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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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Pure book Pure

Baggott, Julianna.
FIC BAGGOTT

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.

2013




Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novel book Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novel

Semple, Maria.
FIC SEMPLE

When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.

2013




One shot at forever : a small town, an unlikely coach, and a magical baseball season book One shot at forever : a small town, an unlikely coach, and a magical baseball season

Ballard, Chris.
796.3576 BALLARD

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.

2013




The round house book The round house

Erdrich, Louise, author.
FIC ERDRICH

When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

2013




Tell the wolves I'm home : a novel book Tell the wolves I'm home : a novel

Brunt, Carol Rifka.
FIC BRUNT

It is 1987, and only one person has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus -- her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down. But Finn's death brings a surprise acquaintance into June's life -- someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

2013




My friend Dahmer : a graphic novel book My friend Dahmer : a graphic novel

Derf.
364.1523 DERF

You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer, the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper, seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, 'Jeff' was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides.

2013




Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore book Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore

Sloan, Robin, 1979-
FIC SLOAN

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.

2013




Girlchild book Girlchild

Hassman, Tupelo, 1973-
FIC HASSMAN

Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn't got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she's checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice for tips to get off the Calle: that is, the Calle de las Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop. Rory's been told that she is one of the "third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom." But she's determined to prove the county and her own family wrong.

2013




Caring is creepy : a novel book Caring is creepy : a novel

Zimmerman, David.
FIC ZIMMERM

Suspecting that her overworked nurse mother has been enmeshed in a boyfriend's petty criminal schemes, fifteen-year-old Lynn Marie engages in online flirtations and hides a troubled AWOL soldier in the storage space of her home.

2013




Big girl small book Big girl small

DeWoskin, Rachel.
FIC DEWOSKI

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. 2012




In Zanesville : a novel book In Zanesville : a novel

Beard, Jo Ann.
FIC BEARD

Jo Ann Beard shows readers that in the seemingly quiet streets of America's innumerable Zanesvilles is a world of wonders, and that within the souls of the overlooked often burns something radiant. 2012




The lover's dictionary book The lover's dictionary

Levithan, David.
FIC LEVITHA

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. 2012




The new kids : big dreams and brave journeys at a high school for immigrant teens book The new kids : big dreams and brave journeys at a high school for immigrant teens

Hauser, Brooke.
373.18 HAUSER

Freelance writer Hauser tracks the staff and students at the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, N.Y., providing their personal histories as well as their day-to-day experiences. 2012




Salvage the bones : a novel book Salvage the bones : a novel

Ward, Jesmyn.
FIC WARD

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. 2012




Robopocalypse : a novel book Robopocalypse : a novel

Wilson, Daniel H. (Daniel Howard), 1978-
FIC WILSON

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. 2012




The night circus : a novel book The night circus : a novel

Morgenstern, Erin.
FIC MORGENS

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. 2012




Ready player one book Ready player one

Cline, Ernest.
FIC CLINE

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. 2012




Talk funny girl : a novel book Talk funny girl : a novel

Merullo, Roland.
FIC MERULLO

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. 2012




The scrapbook of Frankie Pratt : a novel in pictures book The scrapbook of Frankie Pratt : a novel in pictures

Preston, Caroline.
FIC PRESTON

For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father's old Corona typewriter. Despite Frankie's dreams of becoming a writer, she must forgo a college scholarship to help her widowed mother. But when a mysterious Captain James sweeps her off her feet, her mother finds a way to protect Frankie from the less-than-noble intentions of her unsuitable beau. Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love. 2012




The boy who couldn't sleep and never had to :   a novel book The boy who couldn't sleep and never had to : a novel

Pierson, D. C.
FIC PIERSON

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. 2011.




Room :   a novel book Room : a novel

Donoghue, Emma, 1969-
FIC DONOGHU

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. 2011.




The vanishing of Katharina Linden :   a novel book The vanishing of Katharina Linden : a novel

Grant, Helen, 1964-
FIC GRANT

Reviled in her German village home where her only friends are a fellow outcast and and elderly storyteller, 11-year-old Pia investigates the disappearances of three local girls who she believes are tied to unsolved missing persons cases from decades earlier. 2011.




The lock artist book The lock artist

Hamilton, Steve, 1961-
FIC HAMILTO

Traumatized at the age of eight and pushed into a life of crime by reason of his unforgivable talent--lock picking--Michael sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long. 2011.




Breaking night :   a memoir of forgiveness, survival, and my journey from homeless to Harvard book Breaking night : a memoir of forgiveness, survival, and my journey from homeless to Harvard

Murray, Liz, 1980-
B MURRAY MURRAY

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." 2011.




Girl in translation book Girl in translation

Kwok, Jean.
FIC KWOK

When 11-year-old Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life, like her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition, Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. 2011.




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