2013 Awards for Awesome YA Books

Today is the day that the Youth Media Awards – overall term for all the awards given to books/audiobooks/films for kids and teens – are announced for the year! Every award has different criteria, and they’re all pretty interesting in their own right, but what really matters when it comes down to it is which titles and authors of great things from the last 12 months were honored this year. Here’s a look at several of the biggest YA awards, honoring literature, audiobooks, debut books, and non-fiction created with teen readers in mind.

Michael L. Printz Award For Excellence in Literature Written for Young Adultsin darkness

This year’s Printz goes to a relative underdog: In Darkness by Nick Lake. Set in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, this book is told from the point of view of Shorty, a teenager trapped under the rubble of a hospital, through flashbacks to his life growing up in the poor slums of Site Soleil. Partly historical fiction – Shorty’s visions while he is struggling to stay alive tell the story of the rebellion that freed Haiti from French rule in 1804 – and partly a socio-politically driven story of the current situation in Haiti, this is a dark and moving story worth reading.

(HONORS were given to: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Dodger by Terry Pratchett, and another not-widely-read book, The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna.)

Odyssey Award

for best audiobook produced for children or young adults

The Odyssey is a cool award, honoring audiobooks for kids/teens that are well-produced (i.e. great sound quality) and well-narrated. How much does it suck to listen to a badly narrated book?!

This year’s winner is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd (produced by Brilliance Audio). If you have not listened to this audiobook, do so immediately, even if you’ve read the book several times, because Rudd completely embodies Green’s way of storytelling. She just IS Hazel!

William C. Morris Award

for debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens

The winner of this award, which I featured last month on the blog, is Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. It’s gotten so many rave reviews, I’m not at all surprised with its win in this category!

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adultsbomb

The winner is Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin.

The only thing to say about this one is that it is an AWESOME book if you’re at all into science, spies, American history, WWII history, or just really good stories.

More on other 2013 award winners in the next few days!

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