Michael L. Printz Honor
for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
Titles Owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Library

The Michael L. Printz Award was established in 2000 and is given to 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. The award information was retrieved from the (ALA) Michael L. Printz Award website. The call numbers for the books owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Llibrary are provided after the citation.


Pérez, Ashley Hope. (2015). Out of darkness. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Lab.

Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

Sedgwick, Marcus. (2015, c2014). The ghosts of heaven. New York : Roaring Brook Press.

Four linked stories of discovery and survival begin with a Paleolithic-era girl who makes the first written signs, continue with Anna, who people call a witch, then a mad twentieth-century poet who watches the ocean knowing the horrors it hides, and concluding with an astronaut on the first spaceship from Earth sent to colonize another world.


Hubbard, Jenny. (2014). And we stay. New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC H8753an

Sent to an Amherst, Massachusetts, boarding school after her ex-boyfriend shoots himself, seventeen-year-old Emily expresses herself through poetry as she relives their relationship, copes with her guilt, and begins to heal.

Foley, Jessie Ann. (2014). The carnival at Bray. Ashford, CT : Elephant Rock Books. INTR-FIC F6637ca 

It's 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she'll ever find her place in this new world. When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life-altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all-- live.

Smith, Andrew. (2014). Grasshopper jungle : a history. New York, New York : Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, LLC. INTR-FIC S6422gr

"Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong.”

Tamaki, Mariko. (2014). This one summer. (Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki). New York : First Second. 741.5 T153t

Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since she was a little girl. It's her summer getaway, her refuge. Her friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had, completing her summer family. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and Rose and Windy have gotten tangled up in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach. It's a summer of secrets and heartache, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.


Rowell, Rainbow. (2013). Eleanor & Park. New York : St. Martin's Griffin. INTR-FIC R881el

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try"--Provided by publisher.

Cokal, Susann. (2013). The kingdom of little wounds. Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC C6822ki

On the eve of Princess Sophia's wedding the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne's heirs, and a courtier's wolfish hunger for the king's favors sets a devious plot in motion. In the palace at Skyggehave, things are seldom as they seem -- and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined.

Gardner, Sally. (2013). Maggot moon. (Illustrations by Julian Crouch). Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC G2291ma  

"An unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing. What if the football hadn't gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn't want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell--who has different-colored eyes, who can't read, can't write, Standish Treadwell isn't bright--sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it's big."--Dust jacket.

Vanderpool, Clare. (2013). Navigating Early. New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC V2393na

"Odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters".


Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. (2012). Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR.  INTR-FIC S127ar

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

Wein, Elizabeth. (2012). Code name Verity. New York : Hyperion Books. INTR-FIC W423co

In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

Pratchett, Terry. (2012). Dodger. New York : HarperCollins. INTR-FIC P9122do

"In an alternative version of Victorian London, a seventeen-year-old Dodger, a cunning and cheeky street urchin, unexpectedly rises in life when he saves a mysterious girl, meets Charles Dickens, and unintentionally puts a stop to the murders of Sweeny Todd".

Brenna, Beverley. (2012). The white bicycle. Markham, Ont. : Red Deer Press. INTR-FIC B838wh

The White Bicycle is the third stand-alone title in the Wild Orchid series about a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome. This installment chronicles Taylor Jane's travels to the south of France where she spends a summer babysitting for the Phoenix family. Including flashbacks into Taylor's earliest memories, along with immediate scenes in Lourmarin, a picturesque village in the Luberon Valley, The White Bicycle results in a journey for independence both personal and universal, told in Taylor's honest first-person prose. (Amazon).


Silvey, Craig. (2011). Japser Jones : a novel. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. INTR-FIC S5878ja

In small-town Australia, teens Jasper and Charlie form an unlikely friendship when one asks the other to help him cover up a murder until they can prove who is responsible.

Hinwood, Christine. (2011). The returning. New York : Dial Books. INTR-FIC H666re

When the six-year war between the Uplanders and Downlanders is over and Cam returns home to his village, questions dog him, from how he lost an arm to why he was the only one of his fellow soldiers to survive, such that he must leave until his own suspicions are resolved.

Stiefvater, Maggie. (2011). The Scorpio Races. New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC S8555sc

Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Handler, Daniel. (2011). Why we broke up. (Art by Maira Kalman). New York : Little, Brown. INTR-FIC H2367wh

Sixteen-year-old Min Green writes a letter to Ed Slaterton in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.


Teller, Janne. (2010). Nothing. (Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken). New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC T2745no

When thirteen-year-old Pierre Anthon leaves school to sit in a plum tree and train for becoming part of nothing, his seventh grade classmates set out on a desperate quest for the meaning of life.

King, A. S. (Amy Sarig). (2010). Please ignore Vera Dietz. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. INTR-FIC K521pl 

When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.

