1987 NZ Children’s Book of the Year – Alex
1987 NZ Library Association Esther Glen Medal – Alex
1987 American Libraries Association Notable Book (Young Adult list) – In Lane Three, Alex Archer (American title for Alex)
1989 QE 11 Arts Council Travel Grant, for American convention of International Reading Association, New Orleans research in Italy.
1989 AIM Children’s Book of the Year – Alex in Winter
1989 NZ Library Association Esther Glen Medal – Alex in Winter
1992 AIM Children’s Book of the Year – Alessandra – Alex in Rome
1992 NZ Library Association Esther Glen Medal – Alessandra – Alex in Rome
1993 AIM Children’s Book of the Year (Senior Fiction) – Songs for Alex
1993 LIANZA Esther Glen Medal – third – Songs for Alex
NZ Booklovers ~ The Alex Quartet presents Tessa Duder’s four seminal Alex novels in one paperback 600 page edition, just over thirty years since the strongminded teenage character made her debut in New Zealand fiction. Now, at long last, these wonderfully human and feminist books are being made newly accessible to a whole new generation of young Kiwi women.
Alex is no ordinary fifteen-year-old. She is a champion swimmer with the chance to compete at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. But she’s also a high school student, talented at acting, dancing, piano, and with her own ideas and thoughts about herself and how the world should be. Alex, Alex in Winter, Alessandra: Alex in Rome and Songs for Alex follow the ebbs and flows, and the extreme highs and lows of Alex’s life as she trains for her dream, with all the five o’clock in the morning starts and media attention it entails. They track her as she falls in love and makes mistakes, as well as when she succeeds beyond her wildest imagination.
Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and first brought to life in the late 1980s, Alex’s struggles have stood the test of time. Duder brings her so energetically to life that she could have been created today as well as thirty years ago. Her problems are so honestly told. Alex isn’t afraid to talk about things like her period and to stand up for herself in a world that thinks girls aren’t as tough or as fast or as capable as boys. Alex delves into stress, friendships, relationships, and knowing yourself. This is not a book about swimming, but a coming of age novel in every sense. It’s non-put-downable, as well having ideas which carry real weight. All of these four books have won numerous accolades, which are richly deserved. In this edition, each book flows seamlessly on from the next, as though they were always intended to be published side by side.
About the Kiwi author
Tessa Duder is one of New Zealand’s favourite authors. Find out more on her author page.