Alex Awards

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. The titles were selected by the YALSA Adult Books for Young Adults Task Force from the previous year's publishing and were part of the Adult Books for Young Adults Project, which explored the role of adult books in the reading lives of teenagers and was funded by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust. Edwards was a young adult specialist 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 librarians who serve young adults. With the approval of the Trust, the task force appointed to develop and implement the project named the awards the Alex Awards after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

The task force decided to select ten titles annually, and also decided to select a top ten list rather than a single title or a long list because of the popularity of the concept and because it parallels the Top Ten titles selected by the Best Books for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committees. The task force members also believed that selecting more than one book provided a greater variety of titles, whereas a longer list would be less selective than desired. A top ten list also allows for a more balanced list—fiction and nonfiction, as well as various genres. The task force also wanted to make diversity a priority in the lists.

In 2002 the Alex Awards were approved as an official ALA award, and the Task Force was superseded by the Alex Awards Committee.

The major sponsor of the Alex Awards continues to be the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust. Booklist is also a sponsor.

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) logo
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
2020 Alex Award Winners2020 - Winner
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes AfterThe Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After2019 - Selection
The Black God’s DrumsThe Black God’s Drums2019 - Selection
The Book of EssieThe Book of Essie2019 - Selection
CirceCirce2019 - Selection
Educated: A MemoirEducated: A Memoir2019 - Selection
Lawn BoyLawn Boy2019 - Selection
GreenGreen2019 - Selection
Home After DarkHome After Dark2019 - Selection
How Long ’Til Black Future Month?How Long ’Til Black Future Month?2019 - Selection
Spinning SilverSpinning Silver2019 - Selection
Fleming, Melissahope more powerful than the sea2018 - Selection
Wells, MarthaAll systems red2018 - Selection
Wilson, Daniel H.The Clockwork Dynasty2018 - Selection
McGuire, Seanandown among the sticks and bones2018 - Selection
Ewing, Eve L.Electric Arches2018 - Selection
Comeau, Joeymalagash2018 - Selection
Harper, JordanShe Rides Shotgun2018 - Selection
Kavanagh, TashaThings We Have in Common2018 - Selection
An Unkindness of MagiciansAn Unkindness of Magicians2018 - Selection
Lemire, JeffRoughneck2018 - Selection
ArenaArena2017 - Selection
The Queen of BloodThe Queen of Blood2017 - Selection
In the Country We Love: My Family DividedIn the Country We Love: My Family Divided2017 - Selection
Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully LoadedBuffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded2017 - Selection
The Regional Office is Under Attack!The Regional Office is Under Attack!2017 - Selection
Every Heart a DoorwayEvery Heart a Doorway2017 - Selection
Die Young with Me: A MemoirDie Young with Me: A Memoir2017 - Selection
The Wasp that Brainwashed the CaterpillarThe Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar2017 - Selection
The Invisible Life of Ivan IsaenkoThe Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko2017 - Selection
Romeo and/or Juliet: A Choosable-Path AdventureRomeo and/or Juliet: A Choosable-Path Adventure2017 - Selection
Girl at WarSara Nović2016 - Winner
All InvolvedRyan Gattis2016 - Winner
Between the World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates2016 - Winner
Bones & AllCamille DeAngelis2016 - Winner
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits David Wong2016 - Winner
Humans of New York: StoriesBrandon Stanton2016 - Winner
Half the WorldJoe Abercrombie2016 - Winner
Sacred HeartLiz Suburbia2016 - Winner
Undocumented Dan-el Padilla Peralta 2016 - Winner
The Unraveling of Mercy LouisKeija Parssinen2016 - Winner
Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You2015 - Selection
All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See2015 - Selection
Bellweather RhapsodyBellweather Rhapsody2015 - Selection
Bingo’s RunBingo’s Run2015 - Selection
ConfessionsConfessions2015 - Selection
Lock InLock In2015 - Selection
Those Who Wish Me DeadThose Who Wish Me Dead2015 - Selection
Wolf in White VanWolf in White Van2015 - Selection
The MartianThe Martian2015 - Selection
The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of ChoiceThe Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice2015 - Selection
Lexicon: A NovelLexicon2014 - Selection
The Death of BeesThe Death of Bees2014 - Selection
Golden Boy: A NovelGolden Boy2014 - Selection
Help for the HauntedHelp for the Haunted2014 - Selection
