The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature is awarded for “a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.”
This year’s winner is Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, reviewed by me here. From my review: “Ship Breaker is breathless, non stop action, with barely room to breathe. Getting lost in ships, hurricanes, deadly infections, knife battles, and that’s just the first third! The world-building is done so seamlessly that it’s not noticed. Along the way, much is given to the reader to think about. This is set in the future, but all the big questions are about our today: the divide between the haves and have nots, the ecological impact of actions, the use of child labor, as well as questions about loyalty, choice, and fate.”
I loved this book; the plotting, the characters, plus all the “big questions” to discuss. It’s a perfect pick! In addition, the world building is — well. In some books, even those I may enjoy, you get the feeling that the world only exists to the extent that the characters do. Open a door you’re not supposed to and you get a a blank room. A character leaves a room and they disappear. With Ship Breaker you know… you open that door. The world will be there. The characters live and breathe, whether or not they are on the page.
Four honor books were selected:
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King, Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick, Roaring Book Press, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Nothing by Janne Teller, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Congratulations and a big thank you to the Printz Committee: (info from YALSA website): Chair Erin Downey Howerton, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, Kan.; Jan L. Chapman, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, Ohio; Sarah Couri, New York Public Library; Melissa S. Rabey, Frederick County (Md.) Public Library; Janet P. Sarratt, Gaffney. S.C.; Brenna Shanks, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Eva Volin, Alameda (Calif.) Free Library; Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Md.; Rollie Welch, Cleveland Public Library; Sophie Brookover, administrative assistant, Infolink: The Eastern New Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, Piscataway, N.J.; and Gillian Engberg, Booklist consultant, Chicago.
I am now playing catch up reading the Honor Books. Expect reviews soon.
I look forward to reading all the books, because it makes the speeches so much more enjoyable.
So, what do you think? How many have you read? Agree/ disagree?