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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. The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.
Gansworth—an enrolled member of the Onandaga Nation—revisits his childhood and teen years spent on a Tuscarora reservation in this ambitious and searing memoir. Told in verse and accompanied by original art, Gansworth’s compelling coming of age story is a moving, illuminating exploration of otherness, intergenerational trauma, and resilience.
Gene Luen Yang never would have guessed that he would be working on a graphic novel about a basketball team, but he found inspiration in the men’s varsity team at Bishop O’Dowd High School. The games are only a small portion of the story, though, as readers learn about the history of basketball as well as Yang’s personal journey.
In this novel in verse, Ada recounts her freshman year as a first generation student attending a Historically Black College, while simultaneously taking the reader through her younger life. Ada feels the pressure to make money from her major, but she ultimately realizes that dance is what connects, energizes, and sustains her.
Just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued the Civilian Exclusion Order, forcing the tight knit community of Japantown teens and their families to incarceration camps. Author Traci Chee deftly manages fourteen narratives all with a unique voice and experience. The lives of these teens may have been forever changed, but as Chee writes, “We are not free. But we are not alone."
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: When the king dies, his son the prince must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been. When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon or what horrors she faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome young man, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny of sitting on a throne beside him. It's all like a dream, like something from a fairy tale. As Ama follows Emory to the kingdom of Harding, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. There is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows, and the greatest threats may not be behind her, but around her, now, and closing in.
When everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run? So that's what Annabelle does--she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She's not ready to think about the why yet, just the how--muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can't outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person--The Taker--that haunts her. Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, and is even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and the shame from what happened back home. They say it isn't her fault, but she can't feel the truth of that. Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keeps running, to the destination that awaits her. There, she'll finally face what lies behind her--the miles and love and loss...and what is to come.
Claudia McCarthy never expected to be in charge of Imperial Day Academy, but by accident, design, or scheme, she is pulled into the tumultuous and high-profile world of the Senate and Honor Council. Suddenly, Claudia is wielding power over her fellow students that she never expected to have and isn't sure she wants. Claudia vows to use her power to help the school. But there are forces aligned against her: shocking scandals, tyrants waiting in the wings, and political dilemmas with no easy answers. As Claudia struggles to be a force for good in the universe, she wrestles with the question: does power inevitably corrupt?
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