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Printz Honor Books

View all American Children's Awards book lists; This list was last updated on 11/5/2014
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printz award
The Michael L. Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the "best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit". 

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release date: Oct 01, 2002
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True Believer
LaVaughn is fifteen now, and she's still fiercely determined to go to college. But that's the only thing she's sure about. Loyalty to her father bubbles up as her mother grows closer to a new man. The two girls she used to do everything with have chosen a path LaVaughn wants no part of. And then there's Jody. LaVaughn can't believe how gorgeous he is...or how confusing. He acts like he's in love with her, but is he?
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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Hard Love

Since his parents' divorce, John's mother hasn't touched him, her new fiancé wants them to move away, and his father would rather be anywhere than at Friday night dinner with his son. It's no wonder John writes articles like "Interview with the Stepfather" and "Memoirs from Hell." The only release he finds is in homemade zines like the amazing Escape Velocity by Marisol, a self-proclaimed "Puerto Rican Cuban Yankee Lesbian." Haning around the Boston Tower Records for the new issue of Escape Velocity, John meets Marisol and a hard love is born.

While at first their friendship is based on zines, dysfuntional families, and dreams of escape, soon both John and Marisol begin to shed their protective shells. Unfortunately, John mistakes this growing intimacy for love, and a disastrous date to his junior prom leaves that friendship in ruins. Desperately hoping to fix things, John convinces Marisol to come with him to a zine conference on Cape Cod. On the sandy beaches by the Bluefish Wharf Inn, John realizes just how hard love can be.

With keen insight into teenage life, Ellen Wittlinger delivers a story of adolescence that is fierce and funny -- and ultimately transforming -- even as it explores the pain of growing up.

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson's award-winning, highly acclaimed, and controversial novel about a teenager who chooses not to speak rather than to give voice to what really happened to her marks ten years in print with this special anniversary edition. Bonus material created for this edition includes a new introduction and afterword from the author, resources, and discussion guide. Will also include a preview of Anderson's newest book, Wintergirls. The quintessential edition for all fans of this powerfully moving book.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Skellig
Man, bird, or angel? Who or what is Skellig?

Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. It was all going to be wonderful. But now his baby sister's ill, his parents are frantic, and Dr. Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then one day he steps into the crumbling garage.

What is this thing beneath the spiderwebs and dead flies? A human being, or a strange kind of beast never seen before? The only person Michael can confide in is his new friend Mina. Together they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael's world changes forever.

Told in lyrical prose, and beautifully read by the author David Almond, Skellig is a mystery, an adventure, and a family story, in which Michael learns about nature, poetry, and the healing power of love.
release date: Oct 01, 2001
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Stuck in Neutral

Shawn McDaniel is an enigma and a miracle--except no one knows it, least of all his father. His life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. Not even those who love him best have any idea what he is truly like. In this extraordinary and powerful first novel, the reader learns to look beyond the obvious and finds a character whose spirit is rich beyond imagining and whose story is unforgettable.

My life is like one of those "good news-bad news" jokes. Like, "I've got some good news and some bad news--which do you want first?"

I could go on about my good news for hours, but you probably want to hear the punch line, my bad news, right? Well, there isn't that much, really, but what's here is pretty wild. First off, my parents got divorced ten years ago because of me. My being born changed everything for all of us, in every way. My dad didn't divorce my mom, or my sister, Cindy, or my brother, Paul--he divorced me. He couldn't handle my condition, so he had to leave. My condition? Well, that brings us to the guts of my bad news.

Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL), Books for Youth Editor's Choice 2000 (Booklist), Top 10 Youth First Novels 2000(Booklist), 2001 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), 2001 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers (ALA), and 2001 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

release date: Nov 01, 2008
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The Body of Christopher Creed
Chris Creed grew up as the class freak—the bullies' punching bag. After he vanished, the weirdness that had once surrounded him began spreading. And it tore the town apart. Sixteen-year-old Torey Adams's search for answers opens his eyes to the lies, the pain, and the need to blame someone when tragedy strikes, and his once-safe world comes crashing down around him.
     Includes an interview with the author and a reader's guide.
release date: Jan 01, 2020
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Many Stones
Berry Morgan's older sister Laura was the one who got along best with their father, even after he moved out. Their interest in world events and action kept Berry on the outside. After college, Laura decided to work as a school volunteer in Capetown, South Africa-and, in a nightmare straight from the headlines, was brutally murdered. A year and a half later, Mr. Morgan arranges a trip to South Africa, so they can attend Laura's memorial service. It is a trip that, if they let it, will transform the two of them, and may break the long silence of grief so that Berry and her father can finally begin to talk with each other.

