Alex Awards

alex awards*YALSA has launched the new Teen Book Finder Database, which is a one-stop shop for finding selected lists and award winners.  Users can search this free resource by award, list name, year, author, genre and more, as well as print customizable lists.  This new resource will replace the individual award and list web pages currently on YALSA’s site that are not searchable and that are organized only by year.

About the Alex Awards

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.

Current Winners

Official Nominations

Previous Winners

Award Policies and Procedures

Suggest a Title

Committee Information

Teen Book Finder App

2020 Alex Awards Virtual Celebration

The 2020 Alex Award winners were celebrated via a virtual event on June 11.

View the recording of the Virtual Alex Award Celebration below.


2020 Winners   

View the 2020 official nominations!



A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, By C. A. Fletcher. Published by Orbit, a division of Hachette Group. In a dystopian future, where the world’s population is believed to be only in the thousands, Griz lives on an isolated island. When a charismatic stranger arrives and absconds with one of the family’s beloved dogs, the 16-year-old embarks on a quest to get her back.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, By Temi Oh. Published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Inc.  A crew of 10 astronauts, 6 of whom are teens, set off on a 23-year journey to begin settling an uninhabited planet known as Terra-Two. This character-driven sci-fi novel will draw teens into its orbit with interpersonal conflict.

Dominicana, By Angie Cruz. Published by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. In 1965, 15-year-old Ana Cancion leaves the Dominican Republic married to a man twice her age and eventually discovers her own voice in Washington Heights, New York. Though historical fiction, this powerful immigrant story is increasingly relevant today.

Gender Queer: A Memoir, By Maia Kobabe. Published by Lion Forge, an imprint of Oni Press. Kobabe’s path to understanding eir gender and sexuality comes into beautiful focus in this graphic memoir, expressively illustrated with retro colors and simple lines. Readers will recognize a kindred spirit in Kobabe and/or gain insight into what it’s like to identify outside of the cisgender/heterosexual "norm."

High School, By Sara Quin and Tegan Quin. Published by MCD, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and imprint of Macmillan Publishers. Critically acclaimed indie rock duo Tegan and Sara Quin lay bare their teenage experiences, the oscillating euphoria and scintillation of first love, the jarring process of finding one's identity, and early forays into making music in this gorgeous dual memoir.

In Waves, By AJ Dungo. Published by Nobrow. In this beautiful graphic memoir, perfectly cast in muted beach tones, Dungo interweaves his story of first love with his girlfriend’s passion for surfing, her heroism in the face of cancer, and a primer on the history of surfing.

Middlegame, By Seanan McGuire. Published by Publishing, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan. Roger and Dodger are twins, created in a lab in order to bestow their creator with the power to shape reality—but only if they don’t figure out how to manifest that power for themselves first.

The Nickel Boys, By Colson Whitehead. Published by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Idealistic Elwood and cynical Turner form an unlikely bond at Nickel Academy, a corrupt 1960s reform school, as they endure the abuse meted out by the sadistic warden. Their heart-wrenching story of physical and mental survival is based on the real-life experiences of children at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

Red, White & Royal Blue, By Casey McQuiston. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, a division of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. In this quirky political rom-com, First Son Alex fakes a friendship with longtime rival Prince Henry of Britain when an incendiary photo of them is leaked to the tabloids. A genuine romance blossoms between the two, but it must be kept secret for the sake of Alex’s mother’s presidential reelection campaign.

The Swallows, By Lisa Lutz. Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. The arrival of a new teacher with a complicated past ignites a student rebellion against Stonebridge Academy’s misogynistic culture, which has gone unchecked for years.

View the 2020 official nominations!

2020 Committee Members

Members of the 2020 Alex Awards Committee are: Chair Paula Gallagher, Baltimore; Dr. Pat M. Couts, Yukon, Okla.; Jennie Law, Atlanta, Ga.; Amber Peterson, Kirkland, Wash.; Candace L. Reeder, Northport, N.Y.; Carrie Shaurette, New York; Lauri Vaughan, Santa Clara, Calif.; Courtney Waters, Jefferson City, Mo.; Rachel M. Webb, Monroe, N.C.; and Booklist Consultant Julia Smith, Chicago.

Previous Winners