A.S. King: 'Libraries had the weirder books.'

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The Michael L. Printz Award is bestowed annually to a book that exemplifies excellence in literature for teens. The award, sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association (ALA), and administered by ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the YALSA.

In this video, recent Printz Honoree, author A.S. King, discusses the importance of libraries in her life and work. She remembers her early experiences with school libraries, repeatedly checking out Where the Wild Things Are.

"Without a library, all we had were the books at home, which were great, but I liked weirder books, so my library had those," she says.

Today, she says, she uses the library to research the area where she lives as a source for her fiction.

King, a trustee at her community library, has plenty to say about library budget cuts.

She says, "People take for granted what libraries did for them." She adds it is the same with education. "If it weren't for librarians and teachers, politicians wouldn't be politicians."

Of her book Everybody Sees the Ants, Booklist said, "Blending magic and realism, this is a subtly written, profoundly honest novel about a kid falling through the cracks and pulling himself back up."

King's book Please Ignore Vera Dietz was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book 2011, a Junior Library Guild selection for Fall 2010, an Edgar Allen Poe Award nominee and a  YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick.

The announcement of the 2012 Youth Media Award winners will take place on Jan. 23, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST in Dallas, Texas. Want to be among the first to know which books were selected? ALA is providing a live webcast of the event - 10,000 seats will be available on a first come, first served basis.  The winners will also be posted to Facebook and Twitter (both the Youth Media Awards accounts and Atyourlibrary.org accounts).

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