Slouka, MarkBrewster2014 - Selection
Lives of TaoLives of Tao2014 - Selection
Mother, Mother: A NovelMother Mother2014 - Selection
RelishRelish2014 - Selection
The Sea of Tranquility: A NovelThe Sea of Tranquility2014 - Selection
The Universe Versus Alex WoodsThe Universe Versus Alex Woods2014 - Selection
Caring is CreepyCaring is Creepy2013 - Selection
GirlchildGirlchild2013 - Selection
Juvenile in JusticeJuvenile in Justice2013 - Selection
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour BookstoreMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore2013 - Selection
My Friend DahmerMy Friend Dahmer2013 - Selection
One Shot at ForeverOne Shot at Forever2013 - Selection
PurePure2013 - Selection
The Round HouseThe Round House2013 - Selection
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?Where’d You Go, Bernadette2013 - Selection
Tell the Wolves I’m HomeTell the Wolves I’m Home2013 - Selection
DeWoskin, RachelBig Girl Small2012 - Winner
Morgenstern, ErinThe Night Circus2012 - Selection
Beard, Jo AnnIn Zanesville2012 - Selection
Levithan, DavidThe Lover's Dictionary2012 - Selection
Hauser, BrookeThe New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens2012 - Selection
Wilson, Daniel H.Robopocalypse: A Novel2012 - Selection
Cline, ErnestReady Player One2012 - Selection
Preston, CarolineThe Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures2012 - Selection
Merullo, RolandThe Talk-Funny Girl2012 - Selection
Ward, JesmynSalvage the Bones2012 - Selection
Grant, HelenThe Vanishing of Katharina Linden2011 - Selection
Bender, AimeeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake2011 - Selection
Bognanni, PeterThe House of Tomorrow2011 - Selection
Donoghue, EmmaRoom: A Novel2011 - Selection
Bell, AldenThe Reapers Are the Angels2011 - Selection
Hamilton, SteveThe Lock Artist2011 - Selection
Murray, LizBreaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard2011 - Selection
Pierson, D.C.The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To2011 - Selection
The RadleysThe Radleys2011 - Selection
Kwok, JeanGirl in Translation2011 - Selection
Welch, LizThe Kid's Are All Right: A Memoir2010 - Selection
Rosoff, MegThe Bride's Farewell2010 - Selection
Currie, Jr., RonEverything Matters!2010 - Selection
Finkel, DavidThe Good Soldiers2010 - Selection
Welch, DianaThe Kid's Are All Right: A Memoir2010 - Selection
Welch, DanThe Kid's Are All Right: A Memoir2010 - Selection
Rock, PeterMy Abandonment2010 - Selection
Welch, AmandaThe Kid's Are All Right: A Memoir2010 - Selection
Grossman, LevThe Magicians2010 - Selection
Carriger, GailSoulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel2010 - Selection
Small, DavidStitches: A Memoir2010 - Selection
Wilson, KevinTunneling to the Center of the Earth2010 - Selection
Kamkwamba, WilliamThe Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope2010 - Selection
Bloom, Stephen G.The Oxford Project2009 - Selection
Barlow, TobySharp Teeth2009 - Selection
Feldstein, PeterThe Oxford Project2009 - Selection
Jordan, HillaryMudbound2009 - Selection
Tucker, ToddOver and Under2009 - Selection
Benioff, DavidCity of Thieves2009 - Selection
Swanwick, MichaelThe Dragons of Babel2009 - Selection
Ferraris, ZoëFinding Nouf2009 - Selection
Tinti, HannahThe Good Thief2009 - Selection
King, StephenJust After Sunset: Stories2009 - Selection
Rebeck, TheresaThree Girls and Their Brother2009 - Selection
Polly, MatthewAmerican Shaolin2008 - Selection
Rothfuss, PatrickThe Name of the Wind2008 - Selection
Lemire, JeffTales from the Farm: Essex County, v.1.2008 - Selection
Maltman, ThomasThe Night Birds2008 - Selection
Lutz, LisaThe Spellman Files2008 - Selection
Jones, LloydMister Pip2008 - Selection
Beah, IshmaelA Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier2008 - Selection
Ruff, MattBad Monkeys2008 - Selection
Kyle, ArynThe God of Animals2008 - Selection
Iggulden, ConnGenghis: Birth of an Empire2008 - Selection
Setterfield, DianeThe Thirteenth Tale2007 - Selection
Rash, RonThe World Made Straight2007 - Selection
Mitchell, DavidBlack Swan Green2007 - Selection
Lewis, MichaelThe Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.2007 - Selection
Joern, Pamela CarterThe Floor of the Sky2007 - Selection
Hamamura, JohnColor of the Sea2007 - Selection
Gruen, SaraWater for Elephants2007 - Selection
D'Orso, MichaelEagle Blue2007 - Selection
Doig, IvanThe Whistling Season2007 - Selection
Connolly, JohnThe Book of Lost Things2007 - Selection
Palwick, SusanThe Necessary Beggar2006 - Selection
Walls, JeannetteThe Glass Castle: A Memoir2006 - Selection
Scheeres, JuliaJesus Land: A Memoir2006 - Selection
Rawles, NancyMy Jim2006 - Selection
Buckhanon, KalishaUpstate2006 - Selection
Martinez, A. LeeGil's All Fright Diner2006 - Selection
Galloway, GregoryAs Simple As Snow2006 - Selection
Gaiman, NeilAnansi Boys2006 - Selection
Bates, Judy FongMidnight at the Dragon Café2006 - Selection
Ishiguro, KazuoNever Let Me Go2006 - Selection
Picoult, JodiMy Sister's Keeper2005 - Selection
Sullivan, RobertRats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants2005 - Selection
Reed, KitThinner Than Thou2005 - Selection
Shepard, JimProject X2005 - Selection
Patchett, AnnTruth & Beauty: A Friendship2005 - Selection
Meyers, KentWork of Wolves2005 - Selection
Kurson, RobertShadow Divers2005 - Selection
Halpin, BrendanDonorboy2005 - Selection
Cox, LynnSwimming to Antarctica2005 - Selection
Almond, SteveCandyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America2005 - Selection
Davis, AmandaWonder When You'll Miss Me2004 - Selection
Haddon, MarkThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.2004 - Selection
Hosseini, KhaledThe Kite Runner2004 - Selection
Niffenegger, AudreyThe Time Traveler's Wife2004 - Selection
Packer, Z.ZDrinking Coffee Elsewhere2004 - Selection
Roach, MaryStiff2004 - Selection
Salzman, MarkTrue Notebooks2004 - Selection
Satrapi, MarjanePersepolis2004 - Selection
Winspear, JacquelineMaisie Dobbs2004 - Selection
Yates, BartLeave Myself Behind2004 - Selection
Barry, LyndaOne Hundred Demons2003 - Selection
Packer, AnnThe Dive from Clausen's Pier2003 - Selection
Conroy, PatMy Losing Season2003 - Selection
Weisberg, Joseph10th Grade2003 - Selection
Southgate, MarthaThe Fall of Rome2003 - Selection
Lawson, MaryCrow Lake2003 - Selection
Otsuka, JulieWhen the Emperor Was Divine2003 - Selection
Ferris, TimothySeeing in the Dark2003 - Selection
Fforde, JasperThe Eyre Affair2003 - Selection
Malloy, BrianThe Year of Ice2003 - Selection
Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting SelfBlack, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self2002 - Selection
MotherlandMotherland2002 - Selection
The RoverThe Rover2002 - Selection
Kit's LawKit's Law2002 - Selection
The Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa's WildlifeThe Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa's Wildlife2002 - Selection
Peace like a RiverPeace like a River2002 - Selection
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in Boom-Time AmericaNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in Boom-Time America2002 - Selection
Gabriel's StoryGabriel's Story2002 - Selection
Doyle, WilliamAn American Insurrection: The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 19622002 - Selection
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the PlagueYear of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague2002 - Selection
Watt, AlanDiamond Dogs2001 - Selection
Sherwood, BenThe Man Who Ate the 7472001 - Selection
Philbrick, NathanielIn the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.2001 - Selection
Strauss, DarinChang and Eng2001 - Selection
Jordan, JuneSoldier: A Poet's Childhood.2001 - Selection
Bradley, JamesFlags of Our Fathers2001 - Selection
Colton, LarryCounting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn2001 - Selection
Marillier, JulietDaughter of the Forest2001 - Selection
Powers, RonFlags of Our Fathers2001 - Selection
Bradshaw, GillianThe Sand-Reckoner2001 - Selection
Chevalier, TracyThe Girl with a Pearl Earring2001 - Selection
Gaiman, NeilStardust2000 - Selection
Haruf, KentPlainsong2000 - Selection
Greenlaw, LindaThe Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey2000 - Selection
Porter, ConnieImani All Mine2000 - Selection
Fuqua, Jonathon ScottThe Reappearance of Sam Webber2000 - Selection
Codell, Esmé RajiEducating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year2000 - Selection
Clarke, BreenaRiver, Cross My Heart2000 - Selection
Card, Orson ScottEnder's Shadow2000 - Selection
Breashears, DavidHigh Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places.2000 - Selection
Hart, Elva TrevinoBarefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child.2000 - Selection
Alexander, CarolineThe Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition1999 - Selection
Boylan, James FinneyGetting In1999 - Selection
Dominick, AndieNeedles1999 - Selection
Gilstrap, JohnAt All Costs1999 - Selection
Kercheval, Jesse LeeSpace1999 - Selection
Kluger, SteveLast Days of Summer1999 - Selection
Silverberg, RobertLegends: Stories by the Masters of Modern Fantasy1999 - Selection
Robinson, Kim StanleyAntarctica1999 - Selection
Santiago, EsmeraldaAlmost a Woman1999 - Selection
CaucasiaCaucasia1999 - Selection
Cook, KarinWhat Girls Learn1998 - Selection
Hamill, PeteSnow in August1998 - Selection
Bodanis, DavidThe Secret Family: Twenty-four Hours inside the Mysterious Worlds of Our Minds and Bodies1998 - Selection
Bragg, RickAll Over but the Shoutin'1998 - Selection
Willis, ConnieTo Say Nothing of the Dog; or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last1998 - Selection
Trice, Dawn TurnerOnly Twice I've Wished for Heaven1998 - Selection
Thomas, Velma MaiaLest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation1998 - Selection
Krakauer, JonInto Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster1998 - Selection
Carroll, RebeccaSugar in the Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America1998 - Selection
Sebastian, JungerThe Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men against the Sea1998 - Selection