John Green Wins 2006 Printz Award

Contacts: Larra Clark/Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
For Immediate Release  
January 23, 2006                                                      


John Green Wins 2006 Printz Award


(SAN ANTONIO)   John Green has won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award for his extraordinary first novel, “Looking for Alaska,” published by Dutton Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. The award announcement was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, January 20-25.


“Tired of his boring existence, 16-year-old Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter heads off to seek his ‘Great Perhaps’ at an Alabama boarding school, where newfound freedom, guilty pleasures and an enigmatic girl named Alaska hurl him into life. First-time author John Green writes with intimacy, humor and insight about a world where intense friendship can lead to devastating loss,” says Committee Chair Michael Cart.


John Green, like his protagonist Miles, attended an Alabama boarding school and currently lives in New York City


The annual award for excellence is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist magazine. 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.


Four Printz Honor Books also were named:   “Black Juice” by Margo Lanagan, published by EOS, an imprint of HarperCollins; “I Am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; “John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, a Photographic Biography” by Elizabeth Partridge, published by Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.; and “A Wreath for Emmett Till” by Marilyn Nelson, published by Houghton Mifflin Company.


Between the covers of “Black Juice” lies a challenging and lyrical short story collection where mad clowns, dragon angels, sad elephants and dancing gypsies reside. Incorporating elements of science fiction, fantasy and horror, each story transports readers to richly realized worlds that defy definition.  


In “I Am the Messenger,” an unknown presence sends an aimless young cab driver on a series of life-altering missions that raise questions about the way life­ – and stories – are structured.


Quintessential rebel John Lennon comes alive in “John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth” with words that sing, as well as striking photographs, some never before published. Together they help readers imagine the man whose talent and passion transformed a generation.


A tragic story is at the heart of “A Wreath for Emmett Till,” a heroic crown of sonnets. Each sonnet serves as a powerful tribute to a young life lost to the violence of America’s racial history.


Members of the Printz Award Committee are: Michael Cart, chair, San Diego; Sandra Anne Farrell, Free Library of Philadelphia; Jennifer Hubert, Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York; Betsy Levine, San Francisco Public Library; Kimberly L. Paone, Elizabeth (N.J.) Public Library; Michael G. Pawuk, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland; Susan Raboy, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Susan Riley, Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Public Library; Deborah Taylor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Ilene Cooper, Booklist, Chicago and the late James Cook, Dayton, OH.

More information about the Printz Award can be found online at For information on other ALA literary awards, please visit