So, Markus Zusak's The Book Thief got tapped as a Printz Honor Book, and one of his earlier books was an honor book last year. It's one of the first books I read as an "official" YA Librarian way back in August. I also wrote up a mock-review of the book as something to submit to SLJ.
Here you go:
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
As in John Greene’s Looking for Alaska, lead character, Ed Kennedy, is in love with a young woman who seems incapable of loving him in return, but that’s the least of Ed’s worries. 19-year-old Ed’s life is changed completely after he thwarts a poorly planned bank robbery. The underage cabdriver thought his life would return to frequent walks with his 16-year-old, smelly dog, The Doorman, and poker games with his pals Ritchie, Marv and the lovely Audrey, but just a few days later, Ed receives the first of four aces in the mail. Each ace has three clues that need deciphering, three messages that need delivering. The first, the ace of diamonds requires Ed to inspire a beautiful 15-year-old girl to run as well on the track as she does during her barefoot, morning runs, to pretend to be the long-dead soldier still loved by a World War II widow and, quite possibly, to kill a man who abuses his family. Still, each ace demands more of Ed than the last. Messenger offers subtle but important lessons, delivered in a unique way. Some strong language and mature concepts make this a fine read for older teens.