CHICAGO – The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected 10 adult books with special appeal to teen readers to receive the 2022 Alex Awards.
The Alex Awards were created to recognize that many teens enjoy and often prefer books written for adults, and to assist librarians in recommending adult books that appeal to teens. The award is named in honor of the late Margaret Alexander Edwards, fondly called “Alex” by her closest friends, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults. At Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Edwards used adult books extensively with teens to broaden their experience and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world.
The 2022 Alex Award winners are:
Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki — Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. “A brilliant story about resilience, vitality, and risking being broken to give everything” (School Library Journal). Get the eBook
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin — A charming, fiercely alive and disarmingly funny debut novel in the vein of John Green, Rachel Joyce, and Jojo Moyes — a brave testament to the power of living each day to the fullest, a tribute to the stories that we live, and a reminder of our unlimited capacity for friendship and love. “Rich for its cast of characters unique in their messiness, humanity, and kindness, debut author Cronin’s masterpiece won’t let go, long after the last page” (Library Journal). Get the eBook
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec — When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive national bestselling debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology. “Melding together the wide range of Nordic legends, this is a story of tenderness and betrayal, friendship and loyalty, family and monsters, beginnings and endings” (Booklist).
The Library of the Dead by T.L Huchu — Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker, and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead — carrying messages to the living — but when she learns someone is bewitching children she investigates and discovers an occult library, a taste for hidden magic, and a wealth of Edinburgh’s dark secrets. “This supernatural thriller is a natural crossover title for readers who like fantastical elements mixed in with their scares” (School Library Journal).
How Lucky by Will Leitch — For readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Nothing to See Here, a first novel as suspenseful and funny as it is moving, the unforgettable story of a fiercely resilient young man living with a physical disability, and his efforts to solve a mystery unfolding right outside his door. “Beautifully written and suspenseful, and at the same time being all about goodness and caring without once being sappy or sentimental” (Booklist). Get the eBook
Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell — Summoned before the Emperor, Prince Kiem — a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild — is commanded to renew the empire’s bonds with its newest vassal planet by marrying Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince of the empire. “Recommended for readers who enjoy exciting romantic adventures with some soft science fiction elements, especially those looking for LGBTQ representation” (Booklist). Get the eBook
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn — Joining the elite Bletchley Park codebreaking team during World War II, three women from very different walks of life uncover a spy’s dangerous agenda years later against the backdrop of the royal wedding of Elizabeth and Philip. “Quinn’s page-turning narrative is enhanced by her richly drawn characters, who unite under the common purpose of Britain’s war effort, and by the fascinating code-breaking techniques, which come alive via Quinn’s extensive historical detail” (Publishers Weekly). Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook
Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever by Kareem Rosser — An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. “This stereotype-shattering memoir about a Black teenager from Philadelphia who became a polo champion will hook readers on many levels” (Booklist).
Lore Olympus, Vol. 1 by Rachel Smythe — Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she’s allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: she ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. “Though Smythe plays with the comedy potential of her premise, she takes the characters’ internal dramas seriously and deals directly with the problematic elements of Greek mythology, with its gods forever abducting and coercing hapless mortals” (Publishers Weekly).
Malice by Heather Walter — A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this “bewitching and fascinating” (Tamora Pierce) retelling of Sleeping Beauty, true love is more than a simple fairy tale. “Walter’s debut weaves together fairy-tale tropes into an exciting, twisted tale of friendship, love, and legacy” (Library Journal). Get the eBook