All this time, you see, I've been reading a copy that my friend Miriam lent me which is getting rather battered because it's my book of choice while pounding the treadmill at the gym, and I've been carrying it everywhere to get quick fixes of McCaughrean's prose when I need inspiration. Yes. Sad, aren't I?
So yesterday, I decided to buy a pristine new copy, because I think I will be reading and re-reading this book for time to come.
This morning, checking my Google Reader for updates to the blogs I read, I discover that Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Printz Award - the equivalent of an Oscar for YA writers.
The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean, published by HarperTempest, an imprint of HarperCollins has won the 2008 Michael L. Printz Award. The award announcement was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11-16.John Green, who won the 2006 Printz for Looking for Alaska, commented on his blog:
Fourteen-year-old Symone's exciting vacation to Antarctica turns into a desperate struggle for survival when her uncleís obsessive quest leads them across the frozen wilderness into danger.
McCaughrean has won numerous awards for children's literature in her native England. Celebrated for her novels, picture books and folklore adaptations, The White Darkness is her first contemporary young adult novel.
"Symone's unforgettable voice propels this journey of discovery in a book that is intricately plotted, richly imaged and brings new meaning to the term unreliable narrator," said Printz Award Committee Chair Lynn Rutan. "Readers will need to hang onto their snow goggles in this compelling book in which nothing is as it seems at first glance."
When it comes to awards, I don't think we should make broad statements about trends. There will be some discussion about how all five awards went to women this year, and about how two went to novels with fantastical elements, and so on. But the Printz really only reflects one trend: Good books getting published for teenagers. And the fact that there was no overlap between the National Book Awards and the Printz Awards shows again that there are a lot of books being published for teenagers that deserve to be taken seriously.The runner-ups were Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox, One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clark, Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins, Your Own Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill.