The 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. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.
At 3:15 p.m. on April 29, 1992, a jury acquitted two Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with using excessive force to subdue civilian Rodney King, and failed to reach a verdict on the same charges involving a third officer. Less than two hours later, the city of LA, a powder keg of racial tension, exploded in violence as people took to the streets in a terrifying orgy of rioting that lasted six days.
Between the World and Me
For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of?
Bones & All
Maren Yearly doesn't just break hearts, she devours them. Since she was a baby, Maren has had serious trouble accepting affection. Any time someone gets too close to her, she's overcome by the desire to eat them. Abandoned by her mother the day after her sixteenth birthday, Maren goes looking for the father she has never known, but finds much more than she bargained for along the way. Faced with a world of fellow eaters, potential enemies, and the prospect of love, Maren realizes she isn't only looking for her father, she is looking for herself. The real question is, will she like who she finds?
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits
Get ready for a world in which anyone can have the powers of a god or the fame of a pop star, in which human achievement soars to new heights while its depravity plunges to the blackest depths. A world in which at least one cat smells like a seafood shop's Dumpster on a hot summer day. This is the world in which Zoey Ashe finds herself, navigating a futuristic city in which one can find elements of the fantastic,
Half the World
New York Times bestselling author Joe Abercrombie's thrilling new series continues in the follow-up to Half a King, which George R. R. Martin hailed as "a fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go." Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War. Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man.
Humans of New York: Stories
In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project -- to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he's had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves.
The children of Alexandria are just trying to live like normal teens, and Ben Schiller is no exception. But her relationship with her best friend is changing, her sister is hiding a dark secret, and tragedy looms. Also: where are all the parents?
Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League
Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Throughout his youth, Dan-el navigated...two worlds: the rough streets of East Harlem, where he lived with his brother and his mother and tried to make friends, and the ultra-elite halls of a Manhattan private school, where he could immerse himself in a world of books and where he soon rose to the top of his class.
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis
In Port Sabine, the air is thick with oil, superstition reigns, and dreams hang on making a winning play. All eyes are on Mercy Louis, the star of the championship girls' basketball team. Mercy seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. There is her grandmother, Evelia, a strict evangelical who has visions of an imminent Rapture and sees herself as the keeper of Mercy's virtue. There are the cryptic letters from Charmaine, the mother who abandoned Mercy at birth. And then there's Travis, the boy who shakes the foundation of her faith. At the periphery of Mercy's world floats team manager Illa Stark, a lonely wallflower whose days are spent caring for a depressed mother crippled in a refinery accident.
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.
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.
Caring is Creepy
While trying to survive a long boring summer in rural Georgia, Lynn befriends a lonely soldier online. When they meet face to face, tables are turned as Lynn tries to exert power in her out-of-control life. Dangerous, amusing, role-bending, and definitely creepy!
With only a worn copy of the Girl Scout Handbook for reference, resourceful and tenacious Rory Hendrix must navigate the depressing landscape of a 1970s trailer park where she suffers abuse at the hands of a neighbor and neglect from her mother.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Carol Rifka Brunt
June thought she knew everything about her beloved uncle, Finn. After his death from a mysterious new illness called AIDS, his grieving boyfriend delivers Finn's favorite teapot to June's door, and she realizes nothing is what she thought it was: not her family, not her uncle, not even herself.
The Round House
An attack on 13-year-old Joe's mother near their North Dakota Ojibwe reservation home leads him and his friends on a quest to solve the crime. This coming-of-age story highlights friendship, family, tradition, and the uneasy relationship between the tribal and white communities.
Big Girl Small
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.
Salvage the Bones
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.
The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens
In this book the author 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.
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures
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.
The Talk-Funny Girl
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.
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard
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."
Girl in Translation
Caught between the pressure to succeed in America, her duty to their family, and her own personal desires, Kimberly Chang, an immigrant girl from Hong Kong, learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.
Room: A Novel
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.
The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To
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.
The House of Tomorrow
Homeschooled teenager Sebastian Prendergast is forced by his grandmother's stroke to venture out of his geodesic dome habitat and befriends a chain-smoking teen who introduces him to pop culture through the punk band they form together.
The Lock Artist
Traumatized at the age of eight and pushed into a life of crime by reason of his unforgiveable 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.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel
Being able to taste people's emotions in food may at first be horrifying. But young, unassuming Rose Edelstein grows up learning to harness her gift as she becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
Struggling with overwork and parenting angst, English village doctor Peter Radley endeavors to hide his family's vampire nature until their daughter's oddly satisfying act of violence reveals the truth, an event that is complicated by the arrival of a practicing vampire family member.
The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel
Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free. For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption.
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: A Novel
Reviled in her German village home where her only friends are a fellow outcast and an elderly storyteller, eleven-year-old Pia investigates the disappearances of three local girls whom she believes are tied to unsolved missing persons cases from decades earlier.
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild," Rock's "My Abandonment," inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of his young protagonist, offers a riveting and unsettling account of a girl and her father who live off the grid.
Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon.
Stitches: A Memoir
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award and finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: the prize-winning children's author depicts a childhood from hell in this searing yet redemptive graphic memoir. One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.
The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir
Diana Welch and Liz Welch with Amanda Welch and Dan Welch
The poignant, harrowing story of four siblings--Amanda, Liz, Dan, and Diana Welch--who despite their wrenching loss and subsequent separation, retained the resilience and humor that both their mother and father endowed them with--growing up as lost souls, taking disastrous turns along the way, but eventually coming out right side up and being together again.
As a senior in high school Quentin Coldwater became preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. After graduating from college and being admitted into a highly exclusive, secret society of magic in upstate New York, he makes a stunning discovery: Fillory is real.
Tunneling to the Center of the Earth
Kevin Wilson's characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. "Grand Stand-In" is narrated by an employee of a Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider -- a company that supplies "stand-ins" for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents.
A fast-paced ride through the brutality of L.A.'s wilderness of drugs, gangs, and the connections people make with one another. The fact that most of the characters in this bloody, sexy, free-verse tale are mostly lycanthropes is almost incidental.
The Oxford Project
Stephen G. Bloom
In this riveting sociological study, the residents of Oxford, Iowa were photographed in 1984 and then again in 2005. Their compelling life stories, vividly expressed in brief biographical sketches, show just how much someone can change in 21 years.
American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch; An Odyssey in the New China
A college student tells his fascinating, funny story about traveling from Kansas to China's Shaolin Temple, where he attempts to master kung fu and find courage. A 2008 Best Book for Young Adults.