Annal: 2005 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature

Results of the Michael L. Printz Award in the year 2005.

Book:How I Live Now

How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff

“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

Book:Airborn

Airborn

Kenneth Oppel

Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow’s nest, being the ship’s eyes. We were two nights out of Sydney, and there’d been no weather to speak of so far. I was keeping watch on a dark stack of nimbus clouds off to the northwest, but we were leaving it far behind, and it looked to be smooth going all the way back to Lionsgate City. Like riding a cloud…

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt’s always wanted; convinced he’s lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious. …[more]

Book:Chanda's Secrets

Chanda's Secrets

Allan Stratton

“As soon as I get back from the shabeen, I go next door to see Mrs. Tafa. I have to ask to use her phone to let our relatives know about Sara. I’m nervous. Mrs. Tafa would like to run the world. Since she can’t run the world she’s decided to run our neighborhood.”

So speaks sixteen-year-old Chanda, an astonishingly perceptive girl living in the small city of Bonang, a fictional city in Southern Africa.

While Mrs. Tafa’s hijinks are often amusing, the fact is that Chanda’s world is profoundly difficult. When her youngest sister dies, the first hint of HIV/AIDS emerges.

In this sensitive, swiftly-paced story readers will find echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird as Chanda must confront…[more]

Book:Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Gary D. Schmidt

It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he’s a minister’s son, even if he doesn’t act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father’s-and the town’s-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine’s rocky coast.

The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner’s father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie’s island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity.

This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community’s destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change.

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