Michael L. Printz Award

About the Michael L. Printz Award
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

Who Was Mike Printz?

When the Newbery Award began , people probably asked, "Who is John Newbery?" After 75 years of Newbery Awards, "everyone knows the name." So that everyone will recognize the name of this new award as quickly as possible, some background information may prove helpful. "Mike," as he was known to his friends and colleagues, was a school librarian at Topeka West (KS) High School for many years and retired from teaching in 1994. Until his untimely death in 1996, he worked as a marketing consultant for Econo-Clad Books.

Mike was active in YALSA and served on the Best Books for Young Adults Committee and the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee. He had a passion for books and reading. Finding the right book for the right student at the right time was not just a slogan to Mike-he lived it. He also appreciated the authors who wrote books for young adults and demonstrated this by initiating an author-in-residence program at his high school. One of those authors was Chris Crutcher, who became a close friend. Chris recalls the quiet times he spent with Mike talking with him about his vision of young adult literature and its place in kid's lives and says, "The ache I feel [upon hearing of Mike's death] is my wish that he could have accepted for himself what he so readily gave to us, readers and writers alike; a place to stand in the circle of the joy and heartache that is storytelling."

YALSA has created a place, a circle if you will, for Mike to stand and be recognized- that place is the Michael L.Printz Award.

YALSA published A Printz of a Man, a volume of articles written by Mike's friends and colleagues in 1997. Copies were given to the participants at the YALSA preconference, Popular Reading, which was dedicated to Mike, in San Francisco. It is now available on this web site for the reader's information and enjoyment.

Administered by:

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2010 Winner(s)

Going Bovine

by Libba Bray (Delacorte Press)

Sixteen year old slacker, Cameron, sets off on a madcap road trip along with a punk angel, a dwarf sidekick, a yard gnome and a mad scientist, to save the world and perhaps his own life.

This wildly imaginative modern day take on Don Quixote is complex, hilarious and stunning. The hero’s journey will never be the same after “Going Bovine.”


2010 Honor(s)

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith

by Deborah Heiligman, published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

"Charles Darwin published 'The origin of species,' his revolutionary treatise on evolution, in 1859. Even today, the theory of evolution creates tension between the scientific and religious communities. This same debate raged within Darwin himself and played an important part in his marriage: Emma's faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked on his controversial theory. His wife's religious convictions made him rethink how the world would receive his ideas"--From publisher description.


The Monstrumologist

by Richard "Rick" Yancey, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

    In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a New Escientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy a pod of Anthropophagi.

Tales from the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973

by John Barnes and published by Viking Children's Books, a division of Penguin Young Reader's Group

In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be "normal," despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.


Punkzilla

by Adam Rapp and published by Candlewick Press

"Punkzilla" is on a mission to see his older brother "P", before "P" dies of cancer. Still buzzing from his last hit of meth, he embarks on a days-long trip from Portland, Ore. to Memphis, Tenn., writing letters to his family and friends. Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America and worries if he will make it to see his brother in time.