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Someday My Printz Will Come
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Just One More

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CC-licensed image by dougbelshaw

List, that is.

The Horn Book Best of 2011 list posted today.

This means that all of our pre Jan 1 lists are out: BCCB and Booklist should release their lists right around the New Year (so much for a winter break!)

Here’s how it all shakes out:

4 out of 4:

Chime; The Scorpio Races; Blink & Caution

3 out of 4:

Anya’s Ghost plus the previously noted Between Shades of Gray; Daughter of Smoke and Bone; A Monster Calls; and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Boat of her Own Making

Those of us pulling for a banner fantasy year, take heart—I don’t know if we’ll see a fantasy take the gold, but with this kind of genre presence on the year-end lists, I think we have a shot at an honor or two at least, especially since two of the three that are four for four (say that five times fast!) are clearly fantasy, and play with conventions (especially in the setting) enough to (maybe) bypass a possible genre bias.

The Horn Book list also netted another best shoutout for one of my picks and one of my pans, and another nod for crossover middle grade/YA titles Dead End in Norvelt, Drawing from Memory, and Amelia Lost. And—because no list is complete without a few outliers—two fiction outliers join the dark horse candidates pile: Bluefish, which hasn’t been on our radar at all and The Watch that Ends the Night, which I wasn’t impressed with but have not read in any genuine or attentive way, so now might be a good time to take a closer look. (Nonfiction outlier Feynman was, according to our sources, officially pubbed as adult, and is thus ineligible for the Printz, but the fact that it’s here has us digging a little deeper.)

I’m still pulling for The Returning, which has no list presence thus far. I am also surprised at no Piper’s Son, Imaginary Girls (despite the flaws!), Everybody Sees the Ants, or Steampunk. Reader favorite Where Things Come Back made the PW list but nothing else, and another reader fave, What Can’t Wait, made no lists.

Looking back at the contendas list, there’s a handful of titles that received three or more stars as of September but didn’t make any year-end lists. We’re going to open it up to a vote (of sorts):  Are they dark horses but still in the running, or were they flashes in the pan early in the year that have been solidly eclipsed by a stronger end of year? Comments are open: let us know if any of these still strike you as contendas, or if they should be forgotten.

Every You, Every Me

Across the Universe

Karma

Pick-up Game

The Berlin Boxing Club

Lie

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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 (except current events, because she’s too busy reading YA literature to follow the news). 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.

Comments

  1. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Last year, Booklist released their list early–like mid-December. Hopefully, they’ll do so again. I don’t think PICK-UP GAME is remotely a contender; it pales in comparison to STEAMPUNK!, for example. THE BERLIN BOXING CLUB is a best book, but probably not a Printz book. Worth a read, could be a sleeper, but probably not.

  2. Kelly says:

    I think LIE might be one of those sleepers. It didn’t get a lot of attention but it was very well done. Tightly written, good distinction in voices, and an interesting topic that is explored in a way that feels fresh.

    I just went through some of the star reviews and noticed that EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS had 6 stars and made none of the lists. I don’t think you guys have talked about this one yet, either. I’d love to know what the thoughts are on that one.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Everybody Sees the Ants was actually the first book we talked about! Which is probably why no one remembers (or read) that post. I’m somewhat surprised that it got six stars, but given that it did, I’m even more surprised it made no end of year lists. Is it subconscious pushback against a recent award winner? Or were the stars as much about King and Vera Dietz as about Ants? (Not saying I actually believe either of those things, just thinking through possibilities.)

  3. Doret says:

    I am awful with guessing Printz winners and honors, but since niether Marcelo in the World and Finnikin of the Rock honored the year they were released, one thing I know for sure there are no guarantees. Did Finnikin of the Rock make a lot of best of list last year? I can’t remember. Because if so maybe its a good thing some of your favorites are being left off.

    I am still holding on tight to my sleeper picks of Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos and What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez.

  4. Nancy Werlin says:

    Kirkus didn’t star it, but yes, everybody else did.

    >>http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/as-king/everybody-sees-ants/#review<&lt;

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      5Q, 4P from VOYA with a yellow band, which lots of folks are counting as a star since it’s the equivalent, but if that counts that then we’re talking about a potential seven stars. VOYA did not “star” Chime, incidentally, so if we say it’s out of 7, both books are 6 out of 7. Either way, Ants certainly has enough recognition to make the lack of appearance on the year-end lists thus far pretty notable!

  5. Kelly says:

    Karyn, I hadn’t read your post (maybe because it was the first and maybe I did read it and can’t remember now), so thanks for the relink.

    I think it is really notable that it didn’t get any “Best of” recognition, and I have wondered if it’s the push-back (intentional or not) since King was recognized this past year.

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