"In plain words, as hard as stones, this small, riveting book connects the anguish in one family with the struggle of a country to come to terms with its savage past." (Booklist, starred review)
release date: Jan 01, 2002
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Freewill

Why are you here? Will was destined to be a pilot, to skim above surfaces. So why is he in wood shop class? He doesn't know -- or maybe he just doesn't want to admit the truth.

What do you know? When the local teens begin committing suicide, their deaths all have one thing in common: beautifully carved wooden tributes that appear just after or before their bodies are found.

What will you do? Will's afraid he knows who's responsible. And lurking just behind that knowledge is another secret, so explosive that he might not be able to face it and live....

release date: Jan 01, 1997
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Hole in My Life
Becoming a writer the hard way

In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison.

In Hole in My Life, this prizewinning author of over thirty books for young people confronts the period of struggle and confinement that marked the end of his own youth. On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one crazed moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless final year of high school, his short-lived career as a criminal, and his time in prison. But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos – once he was locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell – moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and how dedicating himself more fully to the thing he most wanted to do helped him endure and ultimately overcome the worst experience of his life.
 
Hole in My Life is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

release date: Apr 29, 2002
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My Heartbeat
Ellen loves Link and James. Her older brother and his best friend are the only company she ever wants. She knows they fight, but she makes it a policy never to take sides. She loves her brother, the math genius and track star. She is totally, madly in love with James, his face full of long eyelashes and hidden smiles. “When you grow out of it,” James teases her, “you will break my heart.”

Ellen knows she'll never outgrow it. She'll always love James just the way she'll always love Link. Then someone at school asks if Link and James might be in love with each other. A simple question.

Link refuses to discuss it. James refuses to stay friends with a boy so full of secrets. Ellen's parents want Link to keep his secrets to himself, but Ellen wants to know who her brother really is. When is curiosity a betrayal? And if James says he loves her, isn't that just another way of saying he still loves Link?

My Heartbeat is a fast, furious story in which a quirky triangle learns to change its shape and Ellen, at least, learns the limits of what you can ever know about whom you love.
release date: Jan 01, 2002
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The House of the Scorpion
Series: National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested.
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium--a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster--except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.
release date: Jun 01, 2005
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The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. An overweight teen is sure that she's the weakest link in her high-powered family, until her handsome, athletic, star-student brother has a shocking fall from grace.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Fat Kid Rules the World
This Michael L. Printz Honor Book and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year is an engaging debut--the story of two unlikely friends who meet when a high-school dropout talks a boy out of suicide and who ultimately save each other.
release date: Feb 20, 2007
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Keesha's House
An unforgettable narrative collage told in poems

Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can't make it on their own. They are Stephie – pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason – Stephie's boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay – in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen – arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris – disowned by his father after disclosing that he's gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie – angry at her mother's loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.

Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms – sestinas and sonnets – Helen Frost's extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties.
 
Keesha's House is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
release date: Jan 01, 2003
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Gathering Light
Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this Printz Honor Book effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, real, and wholly original.
by:
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Chanda's Secrets
Chanda's mother is not herself, her younger sister is acting out, and her best friend needs help. A powerful story set amid the African HIV/AIDS pandemic. In this sensitive, swiftly paced story, readers will find echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird as Chanda, a 16-year-old, astonishingly perceptive girl living in the small city of Bonang in Africa, must confront the undercurrents of shame and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. Through his artful style and dramatic storytelling, Allan Stratton captures the enduring strength of loyalty, the profound impact of loss, and a fearlessness that is powered by the heart. Above all, it is a story about living with truth. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support organizations working to better the lives of Africans living with HIV/AIDS.
release date: Apr 01, 2007
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Airborn

Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow's nest, being the ship's eyes. We were two nights out of Sydney, and there'd been no weather to speak of so far. I was keeping watch on a dark stack of nimbus clouds off to the northwest, but we were leaving it far behind, and it looked to be smooth going all the way back to Lionsgate City. Like riding a cloud. . . .

