Every year the American Library Association gives the Alex Award to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The awards have been given out yearly since 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.
While these adult titles have special appeal to teens, they also have great appeal to adults, such as myself who are young at heart, love Young Adult literature but are looking for more challenging reads or even those with a great sense of wonder in the world. These ten include, by far, some of the best books I read last year!
This years Alex Awards went to:
- Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin- Sixteen-year-old Judy Lohden finds her three feet nine inches tall, incredibly talented self in the middle of a scandal, with the national media on her trail and the students at Darcy Academy, a local performing arts high school, involved in the mayhem.
- In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard- Along with her best friend, the fourteen-year-old narrator navigates a 1970s American girlhood, including challenges from popular girls and the first hints of womanhood.
- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan- 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.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- 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.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s creator.
- Robopocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson- A tale set in the near future finds the world thrown into chaos by rebelling artificial intelligences under the leadership of a murderous technology called Archos that kills its creator and takes over the global network, triggering an unprecedented united front among all human cultures.
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn 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.
- The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston- Using an array of vintage memorabilia, a novel told in the form of a scrapbook follows Frankie Pratt, who goes to Vassar in 1920 with dreams of becoming a writer, which becomes a stepping stone to an international adventure.
- The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo
- The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser