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2007 Michigan Teen Book Award Winner Announced

Michigan Teen Book Award Winner Announced Michigan Library Association names the best teen book of the year June 13, 2007, Lansing, MI The Teen Services Division of the Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce that Rash by Pete Hautman, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, is the winner of the 2007 Thumbs Up! Award. In Rash, Hautman has crafted a chilling satire which tells the story of Bo, a struggling teenager. In the year 2076 it's illegal to litter or verbally assault another person in the Safer States of America. Bo has five family members in jail, and due to his temper he is sent to a remote work camp where he has to make fast food pizzas, play the dangerous and illegal game of football, and battle the bears that live in the cold north. The committee praised Hautman for his work, noting his creation of an exciting adventure story that works on a multitude of levels. "Rash is, on the surface, a thrilling sports story that mocks consumer culture. Beyond that, though, it is also an unsettling dystopia that explores serious issues about free will and government without losing the thrill of the narrative," said 2007 Thumbs Up! Award committee chair Anne Heidemann of the Canton Public Library. "It's an honor to present this award to Mr. Hautman." Pete Hautman was born in 1952 in Berkeley, California and has written twenty books for teens. He is the first author to win the Thumbs Up! Award twice, his first being Mr. Was in 1997. Reached via email, Hautman responded, "That is wonderful news! Looking at your website, I see that Rash was up against some very good books. I am honored." Rash received starred reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly and has been named to several prestigious lists, including the New York Times Book Review Notable Books. Hautman will accept his award at the Michigan Library Association's Spring Institute conference, to be held May 7-9, 2008 in Grand Rapids, MI. Four honor titles were selected by the 2007 Thumbs Up! Award committee: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (published by Dutton Books), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (published by Alfred A. Knopf), Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (published by Houghton Mifflin), and Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick (published by Scholastic Press). The Thumbs Up! Award was established in 1986 to recognize the excellence in, and to celebrate the uniqueness of, Teen/Young Adult literature. A committee, consisting of Young Adult and Teen Librarians from all over Michigan, meets several times during the year to determine the winner. Beginning in 2001, the Thumbs Up! Committee has included a teen vote. More than 840 teens voted for their favorite title out of the Top Twenty list by ballot at the school or public library or by e-mail to the Thumbs Up! Award Committee Chair; the 2007 teen vote winner is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.