The Kaiju Preservation Society Wins a 2023 Alex Award

John Scalzi

Last week I was asked to participate in a Zoom meeting about PR stuff, but when I signed in what was really going on was a bunch of librarians telling me The Kaiju Preservation Society had won an Alex Award this year. Which, I’m not going to lie, was a much better Zoom meeting to have than a general chat about PR stuff.

For those not up on the Alex, it’s given annually by the American Library Association to “ten books published in the adult market that have special value for teens as well “the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.” Basically, these are the books librarians felt really good recommending to teens this year. And Kaiju is one of them!

Here’s the full list:

  • “A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting,” by Sophie Irwin, published by Pamela Dorman Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House;
  • “Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution,” by R. F. Kuang, published by Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;
  • “Chef’s Kiss,” written by Jarrett Melendez, illustrated by Danica Brine, published by Oni Press, an imprint of Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group;
  • “Daughter of the Moon Goddess,” by Sue Lynn Tan, published by Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;
  • “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” by Jennette McCurdy, published by Simon & Schuster;
  • “Solito: A Memoir,” by Javier Zamora, published by Hogarth, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House;
  • “The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere.,” written and illustrated by James Spooner, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;
  • “The Kaiju Preservation Society,” by John Scalzi, published by Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan Publishing Group;
  • “True Biz,” by Sara Nović, published by Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House;
  • “Wash Day Diaries,” written by Jamila Rowser, illustrated by Robyn Smith, published by Chronicle Books.

That’s an excellent group of books, if I do say so myself.

This is actually the second time I’ve won an Alex, the first time for Lock In in 2015. Then it was just an announcement; now it’s a surprise Zoom call, and, I’m told a medal that will be sent to me. Which is awesome, I love getting actual award bauble.

Congratulations to my fellow Alex winners!

— JS

21 Comments on “The Kaiju Preservation Society Wins a 2023 Alex Award”

  1. Looks like at least three of those will also get on banned lists, purely based on title.

    Congratulations to you all!

  2. Always a pleasure to hear good work being given recognition, John. Congratulations!

    Your writing is very readable and entertaining … I just re-read the “Dispatcher” set and found it delightful again on my second time through. I’ll have to pick up “Kaiju” soon.. :)

  3. Not at all surprised, John. The “adult” market tends to get overloaded with books that may be interesting, but not necessarily enjoyable to read.

    The “young adult” market tends to do a better job of ensuring that the books will engage the readers for an enjoyable story ride.

    Your books are always plenty of fun to read!

  4. Thanks for the tips on other works! A couple more to add to my already burgeoning to-read pile :-)

  5. That’s a really good award. Congratulations!

    Of course, in the current environment this identifies you as a Corruptor of Youth, as you are library approved. And your woke concern for Kaiju will be noted and called out.

    I missed that Lock In won; a really good choice as well.

  6. Congratulations on the win. Also thanks for sharing about the Alex award. I did not know that existed.

  7. Honestly, I can’t think of a book award I’d rather receive than one chosen and presented by librarians. Kudos!

    You also celebrate magnificently. And now I want circus animal cookies.

  8. Wow, you’re in there with “I’m Glad My Mom Died”!
    That’s pretty good company to keep!

  9. congratulations… good book and an easy read with enough snark to appeal to sullen teenagers (now there’s a redundant prefixing adjective)


    there’s gonna be an award for “most oft banned” titles… let’s call it the “[ REDACTED ]™” and the figurine is of a book being shoved into a shredder… no… no… better yet the Bill of Rights being shoved into a shredder™…

  10. Very nice! If librarians like what you write, that is high praise indeed (though certainly well deserved). Glad they took notice!

  11. The Alex Awards are named after a pioneering teen librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. There’s a nice tribute to her at the end of this press release.

    I have only served on a Youth Media Award committee once, the Sibert award (informational works for 0-14) but it was in 2020 for the 2021 awards. We deliberated on Zoom instead of face to face at the conference. The biggest bright spot was the author/illustrator notification Zoom. It was pretty thrilling to tell our winners and honorees. Maybe not as cool as getting an award, but a career highlight for me as a children’s librarian.

    Congratulations on the Alex Award!

  12. Congratulations!
    Kaiju is a great and fun book to read!
    Thank you for letting us know you are receiving this award. It is so nice to share good news.
    And thank you for sharing the list of other recipients. I have one book already on my to-be-read pile, and see more to add.
    Enjoy your win! It is well-deserved.

%d bloggers like this: