Mark posted the Alex Award winners on Monday, but what would AB4T be without some post-game celebrating?
First, we need to make sure everyone is aware of the official nominations list. We reviewed most of these, but not all. My gut reaction to this list is that it is very brave. And by that I mean that it includes several titles that are best suited to the oldest age range of what is considered “teen.” In fact, I might even make an argument that it reads like a New Adult list more than a list of adult books that make good crossover for teen readers. (Yes, I expect some reaction to that statement!) It is also really, wonderfully diverse and shows an admirable open-mindedness toward teens and their interests.
All three lists
Help for the Haunted
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Sea of Tranquility
The Universe Versus Alex Woods
Finally, I would like to point everyone to the most wonderful Ron Charles, fiction editor at the Washington Post, who has his ear to the ground when it comes to adult books with teen appeal. Charles did a great service by publishing a reaction from Mark Slouka to his Brewster win in the Washington Post Style blog yesterday. He included the entire Alex list and tweeted about it more than once.
This is just the sort of publicity the Alex needs. It is discouraging to members of the committee to sit in the ALA Youth Media Awards and watch their Award winners open the show with little to no fanfare. I will never understand this tradition, but YALSA is unwilling to consider a change. To add insult to injury this week, Publishers Weekly posted an article about Monday’s winners and left out the Alex Awards entirely. I think this whole attitude does a disservice to teen readers and the librarians who serve them.
Now I’m going to leap off my soapbox and congratulate the Alex Awards committee on their most excellent work. Adult books are long. It’s a lot (A LOT) of reading, discussing, nominating, re-reading, discussing, voting. All very exciting, but it tends to take over real life for a year. I hope you all had a wonderful time and feel satisfied by a job very well done.