The most remarkable books written for a young adult audience this year.
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Every year, the “best book published for teenagers, based exclusively on its literary value” is honored with the Michael L. Printz Award, a literary honor presented by the American Library Association. Up to four deserving runners-up may be granted Honor Books, and every year, three to four are chosen. The Printz Award was established in 2000 for books for young adults published in 1999. The prize “was developed as a contrast to the Newbery” in order to recognize the greatest and most outstanding literary works produced for a young adult readership. Up until his retirement in 1994, Michael L. Printz worked as the librarian at Topeka West High School in Topeka, Kansas. He was also an active member of YALSA, sitting on the committees for the Margaret A. Edwards Award and the Best Books for Young Adults.
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Daunis Fontaine, 18, has never truly felt at home in either her city or the surrounding Ojibwe tribe. Although Daunis longs for a new beginning at college, a tragedy in the family forces her to put her plans on wait in order to care for her frail mother. Meeting Jamie, the lovely new player on her brother Levi’s hockey team, is the one positive development.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
Maverick Carter, who is seventeen years old, is aware that a true man takes care of his family. Mav does it in the only manner he is capable of doing so—dealing for the King Lords—as the son of a former gang legend. He may use this money to support his mother, who works two jobs while his father is behind bars.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
For two girls to fall in love in 1954 America is not a safe place, especially not in Chinatown. Everyone is at risk from red-scare hysteria, especially Chinese Americans like Lily. Despite her father’s hard-won citizenship, deportation looms above him, so Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love blossom.
Revolution in Our Time by Kekla Magoon
Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Black Panther Party’s community activism, which was based on the idea of self-defense and taught Black Americans how to defend and support themselves in a nation that treated them like second-class citizens, in this thorough, inspirational, and all-too-relevant history of the group. The Panthers were a revolutionary socialist movement that attracted thousands of members, mostly women, and was the target of one of the longest-running campaigns of repression ever launched by the US government against its own citizens. For too long, however, their story has been treated as a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than for what it truly was.
Starfish by Lisa Fipps
Ellie has faced weight bullying since she made a sensation at her fifth birthday party while wearing a whale bikini. She attempts to follow the Fat Girl Rules, which include things like “don’t make waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so quickly that your body jiggles,” in order to deal. In her swimming pool, she has also discovered her safe haven from the fat-obsessed world. She can spread herself out like a starfish and occupy all the space she wants in the water.
Black Birds in the Sky by Brandy Colbert
The largely Black Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is renowned as America’s Black Wall Street, was invaded by a White mob early on June 1, 1921, as they marched across the railroad tracks. They brought bombs, gasoline, and weapons. They destroyed 35 square blocks in a matter of hours, killing hundreds of people. One of the most horrific instances of racial violence in US history is the Tulsa Race Massacre. However, how did it happen? What precisely took place? And why are so many of us now unaware of the events?
Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
A youngster named Khosrou (whom everyone refers to as “Daniel”) appears in front of a middle school class in Oklahoma and attempts to tell a narrative. His tale. But nobody pays him any heed. They see him as a boy with dark complexion, hairy arms, and a large butt whose meal smells strange, who invents stories, and who talks excessively about excrement. But Khosrou’s tales, which go back years, decades, and even centuries, are both lovely and horrifying, starting with the nighttime flight of his family from Iran as the secret police closed in behind them, all the way to the depressing, cement refugee camps of Italy…and beyond.
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
14 teenagers who grew up together in San Francisco’s Japantown and who are as attached as they are conflicted create a family and a community. Fourteen teenagers whose lives are completely upended when more than 100,000 individuals with Japanese heritage are forcibly taken from their homes and imprisoned in barren camps. These young Nisei must unite as bigotry and injustice threaten to tear them apart in a world that appears destined to loathe them.
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
It is the first time Ada has ever been so far away from her family and the first time she has had the freedom to make her own decisions and find her place in this new world as she goes for her freshman year at a historically black college. She begins to fight with her history as she stutters farther into the realm of dancing and explores her sexuality as well as her mother’s battle with addiction and her Nigerian father’s attempts to provide for her. In the end, Ada realizes she must reject the fate others have planned for her and take complete control of her body and her future.
Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
To go bird hunting on a secluded sea stac, Quill and his companions are brought ashore every summer. However, nobody shows up to take them home this summer. They are famished, freezing, and barely holding on to life while being engulfed in a merciless ocean. Surely nothing other than the end of the world can explain why they have been abandoned. How are they going to live in such a stone and sea-filled wasteland?
Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes
Nikki Grimes experienced abuse from people she trusted and was scared by babysitters as a result of growing up with a mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and a father who was largely absent. She first experienced the power and effect of writing when she was six years old and spilled all of her sorrow onto a piece of paper late one night. Nikki’s notebooks served as her most dependable friends for a long time. In this approachable and motivational book, Nikki demonstrates how the strength of those words enabled her to overcome both common and remarkable challenges in her life.