You’ve probably heard of the Newbery Award, given to outstanding books for young readers – but have you heard of the Printz Award? Founded in 2000, the Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the “best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.” Each year, there is a winner, with up to four runners-up being designated as Honor Books. The award was created as a counterpoint to the Newbery in order to highlight the best and most literary works of excellence written for a young adult audience, and may include Non-fiction, fiction, poetry, art, anthologies and any combination of these. Because the ALA defines young adult literature as being for ages 12-18, the content and maturity levels can vary quite a bit. You may want to do some research into the content of these titles if you have concerns. Here are some favorite Printz award winning and honor books that you might enjoy!
See the full list here.
By Daniel Nayeri
In an autobiographical novel, middle-schooler Daniel, formerly Khosrou, tells his unimpressed and at times cruel classmates about his experience as an Iranian refugee.
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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.
By Neal Shusterman
In a future where death has been eradicated, scythes are selected to control overpopulation by “gleaning” random members of society. Teens Citra and Rowan are selected as apprentices and are thrust into a world of political intrigue. “Scythe” is a powerful examination of ethics, humanity and the flaws of immortality.
By Laini Taylor
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
By Laura Ruby
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Written by Brandon, Associate Librarian