Michael L. Printz Award

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Michael L. Printz Award
Awarded forthe year's "best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit"
CountryUnited States
Presented byYoung Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association
First awarded2000

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". It is sponsored by Booklist magazine; administered by the ALA's young-adult division, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA); and named for the Topeka, Kansas, school librarian Mike Printz, a long-time active member of YALSA.[1]

Up to four worthy runners-up may be designated Honor Books and three or four have been named every year.


The Printz Award was founded in 2000 for 1999 publications.[2] The award "was created as a counterpoint to the Newbery" in order to highlight the best and most literary works of excellence written for a young adult audience.[3]

Jonathon Hunt, a Horn Book reviewer, hopes that the Printz Award can create a "canon as revered as that of the Newbery."[4]

Michael L. Printz was a librarian at Topeka West High School in Topeka, Kansas, until he retired in 1994.[5] He was also an active member of YALSA, serving on the Best Books for Young Adults Committee and the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee.[6] He dedicated his life to ensuring that his students had access to good literature. To that end he encouraged writers to focus on the young adult audience. He created an author-in-residence program at the high school to promote new talent and encourage his students. His most noteworthy find was Chris Crutcher.[2] Printz died at the age of 59 in 1996.[7]

Criteria and procedure[edit]

Source: "The Michael L. Printz Award Policies and Procedures"[8]

The selection committee comprises nine YALSA members appointed by the president-elect for a one-year term. They award one winner and honor up to four additional titles.[2] The term 'young adult' refers to readers from ages 12 through 18 for purposes of this award.[9] The Michael L. Printz Award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association (ALA).[10]

  • Non-fiction, fiction, poetry and anthologies are all eligible to receive the Printz Award.
  • Books must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of the year preceding announcement of the award.
  • Titles must be designated 'young adult' by its publisher or published for the age range that YALSA defines as "young adult," i.e., 12 through 18. Adult books are not eligible.
  • Works of joint authorship or editorship are eligible.
  • The award may be issued posthumously.
  • Books previously published in another country are eligible (presuming an American edition has been published during the period of eligibility).


The Printz Medal has been awarded to one person annually without exception in its first nineteen years, 2000–2018. No one has won it twice, though some authors have received both the medal and honor books.[11][12]

Printz Award winners and runners-up
Year Author Book Citation
2020 A.S. King Dig Winner
2020 Nahoko Uehashi The Beast Player Honor
2020 Mariko Tamaki Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me Honor
2020 Nikki Grimes Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir Honor
2020 Geraldine McCaughrean Where the World Ends Honor
2019 Elizabeth Acevedo The Poet X Winner
2019 Elana K. Arnold Damsel Honor
2019 Deb Caletti A Heart in a Body in the World Honor
2019 Mary McCoy I, Claudia Honor
2018 Nina LaCour We Are Okay Winner
2018 Angie Thomas The Hate U Give Honor
2018 Jason Reynolds Long Way Down Honor
2018 Laini Taylor Strange the Dreamer Honor
2018 Deborah Heiligman Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers Honor
2017 John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell March: Book Three Winner
2017 Louise O'Neill Asking for It Honor
2017 Julie Berry The Passion of Dolssa Honor
2017 Neal Shusterman Scythe Honor
2017 Nicola Yoon The Sun Is Also a Star Honor
2016 Laura Ruby Bone Gap Winner
2016 Ashley Hope Pérez Out of Darkness Honor
2016 Marcus Sedgwick The Ghosts of Heaven Honor
2015 Jandy Nelson I'll Give You the Sun Winner
2015 Jessie Ann Foley The Carnival at Bray Honor
2015 Jenny Hubbard And We Stay Honor
2015 Andrew Smith Grasshopper Jungle Honor
2015 Mariko Tamaki This One Summer Honor
2014 Marcus Sedgwick Midwinterblood Winner
2014 Rainbow Rowell Eleanor & Park Honor
2014 Susann Cokal Kingdom of Little Wounds Honor
2014 Sally Gardner Maggot Moon Honor
2014 Clare Vanderpool Navigating Early Honor
2013 Nick Lake In Darkness Winner
2013 Benjamin Alire Sáenz Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Honor
2013 Elizabeth Wein Code Name Verity Honor
2013 Terry Pratchett Dodger Honor
2013 Beverley Brenna The White Bicycle Honor
2012 John Corey Whaley Where Things Come Back Winner
2012 Daniel Handler Why We Broke Up Honor
2012 Christine Hinwood The Returning Honor
2012 Craig Silvey Jasper Jones Honor
2012 Maggie Stiefvater The Scorpio Races Honor
2011 Paolo Bacigalupi Ship Breaker Winner
2011 Lucy Christopher Stolen Honor
2011 A.S. King Please Ignore Vera Dietz Honor
2011 Marcus Sedgwick Revolver Honor
2011 Janne Teller Nothing Honor
2010 Libba Bray Going Bovine Winner
2010 Deborah Heiligman Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith Honor
2010 Rick Yancey The Monstrumologist Honor
2010 Adam Rapp Punkzilla Honor
2010 John Barnes Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973 Honor
2009 Melina Marchetta Jellicoe Road Winner
2009 M. T. Anderson The Kingdom on the Waves (Octavian Nothing, Vol II) Honor
2009 E. Lockhart The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks Honor
2009 Terry Pratchett Nation Honor
2009 Margo Lanagan Tender Morsels Honor
2008 Geraldine McCaughrean The White Darkness Winner
2008 Elizabeth Knox Dreamquake Honor
2008 Judith Clarke One Whole and Perfect Day Honor
2008 A. M. Jenkins Repossessed Honor
2008 Stephanie Hemphill Your Own Sylvia Honor
2007 Gene Luen Yang American Born Chinese Winner
2007 M. T. Anderson The Pox Party (Octavian Nothing, Vol I) Honor
2007 John Green An Abundance of Katherines Honor
2007 Sonya Hartnett Surrender Honor
2007 Markus Zusak The Book Thief Honor
2006 John Green Looking for Alaska Winner
2006 Margo Lanagan Black Juice Honor
2006 Markus Zusak I Am the Messenger Honor
2006 Elizabeth Partridge John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, a Photographic Biography Honor
2006 Marilyn Nelson A Wreath for Emmett Till Honor
2005 Meg Rosoff How I Live Now Winner
2005 Kenneth Oppel Airborn Honor
2005 Allan Stratton Chanda's Secrets Honor
2005 Gary D. Schmidt Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy Honor
2004 Angela Johnson The First Part Last Winner
2004 Jennifer Donnelly A Northern Light Honor
2004 Helen Frost Keesha's House Honor
2004 K. L. Going Fat Kid Rules the World Honor
2004 Carolyn Mackler The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Honor
2003 Aidan Chambers Postcards from No Man's Land Winner
2003 Nancy Farmer The House of the Scorpion Honor
2003 Garret Freymann-Weyr My Heartbeat Honor
2003 Jack Gantos Hole in My Life Honor
2002 An Na A Step From Heaven Winner
2002 Peter Dickinson The Ropemaker Honor
2002 Jan Greenberg Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art Honor
2002 Chris Lynch Freewill Honor
2002 Virginia Euwer Wolff True Believer Honor
2001 David Almond Kit's Wilderness Winner
2001 Carolyn Coman Many Stones Honor
2001 Carol Plum-Ucci The Body of Christopher Creed Honor
2001 Louise Rennison Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Honor
2001 Terry Trueman Stuck in Neutral Honor
2000 Walter Dean Myers Monster Winner
2000 David Almond Skellig Honor
2000 Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Honor
2000 Ellen Wittlinger Hard Love Honor

