The Michael L. Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award

Named for a Topeka Kansas School Librarian, the Michael L. Printz Award exemplifies literary excellence in Young Adult Literature and is presented by YALSA on a yearly basis.

Below are this year’s winner and honor books as well as some past winners.  Please enjoy!


 March : Book Three by John Lewis

2017 Winner

March: Book Three
By: John Lewis

This graphic novel is the conclusion of the March trilogy, a gripping autobiographical account of Congressman John Lewis’s experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. It follows Lewis’s involvement with the Mississippi Freedom Summer and the March on Selma, concluding with a call to action for today’s youth.  Ages 13 and up

2017 Honor Books
Asking For It by Louise O'Neill Asking For It
By: Louise O’Neill

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes….  Ages 14 and up

 The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry The Passion of Dolssa
By: Julie Berry

In mid-thirteenth century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata is a fervently religious girl who feels the call to preach, condemned by the Inquisition as an “unnatural woman,” and hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of the Albigensian heresy; Botille is a matchmaker trying to protect her sisters from being branded as gypsies or witches–but when she finds the hunted Dolssa dying on a hillside, she feels compelled to protect her, a decision that may cost her everything.  Ages 12 and up

Scythe by Neal Shusterman Scythe
By: Neal Shusterman

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (‘gleaned’) by professional reapers (‘scythes’). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe–a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn’t. Ages 12 and up

 The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon The Sun is Also a Star 
By: Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store–for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?  Ages 13 and up

 Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

2016 Winner

Bone Gap
By: Laura Ruby

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.  Ages 14 and up

 I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

2015 Winner

I’ll Give You The Sun
By: Jandy Nelson

Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking.  Ages 14 and up

 Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

2014 Winner

By: Marcus Sedgwick

Seven linked vignettes unfold on a Scandinavian island inhabited–throughout various time periods–by Vikings, vampires, ghosts, and a curiously powerful plant.  Ages 12 and up

 In Darkness by Nick Lake

2013 Winner

In Darkness
By: Nick Lake

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.  Ages 14 and up

Where THings Come Back by John Corey Whaley

2012 Winner

Where Things Come Back
By: John Corey Whaley

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.  Ages 16 and up

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi 2011 Winner
Ship Breaker
By: Paolo Bacigalupi

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.  Ages 13 and up

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

2010 Winner

Going Bovine
By: Libba Bray

In an attempt to find a cure after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s (aka mad cow) disease, Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen-year-old boy, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital.  Ages 15 and up

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

2009 Winner

Jellicoe Road
By: Melina Marchetta

High school student Taylor Markham, who was abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.  Ages 13 and up

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

2008 Winner

The White Darkness
By: Geraldine McCaughrean

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 center of a hollow Earth.  Ages 15 and up

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

2007 Winner

American Born Chinese
By: Gene Luen Yang

Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.  Ages 13 and up

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