For immediate release | January 11, 2016

YALSA announces 2016 Alex Awards

BOSTON – 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 2016 Alex Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and Booklist, were announced today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Boston, Jan. 8-12.

The 2016 Alex Award winners are:

  • “All Involved” by Ryan Gattis, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (ISBN: 9780062378798). Los Angeles, 1992: in the chaos of a rioting city, between settling scores and surviving another day, 18 young men and women—gangbangers, a nurse, an artist, a dreamer—give intense and sometimes brutal voice to their complex human experiences.
  • “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC (ISBN: 9780812993547). Coates writes to his 15-year-old son about the inborn hazards of being black in America and his own intellectual, political and emotional confrontation with the need to live fully, even in the face of racialist culture.
  • “Bones & All” by Camille DeAngelis, published by St. Martin’s Press (ISBN: 9781250046505). Sixteen-year-old Maren literally eats the ones who love her, bones and all. When her mother abandons her, Maren sets out to find the father she has never met, hoping he can help her understand why she is a monster.
  • “Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits” by David Wong, published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press (ISBN: 9781250040190). Zoey never had much ambition beyond being a barista, but when her father leaves her in control of the lawless city of Tabla Ra$a, she goes from steaming milk to slaying supervillains.
  • “Girl at War” by Sara Nović, published by Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC (ISBN: 9780812996340). Ana's early life was ravaged by the 1991 Balkan wars. Now a college student, Ana relives her war and its consequences as she unravels the mystery of herself and the meaning of home.
  • “Half the World” by Joe Abercrombie, published by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company (ISBN: 9780804178426). A bloodthirsty girl and a reluctant warrior are recruited by a cunning minister for a mission that will either save or doom their kingdom.
  • “Humans of New York: Stories” by Brandon Stanton, published by St. Martin’s Press (ISBN: 9781250058904). In pictures and interviews that captivate, puzzle and reveal, photojournalist Brandon Stanton collects an immeasurable range of human emotions and perspectives. The photos draw us in and their subjects’ words leave us wondering and cheering at the variety of humanity.
  • “Sacred Heart” by Liz Suburbia, published by Fantagraphics Books Inc. (ISBN: 9781606998410). Adults have disappeared, and Ben Schiller is trying to keep things together until their return in this unsettling graphic novel. A series of mysterious deaths may be a sign of impending doom for Alexandria’s troubled kids.
  • “Undocumented”: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC (ISBN: 9781594206528). Overstaying his visa in the U.S. before he was in kindergarten, Padilla Peralta joined other young DREAM Act scholars to erase his illegal status. His humor, wisdom, success and very American boyhood smash anti-immigration stereotypes.
  • “The Unraveling of Mercy Louis” by Keija Parssinen, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (ISBN: 9780062319098) Mercy, a high school basketball star, lives under the thumb of her grandmother, a fierce believer in Y2K as the apocalypse. The year 1999 alters Mercy’s life in a small Texas refinery town and gives her a future beyond it.

"A girl soldier, a cannibal, a basketball star, a warrior, an undocumented student; worlds of fantasy, the urban metropolis, small towns, techno landscapes: when librarians are searching for something for everyone, they need look no further than the 2016 Alex Awards," said Angela Craig, chair of the 2016 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

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 2016 Alex Awards Committee are: Chair Angela Craig, Charlotte (N.C.) Mecklenburg Library; Karen Brooks, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Mara Cota, San Mateo County (Calif.) Library; Kathleen Fernandes, Seattle; Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Portland, Maine; Summer Hayes, Seattle Public Library; Kenneth Petrilli, New Rochelle (N.Y.) Public Library; Kristen Thorp, Anythink Libraries, Thornton, Colo.; Joy Worland, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, Vt.; Award Administrative Assistant Kara Hunter, Charlotte (N.C.) Mecklenburg Library; Booklist Consultant, Julia Smith, Associate Editor, Books for Youth, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

For information on the Alex Awards and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit



Macey Morales

Deputy Director

American Library Association

Public Awareness Office

312 280 4393