Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All about the 2013 Alex Awards

 This past Monday at the Youth Media Awards, the 2013 Alex Awards were announced. The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to teens, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from books published the previous year.

The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

I've been on the Alex Awards for two years and selecting the winners is always a great joy. It also means I read 250+ adult books a year. This year's list is as eclectic as ever. “From madcap adventures to portraits of compelling characters and beautifully illustrated nonfiction titles, this year's list has a book for every teen reader,” said Rachel McDonald, chair of the 2013 Alex Awards Committee.

  • Caring is Creepy" by David Zimmerman: While trying to survive a long boring summer in rural Georgia, Lynn befriends a lonely soldier online.  When they meet face to face, tables are turned as Lynn tries to exert power in her out-of-control life.  Dangerous, amusing, role-bending, and definitely creepy!
  • Girlchild,”by Tupelo Hassman: With only a worn copy of the Girl Scout Handbook for reference, resourceful and tenacious Rory Hendrix must navigate the depressing landscape of a 1970s trailer park where she suffers abuse at the hands of a neighbor and neglect from her mother.
  • Juvenile in Justice" by Richard Ross: Richard Ross' riveting photographs give voices to incarcerated youth in juvenile detention centers across America.

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan: Clay Johnson loses his web-designer job and begins working the night shift in a bookstore with only a few customers.  This marvelous mashup blends mystery, adventure, and romance into a literary and technological tale.
  • My Friend Dahmer” by Derf Backderf: Written by a former classmate of Jeffery Dahmer, this graphic novel illustrates the teenage years of a future serial killer.
  • One Shot at Forever” by Chris Ballard: This remarkable story follows the Macon Ironmen, a team of misfits with a hippie coach, through a recordsetting baseball season.
  • Pure”by Juliana Baggott: In a world destroyed by nuclear detonations, only a privileged few have remained pure. Two teens from different sides of the Dome unite to search for answers to troubling questions about their origins.
  • The Round House” by Louise Erdrich: An attack on 13-year-old Joe's mother near their North Dakota Ojibwe reservation home leads him and his friends on a quest to solve the crime.  This coming-of-age story highlights friendship, family, tradition, and the uneasy relationship between the tribal and white communities.

  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt: June thought she knew everything about her beloved uncle, Finn. After his death from a mysterious new illness called AIDS, his grieving boyfriend delivers Finn's favorite teapot to June's door, and she realizes nothing is what she thought it was: not her family, not her uncle, not even herself.
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple: Through a series of emails, letters, and FBI files, Bee follows the trail of her missing mother to the ends of the earth in this quirky, laugh-out-loud tale.

  • Have you read any of these? What was your favorite? Do you agree with the list?

    1 comment:

    Dawn said...

    I love love love Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (Although I had trouble believing Bee was 15, she seemed more like 12 or 13 to me).

    My Friend Dahmer was creepy...but no surprise there, right?

    I wish I had time to read all of them :(