Moooving on up

 Every year, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) gives the Michael L. Printz award to a book “that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.” Or, in simpler terms, they name a book that library type people consider the best teen book of the year.

This year’s winner is Going bovine by Libba Bray. I haven’t read the book yet, but here’s the summary:

Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen-year-old diagnosed with mad cow disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.

If THAT doesn’t entice you, check out the cover:

Going bovine by Libba Bray

Printz Award winner Going bovine by Libba Bray

I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued. =) Partly because I feel it is my librarian duty and mostly because I just want to read it sooner, I’m bumping this title up on my gotta read list. 

Have you read it? Do YOU think it’s the best of the best? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Today your Printz has come

Looking for a good read? The American Library Association announced their award-winning books on Monday including the Michael L. Printz Award for the most excellent book for teens written the previous year. The 2009 winner is Jellico Road.

jellico_roadJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, high school student Taylor Markham struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.

They also named 4 Honor books – they’re kind of like runner up and make for some great reading. Check them out below.

The kingdom on the waves by M.T. AndersonThe kingdom on the waves (Astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation Volume 2) by M. T. Anderson
Octavian, a young African-American, is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years prior to and during the American Revolution.

The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. LockhartThe disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks attempts to take over a secret, all-male society at her exclusive prep school, and her antics with the group soon draw some unlikely attention and have unexpected consequences that could change her life forever.

Nation by Terry PratchettNation by Terry Pratchett
A tsunami destroys everything leaving Mau, an island boy, Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, and a small group of refugees responsible for rebuilding their village and their lives.

Tender morsels by Margo LanaganTender morsels by Margo Lanagan
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.

I haven’t read any yet. I have Jellico Road and The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks checked out right now. I’ll let you know what I think when I finish.

My Printz charming

The Michael L. Printz award is given to a book that “exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.” Are you thinking so what? A book that wins THAT kind of award must be totally boring, right? Not so, my friend. I picked up my first Printz a few years ago and learned that literary excellence doesn’t necessarily mean boring.

Past Printzes I have known and loved include:

Looking for Alaska by John GreenLooking for Alaska by John Green
Miles (whose hobby is memorizing famous last words) learns about friendship and love during his first year at prep school. It’s not as lame as I make it sound–this book made me laugh and cry at the same time…not a pretty sight. :)

how i live now by Meg Rosoff
Daisy’s idyllic escape to her relatives in England is disrupted when war breaks out. A haunting story of survival and soul mates.

The first part last by Angela JohnsonThe first part last by Angela Johnson
Bobby steps up when he gets his girlfriend pregnant. This book is a heartrending portrait of Bobby as he reflects on life before and after the birth of his daughter.

As I was putting this list together I realized that all of these books had me bawling by the end! I guess that’s my measure of a really good book.  

If you’ve read any of these books or even any other Printz winners, what do you think? As you were reading that book did you think, “Gee, this book really exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature?” Or, did you think, “That book was awesome. Everyone should read it.” What makes a good book a REALLY good book in you book? :) Leave a comment to let us know!