This morning, theÂ American Library Association announced the 2015 recipient of the prestigiousÂ Michael J. Printz Award. The Printz Award is the highest honor for young adult literature â like the Oscars for YA books. Instead of a golden statue, though, Printz recipients receive a shiny gold âPâ on their covers.
TheÂ honored book is chosen for âexemplifying literary excellence in young adult literature,â and these books are so great that we recommend them to all types of readers â even those who donât regularly readÂ YA!
The 2015 Printz Award winner is Iâll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
From the publisher:
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic waysâ¦ until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else â an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noahâs story to tell. The later years are Judeâs. What the twins donât realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, theyâd have a chance to remake their world.
This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing â often all at once.
For previous Printz Award winners, check out these books:
2014: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novelÂ all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood?Â From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.
2013: In Darkness by Nick Lake
This is the story of âShortyâ â a 15-year-old boy trapped in a collapsed hospital during the earthquake in Haiti. Surrounded by the bodies of the dead, increasingly weak from lack of food and water, Shorty begins to hallucinate. As he waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, a mystical bridge seems to emerge between him and Haitian leader Toussaint LâOuverture, uniting the two in their darkest suffering-and their hope.
A modern teen and a black slave, separated by hundreds of years. Yet in some strange way, the boy in the ruins of Port au Prince and the man who led the struggle for Haitiâs independence might well be one and the sameâ¦
2012: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witterâs senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted 15-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears.
Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionaryâs disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning that has far-reaching consequences. As distant as the two stories initially seem, they are woven together through masterful plotting and merge in a surprising and harrowing climax.
This extraordinary tale from a rare literary voice finds wonder in the ordinary and illuminates the hope of second chances.
2011: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In Americaâs Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quotaâand hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all itâs worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better lifeâ¦
In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.
2010: Going Bovine by Libba Bray
All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school â and life in general â with a minimum of effort. Itâs not a lot to ask. But thatâs before heâs given some bad news: heâs sick and heâs going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure â if heâs willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.
For more must-read YA books, check out our infographic featuring the best YA books of 2014.