Alex Award Winning Books for Mature Teenagers – Another Book List

I like book lists, so here’s another.  This list is specifically for teenagers who would rather read a book that was written for an adult audience.  The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has named the recipients of the 2008 Alex Awards, ten adult books with specific teen appeal:

  • American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China, by Matthew Polly, published by Penguin/Gotham Books (ISBN13:978-1592402625)
  • Bad Monkeys, by Matt Ruff, published by HarperCollins (ISBN13: 978-0061240416)
  • Essex County Volume 1: Tales from the Farm, by Jeff Lemire, published by Top Shelf Publications (ISBN13: 978-1891830884)
  • Genghis: Birth of an Empire, by Conn Iggulden, published by Delacorte (ISBN13: 978-0385339513)
  • The God of Animals, by Aryn Kyle, published by Scribner (ISBN13: 978-1416533245)
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Sarah Crichton Books (ISBN13: 978-0374105235)
  • Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones, published by Random/Dial Press (ISBN13: 978-0385341066)
  • The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, published by DAW (ISBN13: 978-0756404079)
  • The Night Birds, by Thomas Maltman, published by Soho (ISBN13: 978-1569474624)
  • The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz, published by Simon & Schuster (ISBN13: 978-1416532392)

Mister Pip has been recommended by several friends, due to my enjoyment of Great Expectations.  I’m wondering if they think I’m a mature teenager or an immature adult (tough call).

From the YALSA website: The Alex Awards were created to recognize that many teens enjoy and often prefer books written for adults, and to assist librarians in recommending adult books that appeal to teens. The award is named in honor of the late Margaret Alexander Edwards, fondly called ìAlexî by her closest friends, a young adult specialist at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. She used adult books extensively with young adults to broaden their experience and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world.

4 responses to “Alex Award Winning Books for Mature Teenagers – Another Book List

  1. American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China

    I think I need to find this for my husband!

    That’s the title that made me continue reading through the list. Flying Kicks… Iron Crotch… it all just seemed to flow together.

  2. That’s a really good idea they came up with! I wonder if there’s a reverse. I’m an adult that likes adolescent books…


    Good idea. I’ll see if I can find one.

  3. Oooh..I hope you do! I suppose I could go look for myself…but you’re the expert here!


    Here’s my definition of expert: ex – former, has been; spurt – drip under pressure.

  4. Late comer to this one, but I’d recommend The Name of the Wind to everyone… well, everyone old enough for it, at any rate. I’d put that at about 13 and older, but I tend to overestimate children’s (in general) maturity, and then to drastically lower my calculation for almost any specific child I meet.

    Yes, maturity level is key. I’ve met kids who were ten, yet more mature than some adults I know. Good recommend, thanks.

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