I haven't read all the Printz books from the last eleven years. I counted -- I've read about a dozen of them. Here are three recent ones I'd recommend:
by Paolo Bacigalupi
May 1, 2010
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Printz Winner 2011
You can read his acceptance speech here.
Ship Breaker is a gripping post-apocalyptic tale. The book takes place in the future, on the now flooded Gulf Coast, where hard luck kid Nailer wriggles inside grounded oil tankers, stripping out components that can be sold. One day, he and a friend find a beached clipper ship. They think they've won the scavengers' lottery, until they discover that the ship's most valuable prize is inside: a "swank" rich girl who was abandoned with the ship. Nailer will have to decide if he's a hero or just out for himself.
by Maggie Stiefvater
October 18, 2011
Printz Honor Book 2012
Back in November I recommended The Scorpio Races here on the blog. It's a book with a strong mythical/fairy tale quality. On the island of Thisby, carnivorous wild horses emerge from the ocean, and the bravest of the island residents race them on the beach. Scorpio Races is a beautifully-written story with an unforgettable setting. The tale focuses on two racers: Sean, the returning champion, and underdog Puck, who's determined to win so that her family can keep their house.
by Melina Marchetta
March 9, 2010
Source: my book
Read her acceptance speech here
My regular readers know how much I love Melina Marchetta's books. As in the book Where Things Come Back, Jellicoe Road is a book that skillfully weaves seemingly disparate events together. The book describes a terrible car accident and a set of orphans. Then the action switches to Taylor, a student at a boarding school. Every year, the school's students engage in territory wars with two other groups: the Townies and the Cadets. Taylor knows Jonah Griggs, the leader of the cadets, from the time she ran away to try to find her missing mother. The book requires patience and a memory for detail, but the results are well worth it. And Jonah Griggs? If you've read the book, you know that all other YA guy characters have a hard time measuring up.
This Printz Honor book was loosely based on a real 1906 murder case that also inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy as well as A Place in the Sun, a 1951 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.