Alex Awards


Alex Award
1998 - 2000

Alex Award
2001- 2002

Alex Award
2003 - 2004

Alex Award
2005 - 2006

Alex Award
2007 -

Alex Award
2009 - 2010

Alex Award

The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998. The titles were selected by the YALSA Adult Books for Young Adults Task Force from the previous year's publishing and were part of the Adult Books for Young Adults Project, which explored the role of adult books in the reading lives of teenagers and was funded by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust. Edwards was a young adult specialist 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 librarians who serve young adults. With the approval of the Trust, the task force appointed to develop and implement the project named the awards the Alex Awards after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

The task force decided to select ten titles annually, and also decided to select a top ten list rather than a single title or a long list because of the popularity of the concept and because it parallels the Top Ten titles selected by the Best Books for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committees. The task force members also believed that selecting more than one book provided a greater variety of titles, whereas a longer list would be less selective than desired. A top ten list also allows for a more balanced list—fiction and nonfiction, as well as various genres. The task force also wanted to make diversity a priority in the lists.

In 2002 the Alex Awards were approved as an official ALA award, and the Task Force was superseded by the Alex Awards Committee.

The charge of this committee is to select from the previous year’s publications ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. If ten suitable candidates cannot be selected in a given year, the number of awards can be less than ten.


  • Published in the calendar year prior to the announcement.
  • Must come from a publisher’s adult list.
  • Works of joint authorship and editorship will be eligible.
  • Books published in another country in English or in the United States in translation are eligible.
  • Selected from genres that have special appeal to young adults.
  • Are potentially appealing to teenagers.
  • Are well written and very readable.