Sedgwick, Marcus. (2010, c2009). Revolver. New York : Roaring Brook Press. INTR-FIC S448re

A collection of poems that celebrate the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark. Each illustration is accompanied by a prose explanation of what the poem and art depict.

Christopher, Lucy. (2010). Stolen. New York : Chicken House. INTR-FIC C5564st

Sixteen-year-old Gemma, a British city-dweller, is drugged and abducted while on vacation with her parents and taken to the Australian outback, where she soon realizes that escape attempts are futile. In time she begins to think believe that her parents no longer want her and that her captor is not as despicable as she first believed.


Heiligman, Deborah. (2009). Charles and Emma : the Darwins’ leap of faith. New York : Henry Holt and Co. 921 D2283he

"Charles Darwin published ’The origin of species,’ his revolutionary treatise on evolution, in 1859. Even today, the theory of evolution creates tension between the scientific and religious communities. This same debate raged within Darwin himself and played an important part in his marriage: Emma’s faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked on his controversial theory. His wife’s religious convictions made him rethink how the world would receive his ideas"--From publisher description.

Rapp, Adam. (2009). Punkzilla. Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC R2210pu 

"Punkzilla" is on a mission to see his older borhter "P", before "p" dies of cancer. Still buzzing from his last hit of meth, he embarks on a days-long trip from Portland, Ore. to Memphis, Tenn., writing letters to his family and friends. Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America and worries if he will make it to see his brother in time

Barnes, John. (2009). Tales of the Madman Underground : (an historical romance 1973). New York : Viking. INTR-FIC B2611ta 

In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be "normal," despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.

Yancey, Richard. (2009). The monstrumologist : William James Henry. (The monstrumologist ; bk. 1). New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR. INTR-FIC Y213mo 

In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a scientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy a pod of Anthropophagi.


Pratchett, Terry. (2008). Nation. New York, NY : HarperCollins. INTR-FIC P9122na 

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Lanagan, Margo. (2008). Tender morsels. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. INTR-FIC L2432te

A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between her world and the real one begins to break down.

Lockhart, E. (2008). The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks : a novel. New York : Hyperion. INTR-FIC L8162di 

Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.

Anderson, M.T. (2008). The kingdom on the waves. (The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation ; v. 2). Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC A5486ki 

After escaping a death sentence in the summer of 1775, Octavian and his tutor find shelter but no safe harbor in British-occupied Boston and, persuaded by Lord Dunmore’s proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join his counterrevolutionary Royal Ethiopian Regiment, Octavian and his friends soon find themselves engaged in naval raids on the Virginia coastline as the Revolutionary War breaks out in full force.


Knox, Elizabeth. (2007). Dreamquake : book two of the Dreamhunter duet. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC K745dr

Aided by her family and her creation, Nown, Laura investigates the powerful Regulatory Body's involvement in mysterious disappearances and activities and learns, in the process, the true nature of the Place in which dreams are found.

Clarke, Judith. (2006). One whole and perfect day. Asheville, N.C. : Front Street. INTR-FIC C5985on 

As her irritating family prepares to celebrate her grandfather's eightieth birthday, sixteen-year-old Lily yearns for just one whole perfect day together.

Jenkins, A. M. (2007). Repossessed. New York, NY : HarperTeen. INTR-FIC J525re

A fallen angel, tired of being unappreciated while doing his pointless, demeaning job, leaves Hell, enters the body of a seventeen-year-old boy, and tries to experience the full range of human feelings before being caught and punished, while the boy's family and friends puzzle over his changed behavior.

Hemphil, Stephanie. (2007). Your own, Sylvia: a verse portrait of Sylvia Plath. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. 811.6 H4915y

The author interprets the people, events, influences


Green, John. (2006). An abundance of Katherines. New York, NY : Dutton Books. INTR-FIC G7966ab

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.

Hartnett, Sonya. (2006). Surrender. Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC H3334su

As he is dying, a twenty-year-old man known as Gabriel recounts his troubled childhood and his strange relationship with a dangerous counterpart named Finnigan.

Zusak, Markus. (2006). The book thief. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. INTR-FIC Z963bo 

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Anderson, M. T. (2006). The Pox party. (The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation ; v. 1). Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC A5486po 

Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.


Nelson, Marilyn. (2005). A wreath for Emmett Till. (Illustrated by Philippe Lardy). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. 811.54 N428w

A memorial wreath of poems, created in a series of fifteen interlinked sonnets, challenges readers to "speak what they see." Emmett Louis Till’s murder in 1955 was a significant impetus that led to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Lanagan, Margo. (2005). Black juice. New York : Eos. INTR-FIC L2432bl

Provides glimpses of the dark side of civilization and the beauty of the human spirit through ten short stories that explore significant moments in people’s lives, events leading to them, and their consequences.

