SEATTLE — “In Darkness,” written by Nick Lake and published by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers,has won the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) today announced the winner during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held Jan. 24–29 in Seattle.
Fifteen-year-old Shorty awakens beneath the ruins of a crumbled hospital in Haiti, where his weakening mind begins flashing back through his own violent history, the loss of his twin sister, and his mystical connection to Toussaint Louverture, the nineteenth-century revolutionary who helped liberate his country.
Nick Lake lives in England and works as an editorial director in children’s publishing.
“This bold weaving of gritty contemporary drama, revolutionary history and magical realism tells a one-of-a-kind story as fiercely intelligent as it is heartbreakingly honest,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Sharon Grover.
Four Printz Honor Books were also named:
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
A self-described natural misanthrope, Aristotle finds himself changed when he meets precocious Dante, whose open and intense friendship over a fateful summer compels Ari to question love, art, adulthood and even the secrets of the universe.
“Code Name Verity,” written by Elizabeth Wein and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
In this multifaceted tale of intrigue and loyalties, two young women find their friendship tested while fighting to save themselves and their secrets when caught behind enemy lines in occupied France during World War II.
“Dodger,” written by Terry Pratchett and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
In this wild historical adventure, 17-year-old Dodger rescues a young woman from an attack, is appointed assistant detective to Charlie Dickens, encounters the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, obtains his first tailored suit and learns from his mentor Solomon how to navigate a wide range of social and political circles.
“The White Bicycle,” written by Beverley Brenna and published by Red Deer Press.
A summer spent as a “personal care assistant” in the French countryside turns into a journey of self-realization and independence as 19-year-old Taylor Jane, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, tells in her own distinctive voice how she has the skills and heart to live life on her own terms.
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. The award is administered annually by YALSA and is sponsored by Booklist magazine.
Members of the 2013 Printz Award Committee are: Chair Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, Wis.; Louise Brueggemann, Naperville (Ill.) Public Library;
Meghan Cirrito, Queens (N.Y.) Library; Francisca Goldsmith, Infopeople Project, Berkeley, Calif.; Alexandra E. Henshel, Library Consultant, Kingston, R.I.; Sarah B. Hill, Paris (Ill.) Cooperative High School Library; Krista R. McKenzie, Garrett College Library,
McHenry, Md.; Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton, N.J.; Sarah Bean Thompson
Springfield (Mo.)–Greene County Library; Laurie Bartz, Award Administrative Assistant
Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, Wis.; and Dan Kraus, Booklist Magazine, consultant Chicago.
YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/booklistsawards/bookawards.
For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Michael L. Printz Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.