The Alex Awards

The Alex Awards are another ALA sponsored award. This time it’s for “Adult” books with special appeal to the “Young Adult” audience. It’s been around since 1998, and the awarding committee is YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association). It was added to the ALA cannon of awards in 2002. They are named after a Baltimore librarian who was one of the first to focus specifically on serving the needs of Young Adults (Margaret Alexander Edwards). I love the title of the book she wrote on the topic:  Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts.

What the committee does

YALSA’s Alex Award Committee selects ten books from the previous year written for adults that have special appeal to teens. In addition, it also provides an official vetted list of nominated titles considered for the award.


The list is prepared for librarians to use with young adults, and annotations will be written to attract the teen audience. It is a general list of adult titles selected for their demonstrable appeal to the personal reading tastes of the young adult.

Frequency of List

The Alex Award list of ten winning titles will be produced annually. The titles that appear on the final list of official nominations are those that have been read and discussed by the full committee, in accordance with the committee’s policies and procedures, and that the committee has come to a consensus that these titles are worthy of being placed on the official list of nominations. A vetted list of Alex Award nominations will also be made available in January, at the publication of the award.

The 9 committee members from YALSA are responsible for nominating books and recommending them to each other. There is no set procedure for publishers or authors to submit their works, but it is possible. ANYONE may nominate works via this form on their website As with all ALA awards, conflict of interest is taken into account and committee members do have guidelines re: what is acceptable to take from publishers.

Current Winners

Official Nominations

Previous Winners

Award Policies and Procedures

Nominate a Title

Committee Information


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