2013 Alex Award Winners:
CARING IS CREEPY
by David Zimmerman
Fifteen-year-old Lynn suspects that her mother's pill-popping boyfriend has enlisted her in his petty criminal enterprises placing her squarely in the cross-hairs of violent threats.
by Tupelo Hassman
Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn't got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she's checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Uniforms, disposing of outgrown; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the Calle: that is, the Calle de las Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop. From diary entries, social workers' reports, half-recalled memories, arrest records, family lore, Supreme Court opinions,and her grandmother's letters, Rory crafts a devastating collage that shows us her world even as she searches for the way out of it.
MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE
by Robin Sloan
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.
MY FRIEND DAHMER
by Derf Backderf
In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer, the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper, seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, 'Jeff' was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides.
ONE SHOT AT FOREVER: A SMALL TOWN, AN UNLIKELY COACH, AND A MAGICAL BASEBALL SEASON
by Chris Ballard
"Friday Night Lights" meets "Hoosiers" and "Dead Poets Society" in this inspirational story about an unlikely coach who leads a high-school baseball team and their small Illinois town to a season they'll never forget.
by Julianna Baggott
In a post-apocalyptic world, Pressia, a sixteen-year-old survivor with a doll's head fused onto her left hand meets Partridge, a "Pure" dome-dweller who is searching for his mother, sure that she has survived the cataclysm.
THE ROUND HOUSE
by Louise Erdrich
When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, fourteen-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.
TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME
by Carol Rifka Brunt
It is 1987, and only one person has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus—her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down. But Finn's death brings a surprise acquaintance into June's life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?
by Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to fifteen-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
JUVENILE IN JUSTICE
by Richard Ross
The nearly 150 images in this book were made over 5 years of visiting more than 1,000 youth confined in more than 200 juvenile detention institutions in 31 states. These riveting photographs, accompanied by the life stories that these young people in custody shared with Ross, give voice to imprisoned children from families that have no resources in communities that have no power.
The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. For more information, please visit the American Library Association's Alex Awards page.