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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Kirkus Children’s!

Usually, I am annoyed/aggravated/inclined to roll my eyes at the casual way we use “children’s” to mean birth to 18 (see: most publishing houses). Also, the cavalier dismissal of differences between science fiction and fantasy (they’re not the same. Really. But that’s immaterial right now). Today, however, I was instead sad to find that the tweet (see right) that had me all excited to click through really did mean children’s in the sense of up to age 12 (we won’t get the teen list until 11/28).



I did notice that three titles that have come up as stuff we should/might/could talk about in the context of a mock Printz or at least teen readers are on the list: The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, and Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt.

So, did Kirkus put these in the right place? Would they be better served on the teen list? Are these contendas in any way? And did you even read The Floating Islands, which I loved and didn’t find particularly young at all?

About Karyn Silverman

Karyn Silverman is the High School Librarian and Educational Technology Department Chair at LREI, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (say that ten times fast!). Karyn has served on YALSA’s Quick Picks and Best Books committees and was a member of the 2009 Printz committee. She has reviewed for Kirkus and School Library Journal. She has a lot of opinions about almost everything, as long as all the things are books. Said opinions do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of SLJ, LREI, YALSA or any other institutions with which she is affiliated. Find her on Twitter @InfoWitch or e-mail her at karynsilverman at gmail dot com.


  1. I haven’t read THE FLOATING ISLANDS, but deciding whether to call something MG or YA seems genuinely difficult sometimes, especially when the book belongs in both categories. A combined designation would be cool (MG/YA), but for marketing reasons I guess publishers have to choose, and hope that the other potential readers stumble on it. EDDIE’S WAR (also on the Kirkus list, and I’m so happy they’re calling attention to it) isn’t edgy at all, so it got labeled as MG, but in fact it’s really an “all ages” book in the sense that the character is a teen through most of the book, the lyricism would appeal to adults, and my and your grandparents would adore the setting and time period. “All ages” is a sales rep’s nightmare, though.

  2. Mark Flowers says:

    I think OKAY FOR NOW is a perfect example of a book that spans both categories. Kirkus is probably right to put it in children’s, but I’m sure the Printz committee will be looking at it (or at least, they should).

  3. Karyn Silverman says:

    Elizabeth, I think you are right about the hard decisions with borderline books. We have way too many titles in both our prek-8 library and our HS library because there are so many books in that bracket of crossover between ages.

    Mark, I’m interested in the apparent contradiction: on the one hand, you agree with the Kirkus designation, but on the other you think the Printz should be looking at it. But if it rightly belongs on a children’s list, shouldn’t that make it more Newbery?

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