Printz Award Winners

The Michael L. Printz Award is named for a Topeka, Kansas, school librarian who was a longtime active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The award is sponsored by Booklista publication of the American Library Association.

Awarded yearly since 2000, the Michael L. Printz Award is granted to a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is considered the highest award in literature for young adults, comparable to the Newberry and Caldecott Awards for children's literature.

2014


Midwinterblood
by Marcus Sedgwick

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.

2013


In Darkness
by Nick Lake

Shorty is a Haitian boy trapped in the rubble of a hospital by an earthquake. Growing desperately weak from lack of food and water, death seems imminent. Yet as Shorty waits for a rescue that may never come, he becomes aware of another presence, one reaching out to him across 200 years of history. It is a man named Toussaint l’Ouverture – the Haitian slave who led a revolution. As Shorty slips in and out of consciousness, scenes from his life and Toussaint’s play back and entwine. And though separated by centuries, what this modern boy from the slums and the visionary black leader have in common will leave readers shivering long after the last page is turned.

2012


Where Things Come Back
by John Corey Whaley

Witty, sardonic Cullen Witter agonizes over the disappearance of his beloved brother, Gabriel, while everyone else in his stiflingly dull Arkansas town thrills to the apparent return of a long extinct woodpecker. Kidnapping, bromance, arcane religious texts, and ornithology collide in this ground breaking coming-of-age tale.

2011


Ship Breaker
by Paolo Bacigalupi

In a future Gulf Coast, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer works the light crew scavenging for copper wire. When he discovers a clipper ship beached after a recent hurricane, Nailer faces an important choice: strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a girl who could lead him to a better life.

2010


Going Bovine
by Libba Bray

Cameron is sick and he's going to die. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure-if he's willing to find it. With the help of a videogaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on a road trip into the heart of what really matters.

2009


Jellicoe Road
by Melina Marchetta

Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, Taylor struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia. Nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as she tries to put together the pieces of her past.

2008


The White Darkness
by Geraldine McCaughrean

Symone is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates who died during a doomed expedition to the South Pole in 1912. But Symone's Uncle Victor is even more obsessed. When he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival.

2007


American Born Chinese
by Gene Yang

This graphic novel tells the story of three characters: Jin Wang, who moves with his family to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, who is ruining his cousin Danny's life. These three lives come together in a wonderful modern day fable.

2006


Looking for Alaska
by John Green

Miles’ whole life has been one big non-event. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the Great Perhaps. Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska pulls Miles into her labyrinth and catapults him into the Great Perhaps.

2005


How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff

While Daisy is visiting her aunt and cousins at their home in the English countryside, London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy. As the world falls apart around them, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it's a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules. But the war is everywhere. Daisy and her cousins must find a way to survive in an uncertain world.

2004


The First Part Last
by Angela Johnson

Bobby's girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant and their lives are about to change forever. Instead of spending time with friends, they'll be spending time with doctors and changing diapers. They could keep the baby or put it up for adoption. They want to do the right thing - if only the right choice was clear.

2003


Postcards from No Man's Land
by Aidan Chambers

Alternates between two stories: modern day Jacob visits Amsterdam at the request of his English grandmother and Geertrui relates her experience of British soldiers attempts to liberate Holland from German occupation during the Second World War.

2002


A Step from Heaven
by An Na

Young Ju is four years old when her family flies to California from Korea. But when they arrive, they are weighed down by the difficulty of learning English, their insular family life, and the traditions of the country they left behind.

2001


Kit's Wilderness
by David Almond

When Kit goes to live with his grandfather in the decaying coal mining town of Stoneygate, England, he finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past.

2000


Monster
by Walter Dean Myers

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

 

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