These are the 2017 winners of the Alex Award. 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.
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Arena by Holly Jennings, Call Number: PB JEN
The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a fight to the digital death. Every kill is broadcast to millions. Every player leads a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses. And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.
Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart, Call Number PB HAR
Hannah Hart, wildly popular YouTube personality and author of the New York Times bestseller My Drunk Kitchen, is stirring up tales from her past with a collection of narrative essays about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame.
Die Young With Me: A Memoir by Rob Rufus, Call Number: PB Ruf
Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town? When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town. But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Cal Number: PB MCG
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford, Call Number: 791.43 G934i
After Diane Guerrero returned home from school one day to find her family deported, the 14-year-old went on to combat self-injury and suicidal thoughts, finish her education, and to become a successful actress and citizenship activist.
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko: A Novel by Scott Stambach, Call Number: PB STA
Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko is a life-long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan, which is why he turns everything into a game, manipulating people and events around him for his own amusement. Until Polina arrives. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. She is exquisite. Soon, he cannot help being drawn to her and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. Before, he survived by being utterly detached from things and people. Now, Ivan wants something more: Ivan wants Polina to live.
Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst, Call Number: PB DUR
Daleina is determined to keep her family safe from vengeance-seeking spirits, placing her in the crossfire of an insecure queen and powerful spirits.
The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales, Call Number: PB GON
In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization—the Regional Office—and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation.At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack.
The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution’s Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life’s Biggest Problems by Matt Simon, Call Number: 578.4 S595w
On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators. These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love.
And additional title Romeo and/or Juliet: A Choosable-Path Adventure by Ryan North is a graphic novel and was not added to our collection.