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The Alex Awards are coming!

The American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards are a highlight of the year for many librarians serving children and young adults. The winners of the ALSC and YALSA awards (including the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz) will be announced at a live ceremony during the ALA Midwinter conference in San Diego on Monday, January 10th.

Of all the many winners announced during the Youth Media Awards, I have a special place in my heart for the Alex Awards. If you are not already aware of the Alex Awards, you are in for a treat! The Alex Awards are sponsored by YALSA, and given annually to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. More information (criteria, procedures and past winners) can be found on the YALSA website. What do titles such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Blind Side, The Kite Runner, The Glass Castle, and The Time Traveler’s Wife have in common? They were all Alex Award winners!

I am looking forward to seeing which of this blog’s Best Adult Books 4 Teens 2010 will make the list. I would never presume to predict the Alex winners. If there is one thing I learned while serving on the Alex committee (for four years, my friends) it is the unpredictability of the final list. So much depends on how persuasive members are in support of particular titles. Committee discussions and final voting still to take place at Midwinter will finalize the list, even though the committee will have, by then, gone through months of listserv discussion and straw poll votes. There are always a couple surprises. And soon after the award winners have been announced (later on Monday or on Tuesday), the nominations list will be made public as well.

If you are planning to attend ALA Midwinter, the Youth Media Awards will be held in the Convention Center Ballroom A-D at 7:45am on Monday, January 10th.

If you are not attending the Midwinter conference, you can still experience the awards live. Take a look at this page for directions, and tune in at 7:45am PST on Monday the 10th.

And of course I will blog about the winners (and nominees) here.

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.


  1. Great to hear! I have read “Room” and “Girl in Translation”. I cannot wait to see who wins, but in the meantime, I need to add a few of these to my pile!



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