The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature is presented annually to a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named in memory of a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association.
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WinnerIn Darkness by Nick Lake
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.
WinnerWhere 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.
WinnerShip 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.
WinnerGoing Bovine by Libba Bray
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.
WinnerJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
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.
WinnerThe 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 Symme's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.
WinnerAmerican 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. Lexile 530
WinnerLooking for Alaska by John Green
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.
WinnerHow I live Now by Meg Rosoff
To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.
WinnerThe First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.
WinnerPostcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers
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.
WinnerA Step from Heaven by An Na
A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America.
WinnerKit's Wilderness by David Almond
Thirteen-year-old Kit goes to live with his grandfather in the decaying coal mining town of Stoneygate, England, and finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past.
WinnerMonster by Walter Dean Myers
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.