Thursday, December 1, 2011

Printz Watch 2012 (part 2)

In our last post, we talked about how eager we are at the Pearl Library to hear the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature (it will be awarded in January). We're furiously reading books that have received excellent reviews, Printz "contenders," if you will. Here's four more great books that you have access to in your library that may just take home the gold:

In 1941, 15-year-old Lina, her mother, and her brother are cruelly taken from their home in Lithuania by Soviet guards and shipped to a labor camp in Siberia. She finds out that her father has been sentenced to death. Their only crime is being Lithanian. Read about Lina's fight to stay alive, her desperation to stay connected to her love of art, and her determination to get her family out alive. This book is based on the true story of the author's family and thousands of other Lithuations who were forced to work in labor camps for over a decade and then warned never to speak of it.

Meet Anya Borzakovskaya. The daughter of Russian immigrants, all she wants to do is fit in at her very American private school, which is difficult with her name and her looks. Her only friend is not really a friend. Until the day she falls down a well and meets Emily. The downsides to this beautiful new friendship are that Emily is dead...and she may not be exactly what she seems. This gorgeously illustrated graphic novel is a great look at a cultural family...with a twist.

Tom has been self-destructing since his beloved uncle Joe died in an overseas terrorist attack. He's dropped out of college, ignored his music, watched his family come apart at the seams, and fallen in with a shady crowd. When he hits rock bottom, he finds himself living with his aunt Georgie (who is pregnant and dealing with her own grief), and is joined by his estranged father. Tom's journey as he begins to deal with his grief and reconnect with his friends and family is difficult to read, but beautiful to watch.

Mikey's sister Karyn has accused Tom Parker of raping her. She won't leave the apartment. Their family is imploding and social services is getting involved. Tom's sister Ellie doesn't want to believe that her brother is capable of such a horrible thing. When Mikey and Ellie meet, the attaction is almost instantaneous and what follows is trouble: complicated, agonizing trouble. Do you have to choose sides between family and love?