Alex Award Winners / Teen Reads

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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.

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. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called "Alex" by her friends.

"The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice" by Zak Ebrahim

'The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice' by Zak Ebrahim

Teen Book An extraordinary story, never before told: The intimate, behind-the-scenes life of an American boy raised by his terrorist father—the man who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.What is it like to grow up with a terrorist in your home? Zak Ebrahim was only seven years old when, on November 5th, 1990, his father El-Sayyid Nosair shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League. While in prison, Nosair helped plan the bombi ...

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"Lock In (Lock In, #1)" by John Scalzi

'Lock In (Lock In, #1)' by John Scalzi

Teen Book A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond ...

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"Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng

'Everything I Never Told You' by Celeste Ng

Adult Book Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins this debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue ...

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"All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr

'All the Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr

Teen Book ★★★★★ "All the Light We Cannot See" is a non-linear narrative centered on the stories of two children coming of age in WWII Europe. Marie-Laure, blind from the age of six, lives in Paris with her father, who is the principal locksmith for the National Museum of Natural History. At the age of 12, Marie-Laure and her father flee Paris as the Nazis advance. They find refuge at the home of her great uncle, a reclusive WWI veteran suffering from PTSD ...

Reviewed by Rachel H. Read more reviews of "All the Light We Cannot See" at »

"Bingo's Run" by James A. Levine

'Bingo's Run' by James A. Levine

Teen Book Meet Bingo, the greatest drug runner in the slums of Kibera, Nairobi, and maybe the world. A teenage grifter, often mistaken for a younger boy, he faithfully serves Wolf, the drug lord of Kibera. Bingo spends his days throwing rocks at Krazi Hari, the prophet of Kibera’s garbage mound, “lipping” safari tourists of their cash, and hanging out with his best friend, Slo-George, a taciturn fellow whose girth is a mystery to Bingo in a place whe ...

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"Bellweather Rhapsody" by Kate Racculia

'Bellweather Rhapsody' by Kate Racculia

Teen Book A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier, in a whip-smart novel sparkling with the dark and giddy pop culture pleasures of The Shining, Agatha Christie, and Glee. ...

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"Help for the Haunted" by John Searles

'Help for the Haunted' by John Searles

Teen Book It begins with a call in the middle of snowy February evening. Lying in her bed, young Sylvie Mason overhears her parents on the phone across the hall. This is not the first late-night call they have received, since her mother and father have an uncommon occupation, helping "haunted souls" find peace. And yet, something in Sylvie senses that this call is different than the rest, especially when they are lured to the old church on the outskirts of ...

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"Brewster" by Mark Slouka

'Brewster' by Mark Slouka

Teen Book A powerful story about an unforgettable friendship between two teenage boys and their hopes for escape from a dead-end town.The year is 1968. The world is changing, and sixteen-year-old Jon Mosher is determined to change with it. Racked by guilt over his older brother’s childhood death and stuck in the dead-end town of Brewster, New York, he turns his rage into victories running track. Meanwhile, Ray Cappicciano, a rebe ...

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"Golden Boy" by Abigail Tarttelin

'Golden Boy' by Abigail Tarttelin

Teen Book “A dramatic, thoroughgoing investigation of the complexities of sexuality and gender.…A warmly human coming-of-age story…emotionally engaging, and genuinely unforgettable” (Booklist, starred review).Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is ...

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"The Lives of Tao (Tao, #1)" by Wesley Chu

'The Lives of Tao (Tao, #1)' by Wesley Chu

Teen Book 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 ...

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"Relish: My Life in the Kitchen" by Lucy Knisley

'Relish: My Life in the Kitchen' by Lucy Knisley

Teen Book A vibrant, food-themed memoir from beloved indie cartoonist Lucy Knisley.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 ...

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"The Universe Versus Alex Woods" by Gavin Extence

'The Universe Versus Alex Woods' by Gavin Extence

Teen Book A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged seventeen, Alex i ...

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"Lexicon" by Max Barry

'Lexicon' by Max Barry

Teen Book At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics--at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. 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 ...

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"Mother, Mother" by Koren Zailckas

'Mother, Mother' by Koren Zailckas

Teen Book Josephine Hurst has her family under control. With two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home, her life is picture perfect. She has everything she wants; all she has to do is keep it that way. But living in this matriarch’s determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn’t been easy for her family, and when her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyf ...

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"The Sea of Tranquility" by Katja Millay

'The Sea of Tranquility' by Katja Millay

Teen Book I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without ...

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"The Death of Bees" by Lisa O'Donnell

'The Death of Bees' by Lisa O'Donnell

Teen Book A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel-a coming-of-age story with the strong voice and powerful resonance of Swamplandia! and The Secret Life of Bees—in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.Marnie and her li ...

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"The Martian" by Andy Weir

'The Martian' by Andy Weir

Adult Book ★★★★★ I just had to write a quick review of “The Martian” by Andy Weir after recently seeing that they have made it into a movie to be released soon! The book has everything that a science fiction reader could ask for. It’s a story of a man getting stranded on Mars, which we all know is not a very human friendly place to be. He must survive for a long period of time until the next ship can come back to get him. But wait, they think he is d ...

Reviewed by David G. Read more reviews of "The Martian" at »

"Confessions" by Kanae Minato

'Confessions' by Kanae Minato

Teen Book Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge. After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a heartbreaking accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation. But first, she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that will upend everything her s ...

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18 | Based on the Goodreads API.