- “Brewster” by Mark Slouka, published by W.W. Norton & Company (ISBN # 9780393239751)
Feeling stifled and powerless, high school friends Ray Cappicciano and Jon Mosher yearn for change and plan for freedom from their blue-collar town and dysfunctional homes, even while knowing they can never truly escape.
- “The Death of Bees” by Lisa O’Donnell, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (ISBN # 9780062209849)
With their parents dead and buried in the backyard, Scottish teens Marnie and Nelly are finally free from a childhood wracked with abuse. If only the neighbor’s dog would quit digging in the garden.
- “Golden boy: a novel” by Abigail Tarttelin, published by ATRIA Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (ISBN # 9781476705804)
Max, an intersex teen, is confused about who he is and who he is meant to be. After one shattering night, he is faced with a choice that no boy should ever have to make.
- “Help for the Haunted” by John Searles, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (ISBN #9780060779634)
Sylvie has been dealing with taunting classmates, her erratic older sister and the unsolved murder of her ghost-hunting parents. But perhaps more problematic are the cursed remnants of her parents’ work still lingering in the basement.
- “Lexicon: a novel” by Max Barry, published by The Penguin Group, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (ISBN # 9781594205385)
In this fast-paced, cutthroat story, words are weapons and poets are the ones who wield the swords. Teen prodigy Emily may be the finest poet ever until she makes the catastrophic mistake of falling in love.
- “Lives of Tao” by Wesley Chu, published by Angry Robot, a member of the Osprey Group (ISBN # 9780857663290)
Couch potato Roen Tan becomes host to the alien Tao who has lived millennia inside some of the most famous people in history. With Tao on board, Roen enters a war to save mankind.
- “Mother, mother: a novel” by Koren Zailckas, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. (ISBN # 9780385347235)
Why did Rose run away? Did Violet really stab her little brother? Is her alcoholic father really having an affair? In this chilling novel about family dysfunction, does mother really know best?
- “Relish” by Lucy Knisley, published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership (ISBN # 9781596436237)
This poignant graphic novel is a wonderful journey of cartoonist Lucy Knisley’s transition from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, framed by the food that shaped her worldview. Through colorful vignettes she tackles complex issues with humor and unique family recipes.
- “The Sea of Tranquility: a novel” by Katja Millay, published by ATRIA Paperback, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (ISBN # 9781476730943)
Nastya has barely survived a brutal attack. Josh has lost his entire family. The two isolated teens are drawn together as they deal with their emotional and physical damage.
- “The Universe Versus Alex Woods” by Gavin Extence, published by Redhook Books, an imprint of Orbit, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (ISBN # 978031624657)
It all begins when Alex is hit in the head by a meteorite and it all ends when he is arrested trying to re-enter England with several grams of marijuana, lots of cash, and the ashes of Mr. Peterson.
“The 2014 Alex Awards has a book for every teen reader. From dysfunctional families to alien-inhabited brains to a savory graphic memoir, this diverse list will not disappoint,” said Danielle Dreger-Babbitt, chair of the 2014 Alex Awards Committee.
Chair Danielle Dreger-Babbitt, Sno-Isle Library Mill Creek (Wash.) Library; Joni Richards Bodart, San Jose (Calif.) State University SLIS; Paige Battle, Grant High School, Portland, Ore.; Angela Craig, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, N.C.; Summer Hayes, King County Library System, Tukwila, Wash.; Kim Herrington, Pearland (Texas) Junior High West; Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas SLIS, Garland, Texas; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minn.; Melissa T. Smith, Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, Forest Hills, N.Y.; Award Administrative Assistant Kathleen Fernandes, Lake Forest Park, Wash.; and Ann Kelley, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.