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YALSA's Alex Awards

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year's publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.
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. Her work is described in her book Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called Alex by her friends.

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      Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

      by Temi Oh

      Nov 2019

      Paperbacks High

      2020 Top 10 Winner
      Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
      Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
      Can a dream sustain a lifetime?


      A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day, humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race. And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives. It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.

      In Waves

      by AJ Dungo

      Oct 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      2020 Top 10 Winner
      In this visually arresting graphic novel, surfer and illustrator AJ Dungo remembers his late partner, her battle with cancer, and their shared love of surfing that brought them strength throughout their time together. With his passion for surfing uniting many narratives, he intertwines his own story with those of some of the great heroes of surf in a rare work of nonfiction that is as moving as it is fascinating.

      Bibliography. Two-color illustrations.

      Once and For All

      by Sarah Dessen

      Sep 2017

      Young Adults Plus

      2018 Top 10 Winner
      As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

      Strange the Dreamer

      by Laini Taylor

      May 2017

      High-Interest High Plus

      2018 Top 10 Winner
      The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly.
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