Award-Winning Books for Teens

With so many excellent young adult books published each year, it can be difficult for teen readers to determine which ones are the best. Each January, the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, gives out several awards, including the Michael J. Printz Medal for literary excellence in young adult literature. In addition, the Printz Committee names up to four Honor Books. Here are some of the winners and honorees since 2000, presented in descending order from most recent to oldest. These rich stories and diverse characters will have teens -- and even their parents -- hooked from the first chapter. For more great teen reads, check out our Teen Books and Romantic Fantasy Books for Teens.  

Browse Award-Winning Books for Teens

The Hate U Give Book Poster Image
Powerful story of police shooting of unarmed black teen.
By Angie Thomas
(2017)
(2017)
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Long Way Down Book Poster Image
Gripping, unnerving story of teen boy contemplating revenge.
By Jason Reynolds
(2017)
(2017)
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Strange the Dreamer Book Poster Image
Fiercely imaginative, lushly told fantasy for mature teens.
By Laini Taylor
(2017)
(2017)
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Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers Book Poster Image
Riveting story of art, mental illness, brotherly devotion.
By Deborah Heiligman
(2017)
(2017)
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We Are Okay Book Poster Image
Memorable story of friendship, loss, and family secrets.
By Nina LaCour
(2017)
(2017)
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March: Book Three Book Poster Image
Uplifting finale to terrific series reveals tragic violence.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
(2016)
(2016)
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Asking for It Book Poster Image
Haunting, harrowing story of rape, consent, blame, shame.
By Louise O'Neill
(2016)
(2016)
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Scythe: Arc of a Scythe, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Chilling concept fuels sci-fi thriller about life and death.
By Neal Shusterman
(2016)
(2016)
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The Sun Is Also a Star Book Poster Image
Beautiful and philosophical love story is deeply moving.
By Nicola Yoon
(2016)
(2016)
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Bone Gap Book Poster Image
Beautiful tale of missing girl explores magic, love, loss.
By Laura Ruby
(2015)
(2015)
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Out of Darkness Book Poster Image
Beautifully written look at racism and love in 1930s Texas.
By Ashley Hope Pérez
(2016)
(2015)
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Midwinterblood Book Poster Image
Dark fantasy chronicles a love that transcends time, death.
By Marcus Sedgwick
(2014)
(2013)
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Eleanor & Park Book Poster Image
Intense '80s romance is a fabulous pick for mature teens.
By Rainbow Rowell
(2013)
(2013)
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The Kingdom of Little Wounds Book Poster Image
Brutal, breathtaking historical epic is graphic but great.
By Susann Cokal
(2014)
(2014)
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In Darkness Book Poster Image
Violent but riveting story of Haiti's past and present.
By Nick Lake
(2012)
(2012)
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Poster Image
Literary story of two boys' life-changing friendship.
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
(2012)
(2012)
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Code Name Verity Book Poster Image
Plot-twisting, heart-wrenching, unforgettable WWII story.
By Elizabeth Wein
(2012)
(2012)
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Dodger Book Poster Image
Clever adventure depicts Victorian streets with sly humor.
By Terry Pratchett
(2012)
(2012)
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Where Things Come Back Book Poster Image
Unsettling tale of teen's small-town life is good but dark.
By John Corey Whaley
(2012)
(2011)
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Why We Broke Up Book Poster Image
Moving, inventive story of first love and painful breakup.
By Daniel Handler
(2011)
(2011)
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The Scorpio Races Book Poster Image
Bloodthirsty horses star in thrilling coming-of-age tale.
By Maggie Stiefvater
(2011)
(2011)
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Ship Breaker Book Poster Image
Gripping but bloody dystopian tale will make teens think.
By Paolo Bacigalupi
(2010)
(2010)
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Monstrumologist Book Poster Image
Gruesomely good gothic horror too violent for younger teens.
By Rick Yancey
(2010)
(2009)
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The Kingdom on the Waves: Octavian Nothing, Vol. 2 Book Poster Image
Brilliant, brutal sequel set during Revolutionary War.
By M.T. Anderson
(2008)
(2008)
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Tender Morsels Book Poster Image
Intense, award-winning fairy tale for mature readers only.
By Margo Lanagan
(2008)
(2008)
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American Born Chinese Book Poster Image
First graphic novel to win major child lit awards.
By Gene Luen Yang
(2007)
(2006)
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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Book Poster Image
Slavery-themed award-winner is a challenging teen read.
By M.T. Anderson
(2007)
(2006)
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An Abundance of Katherines Book Poster Image
Comic slacker-geek lit is fun for the right teen.
By John Green
(2006)
(2006)
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Surrender Book Poster Image
Lyrical, award-winning thriller is complex; read with teens.
By Sonya Hartnett
(2007)
(2006)
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Looking for Alaska Book Poster Image
Award-winning novel of life and death, for older teens.
By John Green
(2006)
(2006)
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I Am the Messenger Book Poster Image
Lots of mature content in gritty tale; OK for older teens.
By Markus Zusak
(2006)
(2006)
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How I Live Now Book Poster Image
Powerful, violent tale about kids caught in a modern war.
By Meg Rosoff
(2005)
(2005)
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The First Part Last Book Poster Image
A realistic look at being a teen parent.
By Angela Johnson
(2003)
(2003)
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Monster Book Poster Image
Provocative book about teen on trial for murder.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2003)
(1999)
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Speak Book Poster Image
Controversial book about rape is powerful and painful.
By Laurie Halse Anderson
(2003)
(1999)
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