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The Alex Awards: Call for Field Suggestions

We’ve all been there: reading YA book after YA book trying to find the hottest and most exciting to share with our teens. But sometimes teens want to read adult books, and be honest: sometimes, so do you. That’s where the Alex Awards, the list of adult books for teen readers, comes in. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Room by Emma Donoghue, Stitches by David Small — I’ve shared these and many other Alex winners with teens in my library, and we’ve raved about them together.

What makes a book an Alex Award winner? It must be a book written for adults that has special appeal to young adults. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will have a teen protagonist (though several Alex winners feature teens as main characters), nor appeal to all teens, but the book should be one that teen readers will somehow connect with, and hopefully one that will stay with them long after they’ve closed it.

This year’s Alex Awards Committee will choose 10 titles published in 2012 for our list. If you or your teens have read a book you think belongs on the list, please suggest it. Though our committee members are scouring reviews, journals, and blogs for books we feel have teen appeal, we don’t want to miss anything! And if you’re attending ALA Annual, please stop by the 2012 Alex Awards program on Sunday, June 24th from 10:30am to 12:00pm in Anaheim Convention Center room 204A, where last year’s Alex Awards will be highlighted in a panel presentation. Winning authors Ernest Cline (Ready Player One), Rachel DeWoskin (Big Girl Small), Brooke Hauser (The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens), and Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) will speak about their books.

The Alex Award is given to the top 10 adult books that appeal to young adults, and is administered by YALSA and sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust.

— Rachel McDonald has been active in YALSA for 8 years and is currently the chair of the Alex Awards Committee. She also plays roller derby under the alias “Di Brarian.” She is currently reading Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

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