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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Alex Winners: Where Are They Now?

As I sat at home last weekend, not going to ALA and the Alex Awards Program,  I started thinking about how many books by former Alex Award winners we’ve looked at this year.  In my head, it seemed like a lot, but I thought I should actually crunch the numbers.  So, here they are, for whatever it’s worth: there are 159 Alex Award winning authors (Neil Gaiman is the only repeat recipient). This year we’ve considered for review 17 books by 16 of those authors, and are aware of another 6 books still to be published (with possibly more on the way).  Here’s how it breaks down:


Still to be published:

  • Jesmyn Ward, The Men We Reaped – September
  • Roland Merullo, The Vatican Waltz – December
  • Toby Barlow, Babayaga – August
  • Stephen King, Doctor Sleep – September
  • Lisa Lutz, The Last Word – July
  • Diane Setterfield, Bellman & Black – November

Assigned for review:

These are books that are currently being read and considered by one of our reviewers

  • Orson Scott Card, The Gate Thief
  • Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed

Rejected for review:

These are books that were read by reviewers (two of them by me) and rejected for the blog.  We felt that Currie’s and Haruf’s novels were both well written, but not teen friendly enough for our tastes.  Haig’s has a ton of teen appeal, but I felt that it had such severe literary flaws that I couldn’t support a review.

  • Ron Currie, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles
  • Matt Haig, The Humans
  • Kent Haruf, Benediction

Never Got to Them:

These are among the many, many books that caught our attention at some point but we never quite managed to get out to a reviewer.  It’s not impossible that we may still come back to one or more of these, but time is not on their side, so please tell us if we are missing out.

  • Tracy Chevalier, The Last Runaway – January
  • Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art – May
  • Stephen King, Joyland – June
  • Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller – February
  • Peter Rock, The Shelter Cycle – April

Of course, given the above stated fact that only one author has ever won the Alex twice, the odds are not good that any of these books will make this year’s Alex list. But for our purposes, it is great to know that so many of these talented authors are still out there making great books with teen appeal.

About Mark Flowers

Mark Flowers is the Young Adult Librarian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo, CA. He reviews for a variety of library journals and blogs and recently contributed a chapter to The Complete Summer Reading Program Manual: From Planning to Evaluation (YALSA, 2012). Contact him via Twitter @droogmark


  1. Thank you for this post! I’m especially excited to see that both Jesmyn Ward and Roland Merullo have new titles forthcoming. I didn’t know Peter Rock had written a new book, so that’s going on my TBR pile!

    Also, I read “Benediction” and while beautifully written (it’s Kent Haruf after all!) found there was absolutely no teen appeal there. I should add that I did not read it for AB4T consideration, but my own enjoyment.