Multiple awards[edit]

As of 2020, no writer has won two of the fifteen Printz Awards. David Almond, John Green, Marcus Sedgwick, Geraldine McCaughrean and A. S. King have written one Award winner and one Honor Book. Seven people have two Honor Books: M. T. Anderson, Margo Lanagan, Terry Pratchett, Marcus Sedgwick, Markus Zusak, Deborah Heiligman, and Mariko Tamaki.

Four writers have won both the Printz Award and the annual Carnegie Medal from the British librarians: David Almond, Aidan Chambers, Geraldine McCaughrean, and Meg Rosoff. Chambers alone has won both for the same book, the 1999 Carnegie and 2003 Printz for the novel Postcards from No Man's Land.[12][13] In its scope, books for children or young adults (published in the UK), the British Carnegie corresponds to the American Newbery and Printz awards.

See also[edit]

American Library Association awards

  • Newbery Medal — the first children's literary award in the world, inaugurated 1922; after 1999 for American children's distinct from young-adult books
  • Margaret A. Edwards Award for outstanding lifetime contribution to young-adult literature


  1. ^ "The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association. (ALA). Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  2. ^ a b c Waddle, Linda. "The Association's Associations: YALSA Becomes Printz-Oriented. (Young Adult Library Services Association introduces Michael L. Printz Award) (Michael L. Printz Award) (Brief Article)". American Libraries 30.11 (Dec 1999): 7. Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. Hennepin County Library. June 30, 2009.
  3. ^ Piper, Rachel (28 January 2015). "Brooke Young of the Printz Award Committee". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. ^ Hunt, Jonathan (July 2009). "A Printz Retrospective". Horn Book Magazine. 85 (4): 395–403. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  5. ^ HOLLINGSWORTH, HEATHER. "Book award named for former Topeka West librarian Michael Printz | CJOnline.com". cjonline.com. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  6. ^ "Michael L. Printz Awards". web.ccsu.edu.
  7. ^ American Libraries, March 1997, p. 76.
  8. ^ "The Michael L. Printz Award Policies and Procedures". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  9. ^ "YALSA Awards Youth Books." Education Technology News 17.3 (Feb 2, 2000): NA. Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. Hennepin County Library. June 30, 2009.
  10. ^ "Teen books honored". Reading Today 24.2 (Oct-Nov 2006): 12(1). Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. Hennepin County Library. June 30, 2009.
  11. ^ "American Library Association announces 2014 youth media award winners". ALA Press Release. January 27, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  12. ^ a b "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  13. ^ "The Carnegie Medal: Full List of Winners". Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). Retrieved 2014-02-06.

External links[edit]