Printz Award Books

Printz Award logo
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. For more information about the award and lists of previous winners and honor books, visit the American Library Association.

Printz Award Books 2019

Winner

The Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo transforms everyday language into transcendent imagery in this novel-in-verse about Xiomara, who struggles to come into her own power amid (what she views) as her restrictive upbringing. Over the course of these lyrical, expressive, and honest poems, she grows from speaking with her fists to embracing her identity as the Poet X.

Honor

Damsel
Elana K. Arnold

Ama has no memory of what comes before she wakes in Prince Emory’s arms, but she’s no ordinary damsel in distress. Using the language of classic fairy tales to shatter familiar tropes, Arnold asks readers to confront the ways systemic violence against women pervades cultural touchstones.

Honor

A Heart in a Body in the World
Deb Caletti

Struggling with PTSD in the wake of a terrifying tragedy, Annabelle decides to run across the country in a physically demanding journey that mirrors the circuitous path of her emotional recovery. Caletti insightfully explores trauma, loss, and guilt while illuminating the damaging expectations our culture places on teenage girls.

 

Printz Award Books 2018

We Are Okay Nina LaCour
Winner
We Are Okay
by Nina La Cour
 
California native Marin, devastated by grief and questioning her reality, plans to spend her winter break in an empty dorm in upstate New York. But now her best friend, Mabel, is on her way to visit, and Marin must confront the loneliness that is threatening to take over her heart.
 
The Hate U Give Angie Thomas
Honor

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

Traumatized after witnessing the violent death of a friend, Starr searches for her voice as she moves between her black neighborhood and predominately white private school. This emotional novel, inspired by volatile race relations in America today, explores the importance of family, friendship, identity, and the courage to seek justice.
Long Way Down Jason Reynolds
Honor

Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds

William Holloman is on the most haunting elevator ride of his life. He’s been urged to break “the rules” he’s grown up with. (No crying. No snitching. Get revenge.) Reynolds’ first novel in verse is a provocative, compelling, and essential love letter to young people in detention centers.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Honor

Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor

In a world of gods, monsters, and nightmares, orphan librarian Lazlo and goddess Sarai find each other in their dreams. Against the backdrop of a city reeling after a brutal war, this lushly built, extravagantly written tale explores vengeance, love, and mercy.

 

Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman
Honor

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
by Deborah Heiligman

Inspired by the more than 700 letters the Van Gogh brothers wrote to each other, Heiligman uncovers fresh insights into Vincent’s development as an artist and his relationship with the brother who supported him emotionally and financially throughout his life.

 

Printz Award Books 2017

March
Winner
March 3
by Andrew Aydin,
John Lewis, and
Nate Powell
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.
Asking for it
Honor

Asking For It
by Louise O'Neill

After a party, Emma Donovan is found dumped outside her house with no recollection of the previous night. Pictures go viral showing her being raped. Lacking support from her small Irish town, Emma becomes a shell of her previous self, struggling with the question of whether she asked for it. 
The Passion of Dolssa
Honor

The Passion of Dolssa
by Julie Berry

This beautiful historical epic tells the tale of Dolssa, an accused heretic on the run, and the three sisters who find and help her during the time of the Inquisition. Through recollections and testimonies, Dolssa’s layered story unfolds across time periods with rich language and historical detail. 

 

Scythe
Honor

Scythe
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 power examination of ethics, humanity and the flaws of immortality.

 

The sun is also a star
Honor

The Sun Is Also A Star
by Nicola Yoon

Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lies before us. Which one will come true?