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Michael L. Printz Award Winners

   I did the Research so you don't have to!

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)

** Books I've read are in bold and reviewed books are bold and purple.

firekeepers daughter

2022 - The Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley, 496 pages

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in—both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. How far will she go to protect her community if it means tearing apart the only world she’s ever known?

everything sad is untrue

2021 - Everything Sad is True  by Daniel Nayeri, 356 pages

A memoir of memories rather than facts, it's the story of Daniel and his family fleeing from Iran to Oklahoma. The story bounces between Daniel's middle school self to the family fleeing Iran, and even further back in history to the stories of history.

dig by a.s. king book cover

2020 - Dig by A. S. King, 394 pages

A story of complex familial relationships, white privilege, alienated families, abuse, and more as it focuses on 5 members and the secrets that are unwinding about the family.

poet x book cover

2019 - The Poet X  by 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.

we are okay book cover

2018 - We Are Okay by 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.

march: book 3 book cover

2017 - March: Book Three  by 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.

bone gap book cover

2016 - Bone Gap by 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.

I'll give you the sun book cover

2015 - I'll Give You the Sun by 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.

midwinterblood book cover

2014 - Midwinterblood  by 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.

in darkness book cover

2013 - In Darkness by 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.

where things come back book cover

2012 - Where Things Come Back by 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. 

ship breaker book cover

2011 - Ship Breaker #1 by 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.

going bovine book cover

2010 - Going Bovine by 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.

on the jellicoe road book cover

2009 - On the Jellicoe Road by 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.

the white darkness book cover

2008 - The White Darkness by 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.

american born chinese book cover

2007 - American Born Chinese  by 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.

looking for alaska book cover

2006 - Looking for Alaska by 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.

how i live now book cover

2005 - How I Live Now by 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.

the first part last book covwer

2004 - The First Part Last by 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?

no man's land book cover

2003 - Postcards From No Man's Land #5 by 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.

a step from heaven book cover

2002 - A Step From Heaven by 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.

kit's wilderness book cover

2001 - Kit's Wilderness by 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.

monster book cover

2000 - Monster by 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. 

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