Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story in which Nailer looks for copper among ship wrecks in order to scrape together an existence, and in one of these wrecks stumbles across a girl who promises him a comfortable, “swank” life of luxury (but is she just trying to save her neck?).
The Printz honour books (= also excellent) were:
Nothing, Janne Teller. Pierre says life has no meaning, so his classmates set out to prove him wrong, and it is in the proving that things slowly turn sinister-ly very wrong. The School Library Journal (since we’re doing the SLJ in this post) suggests (as do others) this is an updated Lord of the Flies (William Golding). Actual WCL librarians (Lucy L) have read (and recommend) this too.
Revolver, Marcus Sedgwick. A thriller set in the Arctic circle where Sig is held captive in a log cabin with the body of his father and Gunther Wolff (his captor, with a rather awesome name you wouldn’t mess with). The revolver in question is his father’s, which he could potentially use to rescue the situation, if he could. just. get. it. The School Library Journal said this has a sort of Jack London (Call of the Wild, White Fang) feel about it (in its arctic-ness).
Stolen, Lucy Christopher. Gemma is kidnapped on her way from England to Vietnam and ends up in the Australian outback. The School Library Journal suggests this is a good counterpoint to Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, A S King. We don’t have this in the library yet (she did say please ignore her) but will soon. For older teens: a love triangle, an untimely death, angst. More tough realistic fiction! [ETA: you can now reserve this one.]
It’s all a box of fluffy ducks this year! Enjoy them for their good writing, suspense, horror and grit, if not their cheery good humour and happiness.
What’s the Printz Award? Have a look here.