Printz Award

printz awardprintz awardAbout the Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.  The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.  Learn more about Michael Printz via this video from

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Visit YALSA's Teen Book Finder Database, a one-stop shop for finding selected lists and award winners. Users can search this free resource by award, list name, year, author, genre and more, as well as print customizable lists.

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2021 Winner    

Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

Bone Ga

We Are Okay

, written by Nina LaCour, published by Dutton Books for Young

Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers

We Are Okay

, written by Nina LaCour, published by Dutton Books for Young

Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Reader

Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story)
By Daniel Nayeri
Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido

In an autobiographical novel, middle-schooler Daniel, formerly Khosrou, tells his unimpressed and at times cruel classmates about his experience as an Iranian refugee.

2021 Honor Books

Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth

Apple (Skin to the Core)
by Eric Gansworth
Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido

Gansworth—an enrolled member of the Onandaga Nation—revisits his childhood and teen years spent on a Tuscarora reservation in this ambitious and searing memoir. Told in verse and accompanied by original art, Gansworth’s compelling coming of age story is a moving, illuminating exploration of otherness, intergenerational trauma, and resilience.   
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
Dragon Hoops
Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien
First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Gene Luen Yang never would have guessed that he would be working on a graphic novel about a basketball team, but he found inspiration in the men’s varsity team at Bishop O’Dowd High School. The games are only a small portion of the story, though, as readers learn about the history of basketball as well as Yang’s personal journey.   
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
Every Body Looking
by Candice Iloh
Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House
In this novel in verse, Ada recounts her freshman year as a first generation student attending a Historically Black College, while simultaneously taking the reader through her younger life. Ada feels the pressure to make money from her major, but she ultimately realizes that dance is what connects, energizes, and sustains her.  
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
We Are Not Free
by Traci Chee
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued the Civilian Exclusion Order, forcing the tight knit community of Japantown teens and their families to incarceration camps.  Author Traci Chee deftly manages fourteen narratives all with a unique voice and experience. The lives of these teens may have been forever changed, but as Chee writes, “We are not free. But we are not alone."
Members of the 2021 Printz Award Committee are: Chair Ellen Spring, Oceanside High School, Rockland, Maine; Asuncion Cora, High Bridge Library, Bronx, New York; Dorothy Sarah Karlin, Woburn Public Library, Lexington, Massachusetts; Jessica Tackett MacDonald, Boston Public Library, East Boston, Massachusetts; Shelley Mastalerz, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, Washington; Elena McVicar, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, Kansas; Loren Spector, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, California; Gregory Taylor, Hillside Junior High School, Boise, Idaho; and Marina J. Welmers, Marana USD, Tucson, Arizona.

Previous Winners  

View a complete list of Michael L. Printz winners and honor book authors.

More information on previous winners.