Award Winners!

Printz Award:  Excellence in literature for young adults:

In Darkness by Nick Lake
Summary provided by our catalog:  "In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804."

Printz Award Honor Books:


"The White Bicycle" by Beverley Brenna (The library does not own this title yet!  Stay tuned!)


Book Spotlight: Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Review by Tiffany, Librarian, Sebastopol Branch

Cullen Witter is a 17-year-old living in a small Arkansas town, where nothing usually happens.  However, this summer things are different for Cullen.  His cousin overdoses and his brother disappears.  While all this is occurring, the town is buzzing about an extinct woodpecker that was spotted.  At the same time, readers follow the story of Benton, who receives a mission in Ethiopia and hates it.  He returns home to a less-than welcoming family.  The two stories seem completely unrelated, but in the end, they all come together.

Why I picked it up:  I always try to read prize-winning books.  This book received the Printz Award this year and had an interesting cover.  I also enjoyed its intriguing first line, "I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body."

Why I finished it:  I really enjoyed reading Cullen's story.  I was also curious about how two stories that seemed completely unrelated would come together.  I was sad to see the story end.  I wanted more out of the characters, especially Cullen and his brother Gabriel.

I'd recommend it to:  If you enjoy stories with good character development and small town settings, this is the book for you.

Book Spotlight: Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Review by Phil, Librarian, Cloverdale Branch

Bright Sands Beach is a bleak place, and Nailer's ship breaking crew is barely able to eke a living salvaging materials from the long-abandoned hulks of oil tankers.  Faced with a shortage of food, rival crews, and the "city killer" mega hurricanes, survival is a daily task.  The only hope that ship breakers have is to hit a lucky strike – a hidden cache of rare materials – and buy their way out.  When a city killer hits Bright Sands and washes ashore the wreck of a wealthy clipper, Nailer thinks he's finally hit his lucky strike, and found his way out.  Much to his surprise he finds a lone survivor- a beautiful and wealthy girl – and their encounter ushers in a world of danger, adventure, and ultimately, hope.

Why I picked it up:  An adventure tale set in the post-carbon world by a multiple award winning author – I had to check it out!

Why I finished it:  It was hard to put down from the onset.  I really enjoyed the characters, and the world that Bacigalupi created is rich and intriguing.  Plus, there are some real curveballs in there that make you keep reading.

I'd recommend it to:  Anyone wanting a strong adventure tale, and anyone who likes to let their imagination run wild.

2011 Printz Award Winner announced

The 2011 Youth Media Awards were announced on Monday, January 10th — these are the winners of the prestigious awards for children's and teen's literature published in the past year. 

I plan to highlight each of the teen awards over the next week, but the first one is the Printz Award.


The Michael L. Printz Award
is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. 


Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi

In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

View full image


Four Printz Honor Books also were named this year;  they are:

I haven't read any of these yet, so I'm looking forward to some great reads!!–KD



Michael L. Printz Award…

The Michael L. Printz Award is given to one book in the past year that “that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature”.  This year the award goes to…

going.jpg  Going Bovine by Libba Bray!
Going Bovine was recently reviewed by a staff member of Sonoma County Library.  Click here to see that review!

The Printz Honor Books go to:

Charles and Emma:  The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
Tales of the Madman Underground:  An Historical Romance, 1973 by John Barnes

Stay tuned for more great award winner books!