I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Resource Alert: The Alex Awards

One of my favorite awards to use to help adults find a compelling and yet still thought provoking reads is the Alex Awards.

Okay, some of you are already confused because you are asking, "Becky, isn't the Alex Award given to adult books that are great options for teens?" And you are correct, but just because the list is meant to be for teen patrons doesn't mean you are forbidden from using the list to assist adult readers, I mean they are adult market titles.

I love using the Alex Awards as a "sure bet" option for adults who are not stuck on a specific genre and simply want compelling, original, and thought provoking reads. In other words quick reads that aren't just typical, adrenaline titles [thrillers, suspense, etc...]. Titles that are for adults, have some complexity and yet will still move briskly. You would be surprised how hard these are to find, and this difficulty is exacerbated when, as often occurs, these adult readers are in a hurry and need something for a trip that is immediately impending.

This is what the Alex Award titles are a sure bet options for adults who want a "good read" and can't really tell you much more. Add in the fact that these titles embrace the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, encompassing many genres and #ownvoices titles and come with wonderful annotations for each title, written but the committee to make it even easier for you to hand-sell all titles to any reader.

Below is the current annotated list and the link to all previous lists too [because current titles may not be immediately available, but the backlist ones will be, and they work just as well].

2020 Winners    

View the 2020 official nominations!

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, By C. A. Fletcher. Published by Orbit, a division of Hachette Group. In a dystopian future, where the world’s population is believed to be only in the thousands, Griz lives on an isolated island. When a charismatic stranger arrives and absconds with one of the family’s beloved dogs, the 16-year-old embarks on a quest to get her back.
Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, By Temi Oh. Published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Inc.  A crew of 10 astronauts, 6 of whom are teens, set off on a 23-year journey to begin settling an uninhabited planet known as Terra-Two. This character-driven sci-fi novel will draw teens into its orbit with interpersonal conflict.
Dominicana, By Angie Cruz. Published by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. In 1965, 15-year-old Ana Cancion leaves the Dominican Republic married to a man twice her age and eventually discovers her own voice in Washington Heights, New York. Though historical fiction, this powerful immigrant story is increasingly relevant today.
Gender Queer: A Memoir, By Maia Kobabe. Published by Lion Forge, an imprint of Oni Press. Kobabe’s path to understanding eir gender and sexuality comes into beautiful focus in this graphic memoir, expressively illustrated with retro colors and simple lines. Readers will recognize a kindred spirit in Kobabe and/or gain insight into what it’s like to identify outside of the cisgender/heterosexual "norm."
High School, By Sara Quin and Tegan Quin. Published by MCD, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and imprint of Macmillan Publishers. Critically acclaimed indie rock duo Tegan and Sara Quin lay bare their teenage experiences, the oscillating euphoria and scintillation of first love, the jarring process of finding one's identity, and early forays into making music in this gorgeous dual memoir.
In Waves, By AJ Dungo. Published by Nobrow. In this beautiful graphic memoir, perfectly cast in muted beach tones, Dungo interweaves his story of first love with his girlfriend’s passion for surfing, her heroism in the face of cancer, and a primer on the history of surfing. 
Middlegame, By Seanan McGuire. Published by Tor.com Publishing, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan. Roger and Dodger are twins, created in a lab in order to bestow their creator with the power to shape reality—but only if they don’t figure out how to manifest that power for themselves first.
The Nickel Boys, By Colson Whitehead. Published by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Idealistic Elwood and cynical Turner form an unlikely bond at Nickel Academy, a corrupt 1960s reform school, as they endure the abuse meted out by the sadistic warden. Their heart-wrenching story of physical and mental survival is based on the real-life experiences of children at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.
Red, White & Royal Blue, By Casey McQuiston. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, a division of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. In this quirky political rom-com, First Son Alex fakes a friendship with longtime rival Prince Henry of Britain when an incendiary photo of them is leaked to the tabloids. A genuine romance blossoms between the two, but it must be kept secret for the sake of Alex’s mother’s presidential reelection campaign. 
The Swallows, By Lisa Lutz. Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. The arrival of a new teacher with a complicated past ignites a student rebellion against Stonebridge Academy’s misogynistic culture, which has gone unchecked for years.

No comments: