Michael L. Printz Award
Rose Gentile (Trimble)
"The Michael L. Printz Award recognizes the best titles in young adult literature in a given calendar year."
The book should be an example of "literary excellence" and it can be any or all form/forms of writing. The committee that chooses the book is looking for the book to evoke thought and discussion in the reader. The criteria varies depending on the book. The committee may consider some of the following during the decision making process: story, voice, style, setting,accuracy, characters, theme, illustrations and design. However, the weight of said criteria may change in accordance with the book in question.
Booklist is the sponsor for the Printz Award.
By: Jandy Nelson
Nelson, J. (2014). I'll Give You the Sun (p. 385). New York, New York: Penguin Group.
"I'll Give You the Sun" is an extraordinary YA book that combines the trials of youth, family and identity. In the book you take a journey through the lives of twins Jude and Noah during several tumultuous years of their lives. The book is split into chapters that are told from the point of view of each twin in different years of their journey. Through each chapter you are engrossed in the lives of the twins and situations that they are trying to navigate through, separately. Each chapter you long for the moment that they are united. This book shows the reader that although you may be close to someone physically and biologically it does not mean that it is easy to understand them emotionally.
Although the criteria for the Printz Award is rather ambiguous, I believe Jandy Nelson exceeded all of the criteria that needed to be met in order to win the award. The strong characterization and voice in the story mimics the lives of young adults today. As well as her ability to create a storyline that provokes thought and wonder. Nelson wrote about a setting and a way of life that not many kids may be able to relate to but she wrote in a way that they still do. The major themes of infidelity, homosexuality and self awareness are themes that kids understand and can further explore in this book. The underlying notions of the importance of creativity, self worth and self esteem were truly remarkable given the audience that the book is geared toward. Overall, I think any young adult reading this book would be exposed to a quality piece of literature which is what the award aims to identify.