2016 Alex Awards

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. 

half the world 
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
Set in the same world as Half a King, Half a World follows a new protagonist, Thorn, a fifteen-year-old girl in training for the king's army. But even as she's learning the ways of war, she's also growing up...and falling in love for the first time.
between the world and me 
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son.
 
Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
In this unusual twist on the coming-of-age tale, 16-year-old Maren Yearly goes looking for her father after being abandoned by her mother, who just couldn't continue protecting Maren. You see, Maren eats those closest to her. On her search for her father, armed with a birth certificate that provides some clues to his identity, Maren meets cannibals like herself, and a young ghoul near her own age joins her on her quest. An entertaining novel with hints of magical realism, Bones & All isn't for the squeamish, but will delight gore lovers.
all involved 
All Involved by Ryan Gattis
At 3:15 p.m. on April 29, 1992, a jury acquitted two Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with using excessive force to subdue civilian Rodney King, and failed to reach a verdict on the same charges involving a third officer. Less than two hours later, the city of LA, a powder keg of racial tension, exploded in violence as people took to the streets in a terrifying orgy of rioting that lasted six days. In 144 hours, sixty lives were lost. And then there were the murders outside of active rioting sites, committed by gangbangers who used the lawlessness of a city on fire to viciously settle scores. A gritty and cinematic work of sourced fiction, All Involved vividly recreates this turbulent and terrifying time through the stories of six interconnected lives caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
girl at war 
Girl at War by Sara Nović
When her happy life in 1991 Croatia is shattered by civil war, ten-year-old Ana Juric is embroiled in a world of guerilla warfare and child soldiers before making a daring escape to America, where years later she struggles to hide her past.
the unraveling of mercy louis 
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
In Port Sabine, the air is thick with oil, superstition reigns, and dreams hang on making a winning play. All eyes are on Mercy Louis, the star of the championship girls' basketball team. Mercy seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. There is her grandmother, Evelia, a strict evangelical who has visions of an imminent Rapture and sees herself as the keeper of Mercy's virtue. There are the cryptic letters from Charmaine, the mother who abandoned Mercy at birth. And then there's Travis, the boy who shakes the foundation of her faith. At the periphery of Mercy's world floats team manager Illa Stark, a lonely wallflower whose days are spent caring for a depressed mother crippled in a refinery accident. Like the rest of the town, Illa is spellbound by Mercy's beauty and talent, but a note discovered in Mercy's gym locker reveals that her life may not be as perfect as it appears. The last day of school brings the disturbing discovery, and as summer unfolds and the police investigate, every girl becomes a suspect. When Mercy collapses on the opening night of the season, Evelia prophesies that she is only the first to fall, and soon, other girls are afflicted by the mysterious condition, sending the town into a tailspin, and bringing Illa and Mercy together in an unexpected way.
undocumented 
Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta
A Princeton University salutatorian describes his experiences as an undocumented immigrant youth in New York City, relating his efforts as a scholarship student in a private school that sharply contrasted with his street life in East Harlem.
humans of new york 
Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton
In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project--to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he's had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.
 
Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia​
The children of U.S. small-town Alexandria are just trying to live like normal teens until their parents’ promised return from a mysterious, four-year religious pilgrimage, and Ben Schiller is no exception. She’s just trying to take care of her sister, keep faith that her parents will come back, and get through her teen years as painlessly as possible. But her relationship with her best friend is changing, her younger sister is hiding a dark secret, and a terrible tragedy is coming for them all.
futuristic violence and fancy suits
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong​
In the near future, Zoey Ashe navigates a city in which one can find elements of the fantastic, nightmarish and ridiculous on any street corner. Anyone can have the powers of a god or the fame of a pop star; human achievement soars to new heights while its depravity plunges to the blackest depths. Her only trusted advisor is a cat, but even in the future, cats cannot give advice. At least not any that you'd want to follow.