The Printz Award: It's like an Oscar, but for YA books.

Show of hands... who has heard of The Printz Award (besides me)?

That's what I thought.

Because, seriously, no one really pays attention to that stuff besides librarians. But for us, the day that award is announced is like the episode of Big Bang Theory when Sheldon was watching the live webcast of the Nobel Prize ceremony at 2am.

The Printz Award is "annually honored to the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit, each year."

But that definition is far too dry and adult-like, especially for us. So we prefer to think of it as the equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar, just for YA books instead of movies. Make a lot more sense that way, right?

Unfortunately, we don't have a hilarious comedian to host this blog like the Oscars do, so we're just going to get right to it.

The 2017 Printz Award goes to..........

The stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.

*March: Book Three also won a National Book Award, the Sibert Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, YALSA Award for Excellence in Non Fiction for Young Adults, and was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Graphic Novels and Comics. Clearly, it won for a reason. 

And the 2017 Printz Award Honor books are........

It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...


Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.

Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.

The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.

When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers.

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

 *It's worth mentioning that The Sun is Also a Star is also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Young Adult Fiction and a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award winner. We know that's a lot of words, but it's impressive regardless. Obviously, this book is GOOD.

We have to give a shout out to a few other award winners, too...

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award (for teen books that relate LGTBQ experiences)
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Winner of the Morris Award (for books written by a first-time YA author)
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill's only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia, neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending- one that will rock his life to the core.

Sarah Dessen 
She won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing. It's obviously well deserved, because she's written, like, a hundreds of insanely good books. (Ok, she's actually written 12, but they're still insanely good.)

Congratulations, guys! You've earned it. 


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