Melina Marchetta Wins 2009 Printz Award

Contacts: Macey Morales / Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release

January 26, 2009

DENVER –Melina Marchetta, author of “Jellicoe Road,” published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has won the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. The award is presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 23 – 28 in Denver.

The annual award for excellence is administered by YALSA 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.

Haunted by the past, Taylor Markham reluctantly leads the students of the Jellicoe School in their secret territory wars against the Townies and the Cadets. Marchetta’s lyrical writing evokes the Australian landscape in a suspenseful tale of raw emotion, romance, humor and tragedy.

Melina Marchetta lives in Sydney, Australia, and is the award-winning author of two previous novels. A former high school teacher, she is recognized for the authenticity of her teen characters’ voices.

“This roller coaster ride of a novel grabs you from the first sentence and doesn’t let go. You may not be sure where the ride will take you, but every detail—from the complexities of the dual narrative to the pangs of first love—is pitch perfect,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Mary Arnold.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named:

“The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves,” by M.T. Anderson, published by Candlewick Press.

Caught in the crossfire of the American Revolution, escaped slave Octavian joins the British army in hopes of finally securing his own freedom.

“The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks,” by E. Lockhart, published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Can the old-boy network at her elite boarding school survive the mal-doings of Frankie Landau-Banks?

“Nation,” by Terry Pratchett, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Pratchett’s trademark humor leavens this epic tale of ravaged islands, shipwrecked nobles and survival.

“Tender Morsels,” by Margo Lanagan, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

In utterly original language, Lanagan re-imagines “Snow White and Rose Red” and explores the brutality and beauty of life.

Members of the 2009 Printz Award Committee are: Chair Mary Arnold, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Maple Heights Branch, Parma, Ohio; Elizabeth Burns, head of Youth Services, New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton, N.J.; Donna Cook, Central High School/ISD, Pollok, Texas; Alison Hendon, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Caroline Kienzle, Apalachicola, Fla.; Ellen Loughran, Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Kevin Scanlon, Henderson District (Nev.) Public Libraries; Karyn Silverman, LREI, Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York; J. Marin Younker, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, Wash; Margaret Butzler, administrative assistant, Bethel Park, Pa.; and
Booklist consultant Gillian Engberg, Chicago.

For more than 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 .

For more information on the Michael L. Printz Award and other ALA literary awards, please visit