Zusak, Markus (2005). I am the messenger. New York : Alfred A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House. INTR-FIC Z963i

After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.

Partridge, Elizabeth. (2005). John Lennon : all I want is the truth : a photographic biography. New York, NY : Viking. 921 L5677p

Presents the life of the British musician, from his childhood in London to his rock-n-roll career writing and performing music with the Beatles, revealing how he struggled to come to terms with fame, marriage, and his artistic mind.


Oppel, Kenneth. (2004). Airborn. New York : EOS. INTR-FIC O624ai

Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.

Stratton, Allan. (2004). Chanda's secrets. Toronto : Annick Press ; (Altona, Manitoba : Printed and bound by Friesens). INTR-FIC S9116ch

Living in sub-Saharan Africa, Chanda and her family are caught in the AIDS epidemic. When it strikes in her home, sixteen-year-old Chanda is the one who must deal with neighbors, make funeral arrangements, nurse her dying mother, and try to make a home for herself and her younger siblings.

Schmidt, Gary D. (2004). Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boy. New York : Clarion Books. INTR-FIC S3513Li

In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor, nearby island community founded by former slaves that the town fathers--and Turner's--want to change into a tourist spot.


Donnelly, Jennifer. (2003). A northern light. San Diego : Harcourt. INTR-FIC D6845no

In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiance, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest. Based on a true story.

Going, K. L. (2003). Fat kid rules the world. New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons. PS3607 .O42 2003

Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.

Frost, Helen. (2003). Keesha's house. New York : Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. PS3556.R5982 K44 2003

Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.

Mackler, Carolyn. (2003). The earth, my butt, and other big, round things. Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. PS3563.A318736 E37 2003

Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her.


Gantos, Jack. (2002). Hole in my life. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. PS3557.A5197 Z468 2002

The author relates how, as a young adult, he became a drug user and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer.

Weyr, Garret. (2002). My heartbeat. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co. PS3573.E994 M9 2002

As she tries to understand the closeness between her older brother and his best friend, fourteen-year-old Ellen finds her relationship with each of them changing.

Farmer, Nancy. (2002). The house of the scorpion. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC F234ho

In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.


Lynch, Chris. (2001). Freewill. New York, NY : HarperCollinsPublishers. PS3562.Y416 F74 2001

A teenager trying to recover from the tragic death of his father and stepmother believes himself to be responsible for the rash of teen suicides occurring in his town.

Greenberg, Jan (Ed). (2001). Heart to heart : new poems inspired by twentieth century American art. New York : Harry N. Abrams. 811 H436

A compilation of poems by Americans writing about American art in the twentieth century, including such writers as Nancy Willard, Jane Yolen, and X. J. Kennedy.

Dickinson, Peter. (2001). The ropemaker. New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC D5535ro

When the magic that protects their Valley starts to fail, Tilja and her companions journey into the evil Empire to find the ancient magician Faheel, who originally cast those spells.

Wolff, Virginia Euwer. (2001). True believer. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. PS3573.O5613 T78 2001

Living in the inner city amidst guns and poverty, fifteen-year-old LaVaughn learns from old and new friends, and inspiring mentors, that life is what you make it--an occasion to rise to. In this second novel of Wolff's "Make Lemonade" trilogy, 15-year old Verna LaVaughn is visited by Jody, a boy she knew as a child who comes back to the housing project where she lives. Jody behaves as if he's in love with her, but Jody is wrestling with questions of his own identity.


Rennison, Louise. (2000). Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging : confessions of Georgia Nicolson. New York : HarperCollinsPublishers. PR6068 .E665 2000

Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.

Coman, Carolyn. (2000). Many stones. Asheville, NC : Front Street. INTR-FIC C728ma

On a two-week pilgrimage to South Africa from Rockville, Maryland, 16-year-old Berry and her estranged father attempt to come to terms with the murder, a year earlier, of Berry's sister Laura when she was volunteering at a Capetown school. Angry, sour, and ferociously cynical, Berry struggles with the concept of "truth and reconciliation," both for South Africa and in her personal life.

Trueman, Terry. (2000). Stuck in neutral. New York : HarperCollinsPublishers. INTR-FIC T8665ST

Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is planning to kill him.

Plum-Ucci, Carol. (2000). The body of Christopher Creed. San Diego : Harcourt. PS3566.L795 B63 2000

Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.


Wittlinger, Ellen. (1999). Hard love. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. PS3573.I937 H37 1999

After starting to publish a zine in which he writes his secret feelings about his lonely life and his parents' divorce, sixteen-year-old John meets an unusual girl and begins to develop a healthier personality.

Almond, David. (1999). Skellig. New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC A4525K

Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. (1999). Speak. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. INTR-FIC A5478sp

A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect of Melinda's freshman year in high school.

For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Email: tambrosi@d.umn.edu
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

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Revised and updated  1/16

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