YALSA announces 2021 Alex Awards

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/25/2021


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



CHICAGO – 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 2021 Alex Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and Booklist, were announced today during the American Library Association’s ALA Midwinter Virtual, held Jan. 22 - 26. 

The 2021 Alex Award winners are:

  • “Black Sun,” by Rebecca Roanhorse, published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781534437678) 
  • “The House in the Cerulean Sea,” by TJ Klune, published by Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan (ISBN 9781250217288) 
  • “The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone” by Colin O’Brady, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982133115 )   
  • “Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio,” by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams Comicarts (ISBN 9781419734847)
  • “The Kids Are Gonna Ask,” by Gretchen Anthony, published by Park Row Books, an imprint of Harlequin, a division of HarperCollins Publishers (ISBN 9780778308744) 
  • “The Only Good Indians,” by Stephen Graham Jones, published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982136451)  
  • “Plain Bad Heroines,” by emily m. danforth, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins (ISBN 9780062942852) 
  • "Riot Baby," by Tochi Onyebuchi, published by Tordotcom, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan (ISBN 9781250214751) 
  • “Solutions and Other Problems,” by Allie Brosh, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781982156947)  
  • “We Ride Upon Sticks:  A Novel,” by Quan Barry, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House (ISBN 9781524748098) 

“We have selected a strong list of titles, with a little something for every kind of teen reader, from horror to real-life adventure,” said 2021 Alex Awards Committee Chair Karen Perry.

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 2021 Alex Awards Committee are: Chair Karen Perry, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia; Deanie Adams, Chicago Public Library, Chicago; Kristen Tippett Briggs, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, Florence, Alabama; Claire Covington, Broadway High School, Broadway, Virginia; Rose Garrett, BA Librarian, Atlanta, Georgia; Jenna Griffith, Marion High School Library, Marion, Illinois; Abby Harrison, Greenhill School, Dallas, Texas; Pam Spencer Holley, retired, Hallwood, Virginia; and Shannon Schilling, Delaware County District Library, Westerville, Ohio; and Administrative Assistant Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, Alberta.

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.