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 L. Printz Award 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 chronological 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.

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BOOK

Firekeeper's Daughter

age 15+

Native American teen vs. meth cartel in riveting thriller.

By: Angeline Boulley (2021)
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BOOK

Starfish

age 10+

Moving, witty novel tackles fatphobia, self-advocacy.

By: Lisa Fipps (2021)
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BOOK

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People

age 12+

Informative, inspiring history of the Black Power movement.

By: Kekla Magoon (2021)
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BOOK

Concrete Rose

age 14+

Suspenseful novel about teen father shows empathy, humor.

By: Angie Thomas (2021)
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BOOK

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

age 14+

Unforgettable queer love story set in 1950s San Francisco.

By: Malinda Lo (2021)
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BOOK

Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story)

age 11+

Young refugee's story is told in memories, myths, fables.

By: Daniel Nayeri (2020)
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BOOK

Dragon Hoops

age 12+

Cartoonist tracks winning season in riveting graphic novel.

By: Gene Luen Yang (2020)
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BOOK

We Are Not Free

age 12+

Powerful tale of Japanese American resilience during WWII.

By: Traci Chee (2020)
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BOOK

Every Body Looking

age 14+

Teen explores identities in brave novel in verse.

By: Candice Iloh (2020)
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BOOK

Dig

age 14+

Haunting, surreal tale explores cost of family dysfunction.

By: A.S. King (2019)
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BOOK

The Poet X

age 13+

Powerful, haunting story of finding your voice and power.

By: Elizabeth Acevedo (2018)
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BOOK

Damsel

age 16+

Dark, twisty dragon quest tale has sex, gore, brutality.

By: Elana K. Arnold (2018)
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BOOK

A Heart in a Body in the World

age 13+

Emotional story of girl's journey after tragedy.

By: Deb Caletti (2018)
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BOOK

The Hate U Give

age 13+

Powerful story of police shooting of unarmed Black teen.

By: Angie Thomas (2017)
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BOOK

Long Way Down

age 12+

Gripping, unnerving story of teen boy contemplating revenge.

By: Jason Reynolds (2017)
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BOOK

Strange the Dreamer

age 15+

Fiercely imaginative, lushly told fantasy for mature teens.

By: Laini Taylor (2017)
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BOOK

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

age 12+

Riveting story of art, mental illness, brotherly devotion.

By: Deborah Heiligman (2017)
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BOOK

We Are Okay

age 14+

Memorable story of friendship, loss, and family secrets.

By: Nina LaCour (2017)
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BOOK

March: Book Three

age 12+

Uplifting finale to terrific series reveals tragic violence.

By: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin (2016)
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BOOK

Asking for It

age 14+

Haunting, harrowing story of rape, consent, blame, shame.

By: Louise O'Neill (2016)
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