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.

In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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A Wreath for Emmett Till
In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention.

Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr's wreath, woven from a little-known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to “speak what we see.”
release date: Oct 06, 2005
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John Lennon
Award-winning biographer Elizabeth Partridge dives into Lennon's life from the night he was born in 1940 during a World War II air raid on Liverpool, deftly taking us through his turbulent childhood and his rebellious rock'n'roll teens to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing music with the Beatles. She sheds light on the years after the Beatles, with Yoko Ono, as he struggled to make sense of his own artistic life—one that had turned from youthful angst to suffocating fame in almost a split second.

Partridge chronicles the emotional highs and paralyzing lows Lennon transformed into brilliant, evocative songs. With striking black-andwhite photographs spanning his entire life, John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth is the unforgettable story of one of rock's biggest legends.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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השליח

  
By the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book Thief, this is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
 
That's when the first ace arrives in the mail. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
 
This book is a 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and recipient of five starred reviews.

release date: Jan 01, 2004
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release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Book Thief
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
release date: Aug 01, 2008
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The Fault in Our Stars
From the #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

 

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Repossessed

Don't call me a demon. I prefer the term Fallen Angel.

Everybody deserves a vacation, right? Especially if you have a pointless job like tormenting the damned. So who could blame me for blowing off my duties and taking a small, unauthorized break?

Besides, I've always wanted to see what physical existence is like. That's why I "borrowed" the slightly used body of a slacker teen. Believe me, he wasn't going to be using it anymore anyway.

I have never understood why humans do the things they do. Like sin—if it's so terrible, why do they keep doing it?

I'm going to have a lot of fun finding out!

release date: Oct 14, 2008
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Tender Morsels
Tender Morsels is a dark and vivid story, set in two worlds and worrying at the border between them. Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, a world given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters grow up in this soft place, protected from the violence that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga's refuge. Now, having known Heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side?
release date: Dec 01, 2008
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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father's "Bunny Rabbit." A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston. Frankie Laundau-Banks. No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer. Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society. Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew is lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way. Chosen as a 2009 Michael L. Printz honor book
release date: Oct 14, 2008
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The Kingdom on the Waves
Volume II of the National Book Award Winner and NEW YORK TIMES bestseller — a stunning resolution to the epic tale that "fascinates, appalls,
condemns, and enthralls."


Fearing a death sentence, Octavian and his tutor, Dr. Trefusis, escape through rising tides and pouring rain to find shelter in British-occupied Boston. Sundered from all he knows — the College of Lucidity, the rebel cause — Octavian hopes to find safe harbor. Instead, he is soon to learn of Lord Dunmore's proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join the counterrevolutionary forces.

In Volume II of his unparalleled masterwork, M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian's experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him, thrusting him into intense battles and tantalizing him with elusive visions of liberty. Ultimately, this astonishing narrative escalates to a startling, deeply satisfying climax, while reexamining our national origins in a singularly provocative light.
release date: May 12, 2009
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Punkzilla
An award-winning writer and playwright hits the open road for a searing novel-in-letters about a street kid on a highstakes trek across America.

For a runaway boy who goes by the name "Punkzilla," kicking a meth habit and a life of petty crime in Portland, Oregon, is a prelude to a mission: reconnecting with his older brother, a gay man dying of cancer in Memphis. Against a backdrop of seedy motels, dicey bus stations, and hitched rides, the desperate fourteen-year-old meets a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. And in letters to his sibling, he catalogs them all — from an abusive stranger and a ghostly girl to a kind transsexual and an old woman with an oozing eye. The language is raw and revealing, crackling with visceral details and dark humor, yet with each interstate exit Punkzilla's journey grows more urgent: will he make it to Tennessee in time? This daring novel offers a narrative worthy of Kerouac and a keen insight into the power of chance encounters.
release date: Jul 20, 2010
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The Monstrumologist
These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was eating her, Will's world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus--a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest--and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatenning to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.

The Monstrumologist is the first stunning gothic adventure in a series that combines the spirit of HP Lovecraft with the storytelling ability of Rick Riorden.
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