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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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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.

The monstrumologist

Yancey, Richard.


2010 Honor Book: In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a scientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy a pod of Anthropophagi.


Rapp, Adam.


2010 Honor Book: "Punkzilla" is on a mission to see his older brother "P", before "P" dies of cancer. Still buzzing from his last hit of meth, he embarks on a days-long trip from Portland, Ore. to Memphis, Tenn., writing letters to his family and friends. Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America and worries if he will make it to see his brother in time.

Tales of the Madman Underground : (an historical romance 1973)

Barnes, John, 1957-


2010 Honor Book: In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be "normal," despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.

The body of Christopher Creed

Plum-Ucci, Carol, 1957-


2001 Honor Book. Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.

American born Chinese

Yang, Gene Luen.


2007 Award Winner. Yang draws from American pop culture and ancient Chinese mythology in his groundbreaking work. Expertly told in words and pictures, Yang’s story in three parts follows a Chinese American teenager’s struggle to define himself against racial stereotypes.

The Pox party

Anderson, M. T.


2007 Honor Book. He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the best of classical educations. Raised by a mysterious group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother- a princess in exile from a faraway land- are the only people in their household assigned names. As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments- and his own chilling role in them.

An abundance of Katherines

Green, John, 1977-


2007 Honor Book. Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.


Hartnett, Sonya.


2007 Honor Book. As he is dying, a twenty-year-old man known as Gabriel recounts his troubled childhood and his strange relationship with a dangerous counterpart named Finnigan.

The book thief

Zusak, Markus.


2007 Honor Book. Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Looking for Alaska : a novel

Green, John, 1977-


2006 Award Winner. Tired of his boring existence, 16-year-old Miles “Pudge” Halter heads off to seek his Great Perhaps at an Alabama boarding school, where new-found freedom, guilty pleasures and an enigmatic girl named Alaska hurl him into life.

Jellicoe Road

Marchetta, Melina, 1965-


2009 Award Winner. Haunted by the past, Taylor Markham reluctantly leads the students of the Jellicoe School in their secret territory wars against the Townies and the Cadets.

The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks : a novel

Lockhart, E.


2009 Honor Book. Can the old-boy network at her elite boarding school survive the mal-doings of Frankie Landau-Banks?

The kingdom on the waves

Anderson, M. T.


2009 Honor Book. Caught in the crossfire of the American Revolution, escaped slave Octavian joins the British army in hopes of finally securing his own freedom.


Pratchett, Terry.


2009 Honor Book. Pratchett’s trademark humor leavens this epic tale of ravaged islands, shipwrecked nobles and survival.

One whole and perfect day

Clarke, Judith, 1943-


2008 Honor Book. As her irritating family prepares to celebrate her grandfather's eightieth birthday, sixteen-year-old Lily yearns for just one whole perfect day together.


Knox, Elizabeth.


2008 Honor Book. Aided by her family and her creation, Nown, Laura investigates the powerful Regulatory Body's involvement in mysterious disappearances and activities and learns, in the process, the true nature of the Place in which dreams are found.

Tender morsels

Lanagan, Margo, 1960-


2009 Honor Book. In utterly original language, Lanagan re-imagines “Snow White and Rose Red” and explores the brutality and beauty of life.

John Lennon : all I want is the truth : a photographic biography

Partridge, Elizabeth.


2006 Honor Book. The story of one of rock's biggest legends, from his birth during a 1940 World War II air raid on Liverpool, through his turbulent childhood and teen years, to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing with the Beatles and beyond.

I am the messenger

Zusak, Markus.


2006 Honor Book. After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.

The white darkness : a novel

McCaughrean, Geraldine.


2008 Award Winner. Fourteen-year-old Symone's exciting vacation to Antarctica turns into a desperate struggle for survival when her uncle's obsessive quest leads them across the frozen wilderness into danger.

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