28 January 2007

2007 Printz Award for Young Adult Literature

This most recent of the major US awards is proving a great showcase for Australian authors. After the success of Markus Zusak and Margo Lanagan last year with Honors for The Messenger (US title:I am the Messenger) and Black Juice, Zusak has done it again with The Book Thief. This time he is joined by Sonya Hartnett in Honor status for Surrender. Very well earned kudos for both authors, and interesting that both books were published as adult titles in Australia.

Although I admit to not being a particular fan of The Book Thief, I know I am in the minority with that opinion (and must admit that parts of the book resonate with me still). The Book Thief also won a hard fought battle to take out both the Jhunt Award and The Karen Sue Simonetti Cover Art Award. The Jhunt is a survivor-like contest run each year by the very active YA discussion list Adbooks.

Not to be too parochial, let’s acknowledge the actual winner of the Printz which is an interesting first as it is a graphic novel: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. This is also the next discussion book for Adbooks and I was thrilled to find it at Dymocks’ Macquarie Centre yesterday after ringing around half a dozen stores within cooee of my home. Have just started and am hooked. The blog at Manhasset Library TeenZone has a nice cover picture and annotation. Gene Yang is also a teacher and has a passion for using comics in education.

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