YALSA announces 2017 Alex Awards

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/23/2017


Macey Morales

Deputy Director

American Library Association



ATLANTA – The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected 10 adult books with special appeal to teen readers to receive the 2017 Alex Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and Booklist, were announced today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 20 - 24.

The 2017 Alex Award winners are:

“The Queen of Blood,” by Sarah Beth Durst, published by Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. (9780062413345).

Daleina is determined to keep her family safe from vengeance-seeking spirits, placing her in the crossfire of an insecure queen and powerful spirits.

“The Regional Office is Under Attack!”, by Manuel Gonzales, published by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Random House (9781594632419)

Fraught with explosive action, female assassins, teenage crushes, and even a cyborg, this fast-paced, dynamic story of revenge explores what happens to a group of woman hell-bent on defending the world from evil forces.

“In the Country We Love: My Family Divided” by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford, published by Henry Holt and Co. (9781627795272)

After Diane Guerrero returned home from school one day to find her family deported, the 14-year-old went on to combat self-injury and suicidal thoughts, finish her education, and to become a successful actress and citizenship activist.

“Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded,” by Hannah Hart, published by Dey Street an imprint of William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, (9780062457516)

Candid and thoughtful, Hart’s memoir details her difficult childhood and rise to internet fame.

“Arena,” by Holly Jennings, published by Ace Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House (9781101988763)

Virtual gaming: Kali's team is competing to win, not to die.

“Every Heart a Doorway” by Seanan McGuire, a Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates (9780765385505)

Sometimes kids disappear. Sometimes they come back. And when they come back, they need a place to go. At the Home for Wayward Children, everybody has a story, and some stories have better ending than others.

“Romeo and/or Juliet: A Choosable-Path Adventure,” by Ryan North, published by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House (9781101983300)

Take the lead in this choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel. Fantastic, dense illustrations draw you into a Romeo and Juliet retelling like none other you’ve ever experienced. Romance isn’t dead and in the end, maybe Romeo and Juliet aren’t either.

“Die Young with Me: A Memoir,” by Rob Rufus, published by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (9781501142611)

A story of punk rock, first love, cancer and the incredible power of music to get us through the hardest times in our lives. Rufus details his brave fight for his life in this tender and contemplative memoir.

“The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar” by Matt Simon, published by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House (9780143128687)

Simon explores the benefits of evolution, in these odd yet compelling stories that range from creatures adapting to find food to having sex.

“The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko,” by Scott Stambach, published by St. Martin’s Press (9781250081865)

He has no arms or legs. She has blood that is betraying her. They are the smartest people in the children’s hospital and the only ones who understand, and they take “star-crossed lovers” to a whole new level.

“From a group of kick-ass lady assassins, to sex-crazed pearl fish, to a teen who uses punk rock to fight cancer, the top ten winners have original voices with broad teen appeal. Spanning gaming to high fantasy, the heartbreaking reality of immigration policy, to finding your own recipe to cope with mental illness, readers will choose their own adventure with the 2017 Alex awards.,” said Kristen Thorp, chair of the 2017 Alex Awards Committee.

The Alex Awards were created to recognize that many teens enjoy and often prefer books written for adults, and to assist librarians in recommending adult books that appeal to teens. A full list of official nominations will be available online at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/alex.

The award is named in honor of the late Margaret Alexander Edwards, fondly called “Alex” by her closest friends, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults. At Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Edwards used adult books extensively with teens to broaden their experience and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world.

Members of the 2017 Alex Awards Committee are: Chair Kristen Thorp, Eugene Public Library, Eugene, Oregon; Karen Brooks, Gig Harbor (Wash.) Pierce County Library; Mara Cota, San Mateo (Calif.) County Libraries; Di Herald, Garfield County Libraries, New Castle (Colo.) Branch Library; Reneé Lyons, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn;  Laura Pearle, Milton Academy, Milton, MA; Tina Pounds, Thomas A. Edison HS, Alexandria, VI; Kellie Tilton, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, Blue Ash, Oh; Arwen Ungar, Hood River County Library District, Hood River, Oregon; and  Joy Worland,  Joslin Memorial Library, Waitsfield, Vt.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.

For information on the Alex Awards and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.