Bates, Judy Fong.
Midnight at the Dragon Café. Counterpoint, $14 (1582431892)
After leaving China with her mother, Su-Jen enjoys her comfortable new life in Canada, but dark secrets threaten her family’s stability.
Upstate. St Martins,$19.95 (0312332688)
Teens Antonio and Natasha try to keep their love alive through letters after he goes to prison. As Natasha excels in school, Antonio frights for survival.
Anansi Boys. William Morrow & Company, $26.95 (006051518x)
After Fat Charlie Nancy’s father drops dead on a karaoke stage, Charlie meets Spider, a brother he never knew he had and isn’t sure he wants.
As Simple As Snow. Putnam, $23.95 (0399152318)
After his girlfriend mysteriously disappears, high-school student Cayne looks for clues in Anna’s cryptic behavior during their five months together.
Never Let Me Go. Alfred A. Knopf, $24 (1400043395)
There’s a dark secret at the Hailsham School, where the students live in carefully planned, idyllic isolation, ignorant of the future that’s been planned for them.
Martinez, A. Lee.
Gil’s All Fright Diner. Tor, $12.95 (
In this gruesome and wacky tale, can two travelers (one vampire, one werewolf) save a roadside diner, besieged by zombies and ghouls, from dark forces and find true love?
The Necessary Beggar. Tor, $ 24.95 (076531097x)
A young merchant accused of murder and his family are banished from their otherworld home to begin a strange life of exile in an internment camp in the Nevada desert.
My Jim. Crown, $19.95 (1400054001)
Sadie Watson’s love and courage carry through the cruelties of slavery into life as a free woman.
Jesus Land: A Memoir. Counterpoint, $23 (152433380)
Scheere’s unflinching memoir chronicles life in rural Indiana with her disciplinarian father, fundamentalist mother, and adopted African American brothers. Each child finds a way to survive, with very different endings.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir. Scribner, $25 (0743247531)
This empowering memoir recounts the strength and creativity of the Walls children as they overcome the poverty and social challenges their parents brought upon them.
The 2006 Alex Awards Committee: Chair, Ann C. Theis, Chesterfield County Public Library, VA; Teresa A. Beck, Sno-Isle Libraries, WA; Priscille M. Dando, Robert E. Lee High School, VA; Jennifer Jung Gallant, Elyria Public Library, OH; Holly B. Koelling, Bothell Regional Library, WA; Ellen Loughran, Brooklyn, NY; Charlynn M. Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI; Judy Sasges, Sno-Isle Libraries, WA; John Sexton, Ashland Branch Library, WA; and Gilllian Engberg, Booklist Consultant, IL. Administrative Assistant: John Sexton, Ashland Branch Library, WA.