Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Printz Award

On Monday, I went to the Printz Award reception. There the honorees and winner of the Printz Award presented their acceptance speeches. A variety of book genres and accents were represented with the winners. The honorees were from New Zealand, Australia, and two from America (one with a Southern accent). The winner was from the United Kingdom. The honorees were a nonfiction title, a fantasy, a black comedy, and a realistic fiction book. The winner was a survival story. What a variety! There's something for everyone in this year's list of winners!

The first honoree of the evening was Judith Clarke. She was honored for her book, One Whole and Perfect Day. This book focuses on families. Lily has an eccentric family and when preparing for her grandfather's 80th birthday celebration, she just wants them to be normal for one day. But of course, that's really too much to ask for! Ms. Clarke was unable to attend the reception, but she sent a video that I hope will be available later on for other people to view.

The fantasy winner was Elizabeth Knox for her second book in the Dreamhunter Duet called Dreamquake. This New Zealander has a fabulous accent. Seriously, I just wanted to listen to her talk nonstop! I don't know many people who have read this book or the first one in the series, but hopefully this award will grab some people's attention! This fantasy delves into dream worlds which has always fascinated me...

The next author who won a Printz honor award was Stephanie Hemphill. She won for Your Own, Syvlia. The author writes a wonderful nonfiction book about the life of the famous and tragic poet, Sylvia Plath. And she does it in verse. When Ms. Hemphill spoke she began her speech in verse which made me want to listen to her so much more! Karen wrote about this book when it first came out, so after you read this post, make sure to read Karen's take on this book! I have a soft spot for Sylvia Plath, so I'm always happy that there are writers who love her too.

The final honor book was awarded to A.M. Jenkins for Repossessed. Out of all the books that won this evening, this is the title I was most excited about. Repossessed is the type of book that no one really ever thinks has a chance to win a literary award (or an Oscar if it was a movie for that matter). Funny books simply aren't taken as seriously as those realistic fiction titles. Ms. Jenkins' last three books have had a supernatural slant to them --ghost story, vampires, and this one, fallen angels. Kiernan is a demon--working in the depths of hell, day in, day out for years--so he leaves hell. A vacation of sorts and inhabits the body of a 17 year old boy and learns all the little things about life. Karen also wrote about this one, so go check out her thoughts!

The winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for 2008 was Geraldine McCaughrean for White Darkness. This survival story is set in Antarctica as teenager, Symone, discovers that the man she thought was her uncle is obsessed. Karen wrote about this one too. Karen finished this book and nominated it for our Mock Printz award and told me that this was the book that was going to win. Some years we really have a good as to what book will win or at least get an honor. This year, I don't know of a single mock Printz group that called it. Except Karen. That's pretty impressive. Karen reads a lot and loves literary books, so if you're looking for book suggestions on that level--check out her posts. Not that the rest of us aren't as good as Karen! I don't want you (or her) to think that. We don't need to feed Karen's ego! ;)
Anyway, those were the winners that were announced in January. But I just heard their acceptance speeches last night at the ALA conference. I was told that they were going to be putting the acceptance speeches on YALSA's website at www.ala.org/yalsa. So keep an eye on that site and hopefully they'll be up soon!

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