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Find more Alex Awards
The Alex Awards, administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and sponsored by the Margaret E. Edwards trust, honor the top 10 adult books published during the previous year with appeal to readers between the ages of 12 and 18. The full, vetted list of the nominations can be found on the YALSA website.
Black Sun. By Rebecca Roanhorse. Saga, $27.99 (9781534437678).
A diverse group of priests, sailors, and travelers converge in the holy city of Tova in preparation for the annual winter solstice celebration, which coincides with a solar eclipse in this epic fantasy adventure. Great writing and world building transport the reader to a civilization inspired by pre-Columbian mythology.
The House in the Cerulean Sea. By TJ Klune. Tor, $26.99 (9781250217288).
Buttoned-up and by-the-book Linus is sent to investigate a classified orphanage on a strange island by Extremely Upper Management. Forced out of his comfort zone, he is surprised to find love and family in this magically joyful tale.
The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice—Crossing Antarctica Alone. By Colin O’Brady. Scribner, $28 (9781982133115).
Mindset expert O’Brady recounts his experience as the first person to traverse Antarctica solo and unassisted. Drawing strength from prior successes, failures, and his support system, he endures whiteouts, subzero temperatures, and starvation while pulling a 365-pound supply sled.
Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio. By Derf Backderf. Illus. by the author. Abrams Comicarts, $24.99 (9781419734847).
In 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on Kent State students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine. This chilling graphic novel follows the lives of the students, politicians, guardsmen, and law enforcement in simple black and white, revealing a volatile situation ending in heartbreaking tragedy.
The Kids Are Gonna Ask. By Gretchen Anthony. Park Row, $17.99 (9780778308744).
A few years after losing their mother, the McClair twins use podcasting to search for their biological father. The family is turned inside out by the media, but with the help of their loving grandmother, they persevere in this witty coming-of-age novel.
The Only Good Indians. By Stephen Graham Jones. Saga, $26.99 (9781982136451).
Told through the backdrop of cultural tradition versus modern expectations, this horror story follows four Native American men as a decision from their past comes back to haunt them. Magic realism and realistic fiction blend as an avenging presence tracks them down.
Plain Bad Heroines. By emily m. danforth. Morrow, $27.99 (9780062942852).
This gothic horror novel follows the lives of queer women throughout history. As our past and present heroines learn about a mysterious curse connected to Brookhaunts School for Girls, they explore their own identities in this work of metafiction filled with sapphic romance. Riot Baby. By Tochi Onyebuchi. Tor, $19.99 (9781250214751).
Ella has unexplained powers, and she worries about her younger brother, Kev, born during the LA riots and later incarcerated simply for being Black. Magic realism highlights the injustice, anger, and systemic racism that is prevalent in modern society. Solutions and Other Problems. By Allie Brosh. Illus. by the author. Gallery, $30 (9781982156947).
In this humorous graphic memoir about the ups and downs of life, Brosh uses simple, expressive illustrations and wit to grapple with difficult and challenging topics, such as grief, loneliness, and self-love—even if you’re a weirdo. We Ride upon Sticks. By Quan Barry. Pantheon, $26.95 (9781524748098).
The 1989 Danvers High School field-hockey team is sick of losing. Could their town’s gritty history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials and a notebook featuring Emilo Estevez change their luck and their lives? Join the team for this quirky ride.
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