Favorite Teen Award Winners

I was really excited last month when the Young Adult Library Services Association announced that Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick was the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award winner. The Printz Award is presented to the book that “exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature” each year. The Printz Award list is a surefire way to find great reads.

A few of my favorite past winners are:

In American Born Chinese, three stories are woven together, from fable to present day and back again, to tell a story of finding yourself. This is not just another graphic novel. It is a story rich in detail and includes one of the oldest Chinese fables—the Monkey King.

In Looking for Alaska, Pudge wants to go to boarding school to find “The Great Perhaps.” He connects with a group of friends who become like family. What I like about this story is the authenticity of finding one thing when you are searching for another. Pudge realizes that even if there is much pain in relationships, they are still worth having.

On the surface, How I Live Now looks like a simple war story. Meg is sent to England to visit family when war breaks out. She is unprepared for suddenly having to fend for herself and be responsible for her younger cousins. I like this coming-of-age story for a variety of reasons, including Meg’s voice, the people she meets and the survival aspect.

What are your favorites?