, working as a rookie FBI agent hunting a murderer who is targeting Hadens.

2015


The Sea of Tranquility : a novel

Millay, Katja.

FIC MILLAY

Nastya has barely survived a brutal attack. Josh has lost his entire family. The two isolated teens are drawn together as they deal with their emotional and physical damage.

2014


Relish : my life in the kitchen

Knisley, Lucy, aut, art.

BIO KNISLEY KNISLEY

This poignant graphic novel is a wonderful journey of cartoonist Lucy Knisley’s transition from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, framed by the food that shaped her worldview. Through colorful vignettes she tackles complex issues with humor and unique family recipes.

2014


The universe versus Alex Woods

Extence, Gavin, 1982-

FIC EXTENCE

It all begins when Alex is hit in the head by a meteorite and it all ends when he is arrested trying to re-enter England with several grams of marijuana, lots of cash, and the ashes of Mr. Peterson.

2014


Golden boy : a novel

Tarttelin, Abigail, 1987-

FIC TARTTEL

Max, an intersex teen, is confused about who he is and who he is meant to be. After one shattering night, he is faced with a choice that no boy should ever have to make.

2014


Help for the haunted

Searles, John, author.

FIC SEARLES

Sylvie has been dealing with taunting classmates, her erratic older sister and the unsolved murder of her ghost-hunting parents. But perhaps more problematic are the cursed remnants of her parents’ work still lingering in the basement.

2014


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