Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Amy Sonheim

Second Reader

Professor Margaret Reed

Third Reader

Professor Sarah Smith


In a century peppered in controversy, adolescents between the ages and twelve to eighteen are turning to young adult literature to find hope in their lives. These books with headlining titles like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter are no longer just in print, but their narratives centered around teenage protagonists are being brought to life on screen. In fact, the source of much of our twenty first century culture derives from the ingenuity of young adult authors. Although the young adult empire continues to grow in modern times, many advocates for young adult literature, including the American Library Association [ALA], have had to fight to build such a vast industry. After a steep decline of young adult literature during much of the nineties, the American Library reinvigorated the genre by creating the Michael L. Printz award for excellence in young adult literature. The award committee’s charge is to select the best young adult books based on their “literary merit.” Many of the winners have become common classroom curricula and even made their way onto movie screens.



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