Are you looking for a good book to read? Yesterday, winners of several prestigious teen literature awards were announced by the American Library Association. You may remember learning about the Newbery award when you were in elementary and middle school. The teen equivalent to the Newbery is the Michael L. Printz Award. It is given out every year to a book that exemplifies excellence in young adult literature. Several honor books are also named. In addition to the Printz, ALA also named winners of excellence in audiobooks, nonfiction, debut authors, and GLBTQ books. Here is a list of this year’s winners, with links to the library catalog.

Michael L. Printz Award:

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.

Printz Honor Books:
Stolen, Lucy Christopher
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, A. S. King (Teen Book Festival 2011 Author)
Revolver, Marcus Sedgwick
Nothing, Janne Teller

Margaret A. Edwards Award (honors an author for a significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature)

Sir Terry Pratchett

William C. Morris YA Debut Award (Given to a first time author writing for teens)

Freak Observer, Blythe Woolston – Suffering from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, sixteen-year-old Loa Lindgren tries to use her problem solving skills, sharpened in physics and computer programming, to cure herself.

2011 Finalists:
Hush, Eishes Chayil
Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Lish McBride
Crossing the Tracks, Barbara Stuber

Odyssey Award (best audiobook produced for children or young adults)

The True Meaning of Smekday, Adam Rex, Read by Bahni Turpin – In the chaotic turmoil that follows the Boov invasion of Earth, eleven-year-old Gratuity Tucci finds herself driving her mother’s car to Florida, where all of the humans are being relocated, with her cat and a renegade extraterrestiral named J. Lo as her copilots.

Odyssey Award Honor Books:
Alchemy and Meggy Swan, Karen Cushman, Read by Katherine Kellgren
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness, Read by Nick Podehl
Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, Read by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green & David Levithan, Read by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl

(Notice that one name appears in this list twice – Nick Podehl. He is a phenomenal audiobook reader, and I highly recommend checking his stuff out. He can make a so-so book sound great. If he was reading the telephone book, I’d listen!!!! OK, I have a minor book crush on him.)

Schneider Family Award (a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience)

Five Flavors of Dumb, Antony John – Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.

Stonewall Young Adult Literature Award (books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience)

Almost Perfect, Brian Katcher – With his mother working long hours and in pain from a romantic break-up, eighteen-year-old Logan feels alone and unloved until a zany new student arrives at his small-town Missouri high school, keeping a big secret.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult (this one is kinda obvious from the title)

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing, Ann Angel – A biography of the rocker, Janis Joplin


Alex Awards (given to ten adult books that have special appeal to teen readers)

You can see the list of ten here.