Adult Books to challenge Teen Readers
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced their selections for the 2020 Alex Awards. The list is meant to highlight adult fiction and non-fiction books that are likely to appeal to, and challenge teen readers. Most selections feature teens as the main characters, although not all of them. The books include titles from diverse genres including, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and non-fiction. There are traditional novels and graphic novels. Characters are American, international, gay, straight, black, white, fictional, real and artificial. Get your To-Be-Read list ready, you’re about to add a few more titles.
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher - When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope.
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh - A century ago, scientists theorized that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. Today, ten astronauts will leave a dying Earth to find it. It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.
Dominicana by Angie Cruz - Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate.
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe - Started as a way to explain to family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere. (Non-Fiction, Graphic Novel)
High School by Sara Quin and Tegan Quin - High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the nineties, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents’ divorce, and the looming pressure of what might come after high school. (Non-Fiction)
In Waves by AJ Dungo - Dungo explores the beauty and complexity of his relationship with his partner as they face her prolonged battle with cancer. With his passion for surfing uniting many narratives, he intertwines his own story with those of some of the great heroes of surf in a rare work of nonfiction that is as moving as it is fascinating. (Non-Fiction, Graphic Novel)
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire - Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realize it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.
Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead - As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Prince Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations.
The Swallows by Lisa Lutz - What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want? It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy's new creative writing teacher. As the school's secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal--and potentially fatal--consequences for everyone involved.
Summary excerpts from www.goodreads.com
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