Alex Awards

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YALSA announces 2002 Alex Awards

Ten adult books that will appeal to teen readers have been selected to receive the 2002 Alex Awards. The books were selected by the Adult Books for Young Adults Task Force, a committee of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). They are being announced by YALSA and Booklist as part of National Library Week, April 14-20, 2002.

The titles are:

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague, by Geraldine Brooks, Viking

An American Insurrection: The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, by William Doyle, Doubleday

Gabriel's Story, by David Anthony Durham, Doubleday

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in Boom-Time America, by Barbara Ehrenreich, Holt/Metropolitan

Peace like a River, by Leif Enger, Atlantic Monthly

The Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa's Wildlife, by Kobie Kruger, Ballantine

Kit's Law, by Donna Morrissey, Houghton/Mariner

The Rover, by Mel Odom, Tor

Motherland, by Vineeta Vijayaraghavan, Soho

Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, by Rebecca Walker, Putnam/Riverhead

The ten titles, chosen by the 2002 Alex Award Task Force, represent outstanding adult fiction and non-fiction books that will appeal to a broad cross-section of teen readers, said Deborah Taylor, chair of the Adult Books for Young Adult Task Force.

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. The award is named in honor of the late Margaret Alexander Edwards, fondly called Alex by her closest friends, a young adult specialist at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. She used adult books extensively with young adults to broaden their experiences and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world.

The Alex Awards are currently part of the Adult Books for Young Adults Project. The project is funded by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust for a five year period that began in 1998. In addition to selecting titles for the Alex Awards, the project presents a program at the ALA Annual Conference. The lectures and lists allow for a sustained, systematic examination of the role of adult books in the lives of young adult readers with special attention to publishing, marketing and reading guidance.

The final program in this series is scheduled for the YALSA President's Program, Monday, June 17, 1:30-4 p.m., in Atlanta during the ALA Annual Conference. The winning titles for 2002 will be introduced by the Task Force and they will announce the establishment of the Alex Awards as an official ALA award, beginning in 2003. The Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust will continue to sponsor the Alex Awards in the coming years. There also will be a celebration to honor the 100th anniversary of Margaret Alexander Edwards' birth.

An annotated list of the Alex Award winners is available on the YALSA  For Members Only Web site, in the April 1 issue of Booklist, and in the 2002 edition of ALA's Guide to Best Reading. The list without annotations will be available April 1 on the YALSA Web site: www.ala.org/yalsa.

For additional information contact the YALSA Office by e-mail at yalsa@ala.org, or by phone at 1-800-545-2433, extension 4390.