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2011 Michael L. Printz Award Winner and Honor Books

Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature


Cover art of teen novel Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker, 2011 Printz Award Winner

Little, Brown and Company
The 2011 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Award winner is, Ship Breaker. In addition, four 2011 Printz Honor books were named. The Michael L. Printz Award is an annual award that honors books for teens (also known as young adult books and YA books), published in the previous calendar year.

The 2011 Michael L. Printz Award Winner

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., 2010. ISBN: 9780316056212) Compare prices.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), "In Ship Breaker, near a drowned New Orleans ravaged by hurricanes and global warming, Nailer and his young crew eke out a meager existence by scavenging materials on the ship-littered coast.

"Bacigalupi has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for his science fiction novels published for adults. He makes his young adult debut with this year’s Michael L. Printz Award winner, which was also a National Book Award Finalist.

“'This taut, suspenseful novel is a relentless adventure story featuring nuanced characters in thought-provoking conflicts. Bacigalupi artfully intertwines themes of loyalty, family, friendship, trust and love,' said Printz Award Committee Chair Erin Downey Howerton." (Source: ALA Printz Award press release, 1/10/11)

For more about the book, read Jean Hatfield's review of Ship Breaker. 

2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Books

The following quotations about each of the 2010 Printz Honor Books come from the ALA media release cited above.

  • Stolen written by Lucy Christopher (Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2010. ISBN: 9780545170932) Compare prices.

    "The rugged Australian outback becomes Gemma's prison after she is drugged and abducted by a handsome, obsessed stranger in a first novel filled with searing imagery and archetypal characters."

  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 2010. ISBN: 9780375865862) Compare prices.

    "Vera Dietz wants to be ignored, but the ghost of her ex-best friend won’t leave her alone in this dark comedy that examines relationships, identity, grief and flowcharts."

  • Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Book Press, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2010. ISBN: 9781596435926). Compare prices.

    "In Sedgwick’s grim, chilling story set in the Arctic Circle, Sig finds his father’s frozen corpse as human predator Wolff arrives seeking retribution and a hidden Gold Rush treasure."

  • Nothing by Janne Teller (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2010. ISBN: 9781416985792) Compare prices

    "Pierre Anthon’s nihilism causes his classmates to begin a search for life’s meaning in this bold, unsettling parable translated from Danish."

If you are looking for light-hearted fare, you won't find it here. The 2011 Michael L. Printz Award Winner and Honor Books are all for mature teens who enjoy thought-provoking stories, particularly those with dark themes.

More Book Recommendations

If your teen is interested in a variety of types of fiction and nonfiction, here are some recommended annotated reading lists for teens from teen librarian and reviewer Jennifer Kendall: Dystopian Novels for Teens (What's dystopian? See Dystopian Novels and Teens: Frequently Asked Questions), Urban Fantasy for Teens, Top Teen Nonfiction of the Year: 2011, Books for Reluctant Teen Readers, Contemporary Biographies, Autobiographies and Memoirs for Teens, A Quick Pick List of Top Audio Books for Teenagers and The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, which includes The Hunger Games (Book One), Mockingjay (Book Two) and Catching Fire (Book Three).

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