Printz Award

Larra Clark/Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
For Immediate Release

January 22, 2007

Gene Luen Yang wins 2007 Printz Award

SEATTLE – Gene Luen Yang has won the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award for his masterful graphic novel "American Born Chinese." The book is published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership. The award announcement was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Yang draws from American pop culture and ancient Chinese mythology in his groundbreaking work. Expertly told in words and pictures, Yang’s story in three parts follows a Chinese American teenager’s struggle to define himself against racial stereotypes. "American Born Chinese" is the first graphic novel to be recognized by the Michael L. Printz Committee.

Yang, who began drawing comics in the fifth grade, is a high school teacher in the San Francisco Bay area.

The annual award for literary 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, Kans., school librarian known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named: "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; v. 1: The Pox Party" by M. T. Anderson, published by Candlewick; "An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.; "Surrender" by Sonya Hartnett, published by Candlewick Press; and "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

M.T. Anderson’s "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; v. 1: The Pox Party" employs 18th-century language to tell the story of Octavian, the subject of a horrifying Enlightenment experiment, who escapes the bonds of slavery and fights in the American Revolution.

A road trip to the town of Gutshot, Tenn., offers Colin Singleton, a child prodigy and compulsive boyfriend of girls named Katherine, the opportunity to face his past and find his future in John Green’s second novel, "An Abundance of Katherines."

In "Surrender," a psychological thriller by Sonya Hartnett, a troubled young man relives the horrifying events that land him on his deathbed.

Death recounts the journey of Liesel Meminger in Markus Zusak’s "The Book Thief," the story of a young girl who witnesses the destructive and healing power of words in Nazi Germany.

Members of the Printz Award Committee are: Chair Cindy Dobrez, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, Mich.; Eunice Anderson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Angelina Benedetti, King County (Wash.) Library System; Teresa Brantley, Salem Middle School, Apex, N.C.; Vicki Emery, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, Va.; Jana Fine, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Public Library; Michele Gorman, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, N.C.; Jessica Mize, Newark (Ohio) Public Library; Sarajo Wentling, Carver County (Minn.) Library; and Gillian Engberg,
Booklist consultant, Chicago.

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: