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AWARD WINNERS: Printz Award Winners and Honor Books

YALSA's Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

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I'll give you the sun

Nelson, Jandy, author.


Once inseparable, twins Noah and Jude are torn apart by a family tragedy that transforms their intense love for each other into intense anger. Timelines twist and turn around each other in beautifully orchestrated stories of love and longing.

2015 Winner

This one summer

Tamaki, Mariko, author.


Adolescence in its precarious first bloom is the subject of this sensitive graphic novel. The team of Mariko and Jillian Tamaki show and tell us of one special summer in Rose’s life, in a brilliant flow of pictures and text.

2015 Honor

And we stay

Hubbard, Jenny.


Reeling from her boyfriend’s dramatic suicide, Emily hides her anguish at a new boarding school, where she finds healing through poetry. Hubbard’s gem-like prose beautifully balances Emily’s poetry.

2015 Honor

The carnival at Bray : a novel

Foley, Jessie Ann, author.


In 1993, Maggie is dismayed to leave Chicago and her beloved Uncle Kevin behind when she moves to a small Irish town. Yet it is within this evocative setting that Foley unwinds Maggie’s exceptional coming-of-age tale, where Maggie discovers music and forgiveness as antidotes for grief.

2015 Honor

Grasshopper jungle : a history

Smith, Andrew (Andrew Anselmo), 1959-


Historian Austin Szerba is in love with his best girl friend, Shann. He is also in love with his best boy friend, Robby. Mastermind Smith takes these tender facts and swirls them into a whirlwind tale of carnivorous praying mantises, the history of the world, the role of the individual, and the end of all we know.

2015 Honor


Sedgwick, Marcus.


2014 Winner: Doomed love circles back through the centuries in a series of seven intricately plotted, interlocking stories set on a mysterious, isolated island. Forgetting and remembering, blessed and cursed, modern and ancient, these dualities brilliantly infuse the novel’s lush landscape.

Navigating Early

Vanderpool, Clare.


2014 Honor Book: Jack Baker, uprooted suddenly after his mother’s death, and Early Auden, the strangest of boys, meet at a Maine boarding school. Their friendship culminates in a treacherous quest and unexpected self-discovery. Vanderpool delivers an emotionally powerful novel in an untamed setting as the boys head up river in search of the Great Appalachian Bear. The award, first given in 2000, is named for the late Michael L. Printz, a Topeka, Kan., school librarian known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults.

Eleanor & Park

Rowell, Rainbow.


2014 Honor Book: Unlikely love blossoms on the bus when two unique, exceptional souls find strength in each other’s differences in Rowell’s emotionally charged and hopeful novel.

The kingdom of little wounds

Cokal, Susann.


2014 Honor Book: Impeccably researched and darkly disturbing, this complex literary tale reveals the sordid side of palace life in a 16th century Scandinavian kingdom where the royal family, the Lunedies, is cursed by a mysterious illness, and political machinations cast doubt on who will rule.

Maggot moon

Gardner, Sally.


2014 Honor Book: In Sally Gardner’s explosively original dystopian novel, Standish Treadwell and his grandfather show quiet defiance in the face of the oppressive, merciless Motherland. The cleverly parallel illustrations highlight a story as offbeat and perceptive as Standish and his mismatched eyes.

In darkness

Lake, Nick.


2013 Winner: Fifteen-year-old Shorty awakens beneath the ruins of a crumbled hospital in Haiti, where his weakening mind begins flashing back through his own violent history, the loss of his twin sister, and his mystical connection to Toussaint Louverture, the nineteenth-century revolutionary who helped liberate his country.

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe

Sa?enz, Benjamin Alire.


2013 Honor Book: A self-described natural misanthrope, Aristotle finds himself changed when he meets precocious Dante, whose open and intense friendship over a fateful summer compels Ari to question love, art, adulthood and even the secrets of the universe.


Pratchett, Terry.


2013 Honor Book: In this wild historical adventure, 17-year-old Dodger rescues a young woman from an attack, is appointed assistant detective to Charlie Dickens, encounters the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, obtains his first tailored suit and learns from his mentor Solomon how to navigate a wide range of social and political circles.

Code name Verity

Wein, Elizabeth.


2013 Honor Book: In this multifaceted tale of intrigue and loyalties, two young women find their friendship tested while fighting to save themselves and their secrets when caught behind enemy lines in occupied France during World War II.

Where things come back : a novel

Whaley, John Corey.


2012 Winner: 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.

The returning

Hinwood, Christine.


2012 Honor Book: A large cast of characters from two fictional kingdoms recover from a drawn-out, brutal war in a portrait both sweeping and specific as it explores the ramifications of the conflict on Cam, the only one who lives to return to his village.

The Scorpio Races

Stiefvater, Maggie, 1981-


2012 Honor Book: A bloody, intoxicating horse race on the Island of Thisby is the backdrop for this atmospheric novel. The heart-pounding story pits two teens against death – to win is to survive.

Jasper Jones : a novel

Silvey, Craig, 1982-


2012 Honor Book: Spurred by the mysterious death of a schoolmate, Charlie confronts racism and his fears as he learns about family, friendship and love in the oppressive heat of small-town 1960s Australia. Silvey weaves themes of freedom and loyalty with moments of humor in this wrenching novel.

Ship breaker

Bacigalupi, Paolo.


2011 Winner: In Ship Breaker, near a drowned New Orleans ravaged by hurricanes and global warming, Nailer and his young crew eke out a meager existence by scavenging materials on the ship-littered coast.


Teller, Janne, 1964-


2011 Honor Book: Pierre Anthon’s nihilism causes his classmates to begin a search for life’s meaning in this bold, unsettling parable translated from Danish.


Christopher, Lucy.


2011 Honor Book: The rugged Australian outback becomes Gemma’s prison after she is drugged and abducted by a handsome, obsessed stranger in a first novel filled with searing imagery and archetypal characters.

Please ignore Vera Dietz

King, A. S. (Amy Sarig), 1970-


2011 Honor Book: Vera Dietz wants to be ignored, but the ghost of her ex-best friend won’t leave her alone in this dark comedy that examines relationships, identity, grief and flowcharts.


Sedgwick, Marcus.


2011 Honor Book: In Sedgwick’s grim, chilling story set in the Arctic Circle, Sig finds his father’s frozen corpse as human predator Wolff arrives seeking retribution and a hidden Gold Rush treasure.

Going bovine

Bray, Libba.


2010 Award Winner: Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jakob's (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.

Charles and Emma : the Darwins' leap of faith

Heiligman, Deborah.


2010 Honor Book: Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, were deeply in love and very supportive of each other, but their opinions often clashed. Emma was extremely religious, and Charles questioned God's very existence.

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