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Printz Award Winners

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.


Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story)

by Daniel Nayeri
Published in 2020 by Levine Querido
ISBN: 9781646140008

The unforgettable voice of a young refugee gives this groundbreaking autobiographical its beating heart. Capturing the essence of A Thousand and One Nights, from middle school humiliations to wondrous Persian myths, you will find one powerful narrative, united by hope for a world that ought to be. At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story.

2021 Michael L. Printz Award Winner


by A. S. King
Published in 2019 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781101994917

Five white teenage cousins who are struggling with the failures and racial ignorance of their dysfunctional parents and their wealthy grandparents, reunite for Easter.

2020 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo
Published in 2018 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062662804

The Poet X is a tale about Xiomara, an "unhide-able" Dominican who "…was a little too much body for such a young girl," according to Mami. As she deals with her extremely religious mother and other challenges, Xiomara writes poetry, which becomes "the most freeing experience of [her] life."

2019 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

We Are Okay

by Nina LaCour
Published in 2017 by Dutton Books
ISBN: 9780525425892

After leaving her life behind to go to college in New York, Marin must face the truth about the tragedy that happened in the final weeks of summer when her friend Mabel comes to visit.

2018 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

March: Book Three

by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
Published in 2016 by Top Shelf Productions
ISBN: 9781603094023

By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear.

2017 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby
Published in 2015 by Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062317605

Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.

2016 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

I’ll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson
Published in 2014 by Dial Books
ISBN: 9780803734968

A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah.

2015 Michael L. Printz Award Winner


by Marcus Sedgwick
Published in 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN: 9781596438002

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.

2014 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

In Darkness

by Nick Lake
Published in 2012 by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781599908205

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.

2013 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Where Things Come Back

by John Corey Whaley
Published in 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781442413337

Seventeen-year-old Cullen's summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin's death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother's sudden disappearance.

2012 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Ship Breaker

by Paolo Bacigalupi
Published in 2010 by Little Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316056212

In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

2011 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Going Bovine

by Libba Bray
Published in 2009 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780385733977

Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jakob's (a.k.a. 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.

2010 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Jellicoe Road

by Melina Marchetta
Published in 2008 by Harper Teen
ISBN: 9780061431838

Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, high school student Taylor Markham struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.

2009 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

The White Darkness

by Geraldine McCaughrean
Published in 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780060890353

Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone--a troubled fourteen year old--discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symmes's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the centerof a hollow Earth.

2008 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

American Born Chinese

by Gene Luen Yang
Published in 2006 by First Second
ISBN: 9781596431522

Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture.

2007 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Looking for Alaska

by John Green
Published in 2005 by Dutton Books
ISBN: 9780525475064

Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

2006 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

How I Live Now

by Meg Rosoff
Published in 2004 by Wendy Lamb Books
ISBN: 9780385746779

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she's never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. Bombs go off the next day as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy. As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it's a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy's uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary.

2005 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

The First Part Last

by Angela Johnson
Published in 2003 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
ISBN: 9780689849220

This little thing with the perfect face and hands doing nothing but counting on me. And me wanting nothing else but to run crying into my own mom's room and have her do the whole thing. It's not going to happen.... Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy -- impulsive, eager, restless.

2004 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Postcards from No Man’s Land

by Aidan Chambers
Published in 2002 by Dutton Books
ISBN: 9780525468639

Alternates between two stories--comtemporarily, seventeen-year-old Jacob visits a daunting Amsterdam at the request of his English grandmother--and historically, nineteen-year-old Geertrui relates her experience of British soldiers's attempts to liberate Holland from its German occupation.

2003 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

A Step From Heaven

by An Na
Published in 1997 by Front Street
ISBN: 9781886910584

A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America.

2002 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Kit’s Wilderness

by David Almond
Published in 2000 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385326650

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family had both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him in playing a game called Death. Kit's association with Askew takes him into the mines where the boys look to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors.

2001 Michael L. Printz Award Winner


by Walter Dean Myers
Published in 1999 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780060280772

Miles away from the hectic city, Reed and Rebecca hike into the beautiful Northwestern woods. They're surrounded by gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, and hundreds of acres of unspoiled wilderness. But something--or someone--begins closing in on them. Something no human has ever seen. And it's killing everyone in its path without remorse.

2000 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

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