"Dig" wins 2020 Printz Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



PHILADELPHIA – “Dig,” written by A.S. King, published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House, has won the 2020 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) today announced the winner during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Jan. 24 – 28, in Philadelphia. 

Five teenagers’ disparate lives weave together, unveiling long-buried secrets within a complex shared history. King’s surrealistic narrative confronts themes of white privilege and its dark legacies.  

“King’s latest is a visceral punch in the gut,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Kim Keown Farnsworth. “It unapologetically explores the generational impacts of white privilege and the alienation of fractured families.” 

Four Printz Honor Books also were named:  

“The Beast Player,” written by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano, and published by Godwin Books/Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. 

Orphaned Elin learns to use her ability to communicate with animals as she navigates through political unrest. The beauty and power of the natural world are at the heart of this captivating, nimbly translated Japanese fantasy. 

“Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me,” written by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, and published by First Second/ Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

Freddy is enamored with the magnetic Laura Dean, but their on-again, off-again relationship is far from healthy. Through soft-hued illustrations and cinematic scope, this graphic novel captures the intoxication of teenage love and the search for identity. 

“Ordinary Hazards:  A Memoir,” written by Nikki Grimes, and published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills & Kane.

Grimes’ verse memoir traces her development through a tumultuous childhood as she finds her voice as a powerful storyteller. Themes of family, belonging, and identity combine to tell a story of faith and resilience. 

“Where the World Ends,” written by Geraldine McCaughrean, and published by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. 

In 1727, a group of men and boys from St. Kilda sail to a remote sea stack on a fowling trip, only to find themselves stranded. McCaughrean’s exceptional tale evokes the harsh beauty of its setting and the warm humor of its characters. 

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. The award is administered annually by YALSA and is sponsored by Booklist magazine.

Members of the 2020 Printz Award Committee are: Chair Kim Keown Farnsworth, Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library; Tegan Beese, Lake Villa District Library, Lindenhurst, Ill.; Connie Poulsen-Hollin, Guernsey-Sunrise Schools, Guernsey, Wyo.; Elisa A. Garcia, Bronx (N.Y.)  Library Center; Kay Hones, Civic Center Secondary, San Francisco; Connie Lin, San Francisco Public Library; Jenny Zbrizher, Maplewood (N.J.) Memorial Library; Stacey Shapiro, Cranford (N.J.) Public Library; Cameron Riesenberger, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, Colo.; administrative assistant Suzanne Clerkin, Solano County Library, Fairfield, Calif.; and Maggie Reagan, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or email, yalsa@ala.org.

For more information on the Michael L. Printz Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma