Alex Awards 2018 Nominees

In addition to the ten winning titles, the Alex Award committee also publishes a vetted list of official nominations. The following titles were official nominees for the 2018 award.

Official Nominations

“Daring to Drive: a Saudi Woman’s Awakening,” by Manal al-Sharif, published by Simon & Schuster (9781476793023). This is the vivid and inspiring memoir of Manal Al-Sharif, a Muslim woman who became an accidental activist by daring to drive while female.

“Beartown,” by Fredrik Backman, published by Atria an imprint of Simon & Schuster (9781501160769). Beartown doesn't have much going for it, except ice hockey. Will the sport save the town from economic ruin or expose its dark underbelly?

“Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism,” by Laura Bates, published by Touchstone an imprint of Simon & Schuster (9781501169199). This empowering survival guide provides no-nonsense advice about sex, social media, mental health, and sexism that young women face in their everyday lives.

“Generations,” by Flavia Biondi, published by Lion Forge (9781941302507). Generations is the story of a young man adrift, trying to reconcile with his family while finding direction for his own life.

“Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey,” by Ila Borders, published by University of Nebraska Press (9780803285309). A woman who played professional baseball, Ila Borders’s unique story is about dreams and achievement but also about the journey to know and accept herself.

“The Indigo Girl,” by Natasha Boyd, published by Blackstone Publishing (9781455137114). Set in 1739 in South Carolina, this is the fascinating chronicle of how Eliza Lucas directed her father’s plantations and learned to make indigo dye.

“Trophy Son,” by Douglas Brunt, published by St. Martin’s Press a division of Macmillan Publishers (9781250114808). Anton Stratis has never known a life without tennis. But greatness comes with sacrifice. Does he have what it takes to be number one?

“The Boy on the Bridge,” by M. R. Carey, published by Orbit an imprint of Hachette Book Group (9780316300339). Also set in the world created in The Girl With All the Gifts, Carey continues to ask readers to question what it means to be human. Plus, zombies.

“And then you're dead: what really happens if you get swallowed by a whale, are shot from a cannon, or go barreling over Niagara,” by Cody Cassidy & Paul Doherty, published by Penguin Random House (9780143108443). A hilarious, gruesome, informative, scientific explanations of many of the world’s most outlandish, interesting, and impossible ways to die.

“The City of Brass,” by S.A. Chakraborty, published by Harper Voyager an imprint of HarperCollins (9780062678102). After accidentally summoning a demon during a fake ritual, Nahri is thrust into a world of magic as she flees for her life.

“The Prey of Gods,” by Nicky Drayden, published by Harper Voyager an imprint of HarperCollins (9780062493033). Newly-sentient robots, accidentally-murderous girl, a teen trying to come out and avoid his circumcision, and a murderous demigoddess hell-bent on getting her power back.

“American War,” by Omar El Akkad, published by Penguin Random House (9780451493583). Only six years old when the Second Civil War breaks out in 2074, Sarat Chestnut grows up shaped by war, destruction, and survival.

“Roanoke girls,” by Amy Engle, published by Crown an imprint of Crown Publishing a division of Penguin Random House (9781101906668). What makes the Roanoke Girls so special? Lane only knows her mother fled the house, vowing never to return.

“My Favorite Thing Is Monsters,” by Emil Ferris, published by Fantagraphics (9781606999592). As mysteries abound in her neighborhood, Karen tries to emulate detectives she loves in her pulp magazines to get to the bottom of it all.

“Setting Free the Kites,” by Alex George, published by Putnam an imprint of Penguin Random House (9780399162107). Robert and Nathan bond to protect one another amongst the trials of life: bullying, the death of loved ones, unfulfilling work, and negligent parents.

“The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter,” by Theodora Goss, published by Saga Press an imprint of Simon & Schuster (9781481466509). While looking into her father’s work, Mary Jekyll finds the daughters of other mad scientists, as well as a darker secret that unites them.

“Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” by David Grann, published by Doubleday an imprint of Penguin Random House (9780385534246). Northern Oklahoma, 1920s: will gruesome realities be kept under lock and key or will J. Edgar Hoover’s new bureau break the mystery of multiple murders on the Osage Reservation?

“Stephen Florida,” by Gabe Habash, published by Coffee House Press (9781566894647). Who is the real winner...wrestling opponents...a murderous professor...or Stephen Florida’s "own shadow?

“All the Dirty Parts,” by Daniel Handler, published by Bloomsbury (9781632868046). Cole sleeps with anyone who will have him, saying the right things to get what he wants and nothing more. And then he meets Grisaille.

“The Book of Polly,” by Kathy Hepinstall, published by Penguin Publishing Group a division of Penguin Random House (9780399562099). Willow navigates first love, school and growing up with a unique and eccentric family.

“The Rules of Magic,” by Alice Hoffman published by Simon & Schuster (9781501137471). In 1960s New York, three witchy siblings must figure out if they must always avoid love, or use it to break the family curse.

“Olive Witch: A Cross-Cultural Memoir,” by Abeer Y. Hoque, published by HarperCollins (9789351777007). Abeer’s memoir sharing her feelings of always being an outsider in a lifetime of new beginnings It is a long road to find her true home.

“Crawl Space,” by Jesse Jacobs, published by Koyama Press (9781927668412). In this psychedelic graphic novel, a group of teens find their escape from suburbia in an alternate reality found through a washing machine.

“The Gilded Cage,” by Vic James, published by Del Rey an imprint of Penguin Random House (9780425284155). As Luke’s family endures forced slavery in the dystopian, futuristic English countryside, will he emerge a patsy, or, instead, a revolutionary?

“Most Dangerous Place On Earth,” by Lindsey Lee Johnson, published by Random House a division of Penguin Random House (9780812997279). After going to school together for most of their lives, these classmates are drawn together and torn apart by a tragedy in their past.

“The Afterlife of Stars,” by Joseph Kertes, published by Little Brown a division of Hachette Book Group (9780316308113). Narrated by the younger of two brothers, this is a fierce saga of identity and love set in Budapest in 1956.

“A Good Country,” by Laleh Khadivi, published by Bloomsbury USA (9781632865847). For Reza Courdee, the search for self takes him from straight-A student to surfer pothead to soldier in the army of a new nation.

“Just Another Jihadi Jane,” by Tabish Khair, published by Interlink Group an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group (9781566560672). A deeply personal story of friendship and faith, devout young women descend into the depths of radicalization.

“Gwendy’s Button Box,” by Stephen King, published by Cemetery Dance Publications (9781587676109). Fans of Stephen King and beyond won’t be disappointed in this chilling story about Gwendy and the temptation of her mysterious button box.

“Wicked Wonders,” by Ellen Klages, published by Tachyon Publishing (9781616962616). Secret passages, clever girls, magic where you least expect it—the world of each of these short stories defies expectations and presents unimagined possibilities.

“Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D,” by David Kushner and Koren Shadmi, published by Nation Books an imprint of Public Affairs a division of Hachette Book Group (9781568585598). A captivating comic book chronicles the development of Dungeons and Dragons, arguably one of the most influential pieces of culture of the last 50 years.

“Six wakes,” by Mur Lafferty, published by Orbit a division of Hachette Book Group (9780316389686). Six people have all been murdered. The only ones who can solve the mystery are those same six people, reborn as clones.

“Good Me Bad Me,” by Ali Land, published by Flatiron Books an imprint of Macmillan Publishers (9781250087645). Milla’s mother is a serial killer. Will Milla start a new life with her foster family, or will she forever be her mother’s daughter?

“Real American,” by Julie Lythcott-Haims, published by Henry Holt and Co. an imprint of Macmillan Publishers (9781250137746). The author uses her experiences with micro (and macro) aggressions to educate readers and to provide ways for others to respond in similar situations.

“Weave a Circle Round,” by Kari Maaren, published by Tor an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group (9780765386281). Something’s very different about the new neighbors. Freddy’s not sure what, exactly, but she’ll soon find out. Now, how does she get home?

“Bugged, The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them,” by David MacNeal, published by St. Martin’s Press a division of Macmillan Publishers (9781250095503). Journalist David MacNeal takes readers on an offbeat scientific journey to explore the world of bugs and human relationships with them.

“One of the boys,” by Daniel Magariel, published by Scribner an imprint of Simon & Schuster (9781501156168). Two brothers struggle to reconcile their survival instincts with their fierce loyalty for their increasingly erratic father.

“Body Music,” by Julie Maroh, published by Arsenal Pulp Press (9781551526928). A beautiful and intimate exploration of love, particularly LGBTQ+ romance, this title shows all the complex raw joys and pain of falling in love.

“All Our Wrong Todays,” by Elan Mastai, published by Dutton Books an imprint of Penguin Random House (9781101985137). Tom has spent his whole life underachieving. But time travel will change all that.

“Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances,” by Leland Melvin, published by Amistad an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (9780062496720). Pro football player, scientist, astronaut: Leland Melvin's path into space was full of detours and obstacles but also achievements and adventure.

“The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History,” by Hope Nicholson, published by Quirk Books (9781594749483). Meet the famous, obscure, sometimes odd but always intriguing women characters of comics. Told with humor and intelligence, Nicholson's history combines insight and entertainment.

“The Fall of Lisa Bellow,” by Susan Perabo, published by Simon & Schuster (9781476761466). The masked man only kidnapped Lisa, and Claire is left behind imagining what is happening to her.

“Trust No Aunty,” by Maria Qamar, published Simon & Schuster (9781501154737). Teens will laugh out loud at this beautifully compiled book of anecdotes, scenarios, recipes, tips, and more, all from the Desi culture.

“If We Were Villains,” by M.L. Rio, published by Flatiron Books an imprint of Macmillan Publishers (9781250095282). When one of seven students at an elite Shakespeare conservatory is brutally murdered, everyone is a suspect and everyone is culpable.

“The Collapsing Empire,” by John Scalzi, published by Tor an imprint of Tom Doherty Associate (9780765388889). The Interdependency is crumbling. Warring guild families jockey for power as planets struggle for survival in this fast-paced space opera simmering with intrigue.

“Skullsworn,” by Brian Staveley, published by Tor an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates (9780765389879). Can a killer truly love? Assassin-priestess Pyrre Lakatur ignites a revolution and battles legendary creatures while plumbing the depths of her own heart.

“Shadow of the Lions,” by Christopher Swann, published by Algonquin Books (9781616205003). A novelist returns to his prep school alma mater as an English teacher and attempts to solve the mystery of the fate of his best friend and roommate from 10 years before.

“My Brother's Husband vol 1,” by Gengoroh Tagamet, published by Pantheon Graphic Novels, an imprint of Penguin Random House (9781101871515). Yaichi was estranged from his twin brother Ryoji when Riyoji died. Now Riyoji’s Canadian husband has shown up on his doorstep in Japan.

“Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History,” by Lori Telfer, published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (9780062433732). Bloody, shocking, with a heavy amount of poison, this well-researched book debunks myths and looks at the oft-neglected history of female serial killers.

“Sing, Unburied, Sing,” by Jesmyn Ward, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (9781501126062). The story of three generations of a Mississippi family shaped by racism, poverty, love, incarceration, and magic.

“Gizelle’s Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog,” by Lauren Fern Watt, published by Simon & Schuster (9781501123658). Gizelle, an English Mastiff, is Lauren's best friend and support in the sometimes confusing adventure of growing up and finding one's place in the world.

“Artemis,” by Andy Weir, published by Crown, an imprint of Crown Publishing a division of Penguin Random House (9780553448122). Poor on the moon, Jazz takes an extra-shady job to make the money she’s always dreamed of. And then things start to go bad. Fast.

“The Gringo Champion,” by Aura Xilonen, published by Europa Editions (9781609453657). Told in a raw, poetic prose and alternating between past and present, Liborio shares his incredible story of migration from Mexico to the United States.