Michael L. Printz Award Winners
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This American Library Association award is given to the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit (sponsored by Booklist magazine). Additionally up to four runner-up Honor Books may be selected. For the purposes of this award, young adult refers to readers between 12 and 18. The award is given in January for works published the previous calendar year and began in 2000 for books published in 1999. (this list is only the winners)
2019 - The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo, 368 pages
Also a National Book for Young Adults winner, the first novel from renowned slam poet Acevedo, a young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother's religion and her own relationship to the world.
2018 - We Are Okay, Nina LaCour, 236 pages
Marin leaves her home in California for college in New York and leaves behind her best friend, Mabel. Now Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will have to face her past and her loneliness.
2017 - March: Book Three, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, 246 pages
Also a National Book for Young Adults winner, the last book in Congressman Lewis' graphic autobiographical trilogy brings the lessons of history (civil rights) to vivid life for a new generation.
2016 - Bone Gap, Laura Ruby, 373 pages
The town of Bone Gap is full of gaps that can trip you up, so when young Roza goes missing, no one is surprised. But Finn knows she was kidnapped. A heartbreaking story of love and loss, magic and mystery.
2015 - I'll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson, 371 pages
Twin brother and sister are inseparable growing up, but after something devastating happens, they're no longer speaking. Noah tells the first half of the story, Judy the second half. But they each only know half of the story and need to find their way back to each other to rebuild their world.
2014 - Midwinterblood, Marcus Sedgwick, 264 pages
In a novel of 7 parts, each influenced by a moon (harvest moon, flower moon, etc.) this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.
2013 - In Darkness, Nick Lake, 337 pages
In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital. He has a secret: a flame of revenge blazes inside him and a burning wish to find his twin sister lost 5 years ago. As he grows weaker, he looks back on his journey.
2012 - Where Things Come Back, John Corey Whaley, 228 pages
17 year old Cullen thinks he knows everything about his small town in Arkansas, until a birdwatcher appears saying he saw a woodpecker thought to be extinct. A young missionary in Africa who's lost his faith is the parallel story. The two very different stories are woven together in a surprising ending of hope and second chances.
2011 - Ship Breaker #1, Pablo Bacigalupi, 326 pages
A young man discovers a wonderful clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane and faces the most important decision of his life: strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a pretty and rich girl who could lead him to a better life.
2010 - Going Bovine, Libba Bray, 480 pages
Cameron just wants to get through high school - then he's given the bad news that he's sick and going to die. Hope arrives in the form of a loopy punk angel. When she tells him there's a cure, they set off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America.
2009 - On the Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta, 290 pages
Taylor is the leader of boarders at Jellicoe School. There are territorial wars and a cadet leader she thought she'd never see again. Then a friend goes missing and Taylor's only clue is a document about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. A moving and compelling story.
2008 - The White Darkness, Geraldine McCaughrean, 373 pages
Sym is obsessed with the Antarctic and Capt. Oates from a doomed expedition to the South Pole. Her uncle is equally obsessed and takes her on a dream trip into the Antarctic wilderness that becomes a nightmare struggle for survival.
2007 - American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang, 240 pages
A graphic novel with three very different stories that all come together with a twist in an action packed book. 1-the only Chinese student in school is bullied; 2 -the Chinese fable of the Monkey King who doesn't want to be a monkey, but a god; 3 -the negative stereotypical Chinese kid ruins his cousin's life.
2006 - Looking for Alaska, John Green, 221 pages
A boy is bored with his safe life at home. At boarding school he meets Alaska, clever, pretty, self-destructive, and fascinating. She steals his heart and nothing is ever the same.
2005 - How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff, 194 pages
15 year old Daisy is sent from NYC to England to visit family she's never met -3 boys and a little girl. The adults go away on business and while they're gone, London is attacked and bombs dropped. Their farm is isolated and as the bond with her cousins becomes stronger, the war gets closer.
2004 - The First Part Last, Angela Johnson, 144 pages
As an urban teen boy is about to become a father, he must come to face with some hard choices: should they keep the baby or put it up for adoption. They want to do the right thing, but what is it?
2003 - Postcards From No Man's Land #5, Aidan Chambers, 320 pages
A 17 year old boy goes to Amsterdam to honor his grandfather who died during WWII. But, he's not prepared for love or to face questions about his sexuality. And he's definitely not prepared to hear from the woman who had a relationship with his grandfather when she was his nurse.
2002 - A Step From Heaven, An Na, 160 pages
When 4 year old Korean Young Ju moves from her small village, she thinks her family must be going to paradise. But, they are going to America and it doesn't feel like heaven. The story follows her as she grows from a hopeful girl into a hardened adult.
2001 - Kit's Wilderness, David Almond, 246 pages
A family moves to an old coal mining town to care for a grandfather. Kit meets a boy whose family has worked and died in the mines and as the boys become friends they play a game in the mines called Death. The boys look for the childhood ghosts of their ancestors.
2000 - Monster, Walter Dean Myers, 281 pages
16 year old boy is on trial for murder. As he deals with a cynical, uncaring system and faces life in prison, he decides to write a journal about his trial as if it were a movie script so much of the book is in script form.