Geraldine McCaughrean Wins 2008 Printz Award

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release,

January 14, 2008

Geraldine McCaughrean Wins 2008 Printz Award

PHILADELPHIA - “The White Darkness,” by Geraldine McCaughrean, published by HarperTempest, an imprint of HarperCollins has won the 2008 Michael L. Printz Award. The award announcement was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11-16.

Fourteen-year-old Symone's exciting vacation to Antarctica turns into a desperate struggle for survival when her uncle's obsessive quest leads them across the frozen wilderness into danger.

McCaughrean has won numerous awards for children's literature in her native England. Celebrated for her novels, picture books and folklore adaptations, “The White Darkness” is her first contemporary young adult novel.

“Symone's unforgettable voice propels this journey of discovery in a book that is intricately plotted, richly imaged and brings new meaning to the term unreliable narrator,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Lynn Rutan. “Readers will need to hang onto their snow goggles in this compelling book in which nothing is as it seems at first glance.”

The annual award for excellence is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist. 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 were also named:

  • “Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet,” by Elizabeth Knox, published by Frances Foster Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, shows off the author's formidable world-building skills with a variety of striking physical landscapes, a vividly evoked Edwardian society, and the startlingly original concept of dreamhunting.
  • “One Whole and Perfect Day,” by Judith Clarke, published by Front Street, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc., tells the tale of one teen's perfect day with her anything-but-perfect family.
  • “Repossessed,” by A. M. Jenkins, published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins, tells the story of Kiriel, a fallen angel who takes a vacation from his job as a tormentor to experience life as an American teenage boy in Jenkins' thought-provoking comedic novel.
  • “Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath,” by Stephanie Hemphill, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, shares poems in many voices illuminating the enigmatic Sylvia Plath in a unique blend of fact and fiction.

Members of the Printz Award Committee are: Chair Lynn Rutan, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, Mich.; Julie Thomas Bartel, Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Salt Lake City; Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, Alberta; Jonathan Hunt, Modesto City Schools, Hughson, Calif.; Walter M. Mayes, The Girls' Middle School, Mountain View, Calif.; Jolen Neumann, Madison Metropolitan School District , Fitchburg, Wis.; Hollis Rudiger, Rochester, Minn.; Amy Sears, Teaneck Public Library, Teaneck, N.J.; Patricia Suellentrop, youth services manager, Johnson County Library, Kan. and Stephanie Zvirin, Booklist consultant, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens. For more information about the Michael L. Printz Award, go to