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:

Young Adult Library Services Association logo

2014 Winner(s)

Midwinterblood

By Marcus Sedgwick

Published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Doomed love circles back through the centuries in a series of seven intricately plotted, interlocking stories set on a mysterious, isolated island. Forgetting and remembering, blessed and cursed, modern and ancient, these dualities brilliantly infuse the novel’s lush landscape.


2014 Honor(s)

Eleanor & Park

By Rainbow Rowell

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin (Macmillan)

Unlikely love blossoms on the bus when two unique, exceptional souls find strength in each other’s differences in Rowell’s emotionally charged and hopeful novel.


Kingdom of Little Wounds

By Susann Cokal

Published by Candlewick Press

Impeccably researched and darkly disturbing, this complex literary tale reveals the sordid side of palace life in a 16th century Scandinavian kingdom where the royal family, the Lunedies, is cursed by a mysterious illness, and political machinations cast doubt on who will rule.


MAGGOT MOON

By Sally Gardner

Published by Candlewick Press

In Sally Gardner’s explosively original dystopian novel, Standish Treadwell and his grandfather show quiet defiance in the face of the oppressive, merciless Motherland. The cleverly parallel illustrations highlight a story as offbeat and perceptive as Standish and his mismatched eyes.


Navigating Early

By Clare Vanderpool

Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, Penguin Random House Company

Jack Baker, uprooted suddenly after his mother’s death, and Early Auden, the strangest of boys, meet at a Maine boarding school. Their friendship culminates in a treacherous quest and unexpected self-discovery. Vanderpool delivers an emotionally powerful novel in an untamed setting as the boys head up river in search of the Great Appalachian Bear. The award, first given in 2000, is named for the late Michael L. Printz, a Topeka, Kan., school librarian known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults.