Early Printz Possibilities

Now that the first quarter of starred reviews have all been entered let’s start breaking it down by award. First up, the Printz.

The Michael L. Printz Award annually honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit, each year. – YALSA Website

Two additional eligibility notes:

  • Must be published between January 1 and December 31 by a United States publishing house. Works previously published in other countries are eligible the year they are published in the U.S.
  • Must have been designated by the publisher as a young adult book or within YALSA’s stated audience range of 12-18 years.

Given these criteria, when I make my Printz list, I include anything that hits the 12-18 year age range in at least one review and has three or more starred reviews. For why I stick with three or more stars, see How Many Stars Does It Take to Catch a Printz? over on Someday My Printz Will Come However, given what historically is honored most of the time (novels in the upper part of the age range), I divide the list into two parts. The first part is “traditional” contenders and the second part is outliers with reasons why noted. Ignore the outliers at your own risk *cough*NavigatingEarly*cough*. Read on to see this year’s first list.

Traditional Printz Contenders – 21 books:


Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (4 stars)
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (5 stars)
Bang by Barry Lyga. Little, Brown (3 stars)
by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff (3 stars)
Bull by David Elliott (4 stars)
City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson (4 stars)
Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden (4 stars)
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (3 stars)
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (4 stars)
Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (3 stars)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (6 stars)
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (4 stars)
Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg (3 stars)
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (3 stars)
A List of Cages by Robin Roe (4 stars)
The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius (3 stars)
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen (3 stars)
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein (3 stars)
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (3 stars)
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (4 stars)
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (4 stars)

Outliers – 23 books:


Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights by Deborah Kops (3 stars) – non-fiction
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (3 stars) – young
Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley (3 stars) – young
Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan (3 stars) – young
The End of the Wild
by Nicole Helget (3 stars) – young
Flying Lessons and Other Stories
edited by Ellen Oh (5 stars) – young; short stories
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter (3 stars) – young
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (5 stars) – young; non-fiction
Harry Miller’s Run by David Almond, illus. by Salvatore Rubbino (3 stars) – young
Hello Universe
 by Erin Entrada Kelly (4 stars) – young
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure (3 stars) – non-fiction
The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power
by Ann Bausum (3 stars) – non-fiction
Me and Marvin Gardens
by Amy Sarig King (3 stars) – young
by Lorena Alvarez (3 stars) – young; graphic novel
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
by Nikki Grimes (4 stars) – young; poetry
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, illus. by Ekua Holmes (4 stars) – young; poetry
Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls
by Tonya Bolden (3 stars) – non-fiction
Posted by John David Anderson (3 stars) – young
Speed of Life by Carol Weston (3 stars) – young
Train I Ride by Paul Mosier (3 stars) – young
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
by Steve Sheinkin (4 stars) – non-fiction
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts: Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate by Avi (3 stars) – young
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman (5 stars) – non-fiction

I’m going to try a new thing and pick three books for each month of the year that I would personally like to try to read to be informed for the Printz discussion, because truth: I’m never going to make it through all 44 of these books and this doesn’t even take into account things like books from previous winners or dark horses or good buzz. I may not even manage three a month (I certainly haven’t so far!), but it seems like a reasonable number to aim for and maybe having goals will help me keep up! Look for a post covering January through April sometime in the next week.

In the meantime, what have you liked so far for the Printz?  I’ve read Flying Lessons which I greatly enjoyed, but do think is a long shot; short stories are tough to judge as a whole especially when they’re from different authors. I just started my first traditional contender, The Hate U Give, last night so don’t have any coherent thoughts on it as of yet. Happy reading!


5 thoughts on “Early Printz Possibilities

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