Teen librarians from across Maricopa County gathered on Monday to discuss the best teen books published in 2012 and select a winner for our Mock Printz Award. The Printz is the highest honor bestowed on a piece of teen liteature by the American Library Assosciation each year. In our "mock" discussion, we try to predict what that winner might be.
Our top choice for this year? Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. This novel takes place in the thick of the fighting of World War II in Europe, and it tells the story two best friends: a female British airplane pilot named Maddie and a Scottish telegraph operator whose name you don't even know at first; the novel begins with her being held prisoner by the Gestapo. She's suffered torture and fully expects to be executed. As she spills secrets to her Nazi interrogators, she also tells the story of her remarkable friendship with Maddie.
Code Name Verity carries an incredible emotional impact. Beautifully written, this is a tale of war at its worst (torture, death, concentration camps), and its best (the determination of the French Resistance and others to fight the Nazis; the enduring love between friends; the bonds that war forges when two people might never have even met otherwise.) Highly, highly recommended.
We also selected one Mock Honor Printz winner and that was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Some of the other teen librarians have already blogged about that title here--rave reviews and well-deserved. The Fault in Our Stars will make you laugh out loud and cry, and you're not likely to forget the two main chartacters for a long, long time.
This year's official winner will be announced January 28th. For a list of all past Printz winners, go to http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/michael-l-printz-award.