Annal: 2002 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature

Results of the Michael L. Printz Award in the year 2002.

Book:A Step from Heaven

A Step from Heaven

An Na

When she is five, Young Ju Park and her family move from Korea to California. During the flight, they climb so far into the sky she concludes they are on their way to Heaven, that Heaven must be in America. Heaven is also where her grandfather is. When she learns the distinction, she is so disappointed she wants to go home to her grandmother. Trying to console his niece, Uncle Tim suggests that maybe America can be “a step from Heaven.” Life in America, however, presents problems for Young Ju’s family. Her father becomes depressed, angry, and violent. Jobs are scarce and money is even scarcer. When her brother is born, Young Ju experiences firsthand her father’s sexism as he confers favored status upon the boy who will continue to carry the Park name. In a wrenching climactic scene, her father beats her mother so severely that Young Ju calls the police. Soon afterward, her father goes away and the family begins to heal.

Book:Freewill

Freewill

Chris Lynch

Why Are You Here?

Will is supposed to be a pilot, to skim above surfaces. But instead he’s in wood shop. He doesn’t know why—or maybe he just doesn’t want to admit the truth.

What Are You Doing?

He used to make beautiful things: gnomes, whirligigs, furniture. Now he’s making strange wooden totems that seem to serve no purpose.

What Do You Know?

When a series of teen suicides occurs in town, they all have one thing in common: beautifully carved wooden tributes that…[more]

Book:Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art

Jan Greenberg

What do we feel when we look at a great work of art? What does a poet feel? Heart to Heart offers an original way to approach poetry and art—with new works by distinguished American poets, specially commissioned for this book by editor Jan Greenberg. Prompted by paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs by American artists working in the 20th century, these poems lend a new meaning to “art appreciation” and make each page of Heart to Heart an exciting discovery.

Join such poets as Jane Yolen, Nancy Willard, X. J. Kennedy, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Mura, and Angela Johnson as they reveal a personal, heartfelt response to works by Thomas Hart Benton, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Grandma Moses, Faith Ringgold, Man Ray, Georgia O’Keeffe, and many others. Whether the poems are playful, challenging, tender, mocking, humorous, sad, or sensual, each work of art, seen through the eyes of a poet, allows readers to look at the world with new insight.

Book:The Ropemaker

The Ropemaker

Peter Dickinson

Tilja has grown up in the peaceful Valley, which is protected from the fearsome Empire by an enchanted forest. But the forest’s power has begun to fade and the Valley is in danger. Tilja is the youngest of four brave souls who venture into the Empire together to find the mysterious magician who can save the Valley. And much to her amazement, Tilja gradually learns that only she, an ordinary girl with no magical powers, has the ability to protect her group and their quest from the Empire’s sorcerers.

Book:True Believer

True Believer

Virginia Euwer Wolff

We have a multitude of obstacles to overcome here. We’ll begin.

When LaVaughn was little, the obstacles in her life didn’t seem so bad. If she had a fight with Myrtle or Annie, it would never last long. If she was mad at her mother, they made up by bedtime. School was simple. Boys were buddies. Everything made sense.

But LaVaughn is fifteen and the obstacles aren’t going away anymore. Big questions separate her from her friends. Her mother is distracted by a new man. School could slip away from her so easily. And the boy who’s a miracle in her life acts just as if he’s in love with her. Only he’s not in love with her.

Returning to the characters and language she explored so profoundly in Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion in this astonishing second of three novels about LaVaughn, her family, and her community.

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