Aidan Chambers wins Printz Award

Contact: Paige Wasson


For Immediate Release

January 27, 2003

Aidan Chambers wins Printz Award

Aidan Chambers has won the 2003 Michael L. Printz Award for his powerful novel, "Postcards from No Man's Land." Published by Dutton Books/Penguin Putnam Inc., Chambers' novel is a passionate narrative about 17-year-old Jacob, who comes to Amsterdam to find the grave of his grandfather who died there during World War II. He meets Geertrui, the Dutch woman who cared for his wounded grandfather. Her teenage World War II story is interwoven with Jacob's surprising discoveries about love, sex, family secrets and his own identity.

The announcement was made January 27 during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 24 to 29. The annual award for excellence in young adult literature is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA, and sponsored by Booklist magazine. The award, first given in 2000, is named for the late Michael L. Printz, a Topeka, Kans., school librarian known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults.

"The alternating narratives of Jacob and Geertrui make a story that is intense, sophisticated and surprising," said Suzanne Manczuk, acting chair of the Printz Award Selection Committee. "Jacob discovers that 'nothing in Amsterdam is what it appears to be.'"

Chambers lives in England, and his previous young adult works have been acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. "Postcards From No Man's Land" was awarded the British Carnegie Medal, and Chambers received the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2002 for the body of his work.

Three Printz Honor Books were named: "Hole in My Life," by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; "My Heartbeat," by Garret Freymann-Weyr, published by Houghton Mifflin Company; and "The House of the Scorpion," by Nancy Farmer, published by A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division.

"We are far beyond the 'problem novel' stereotype of YA literature. These are sophisticated, gripping stories with complex characters who find no formula resolution," said Hazel Rochman,
Booklist Editor, Young Adult Books.

Members of the Printz Award Committee are: Chair Joel Shoemaker, Iowa City, Iowa; Acting-Chair Suzanne Manczuk, Pennington, N.J.; Candace M. Bundy, Fairview Park, Ohio; Hilary S. Crew, Bernardsville, N.J.; Jeff Katz, Seattle; Robert G. Paul, Jr., Madisonville, Tenn.; Sandra Payne, New York City; Alice F. Stern, W. Roxbury, Mass.; Nell Ward, Newport, Ore.; and Hazel Rochman.

More information about the Printz Award can be found