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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Another Year-End List, with STATS!

This is how I do statistical analysis. There's a better way, right?

The Kirkus list posted yesterday, and it’s a whopper: a full 100 books.

Happily, since we’re talking 100, I can do some statistical analysis!

We had 42% of the books on the Kirkus list on our own contender list from the beginning — that’s not yet half, but more than a third, which is not a bad overlap.

(I’m not listing all 42 titles, though.)

An additional 7% of the list are on our unofficial list of books we will cover if we can get them read in time — two for their Morris nods (Wonder Show and Love and Other Perishable Items), one for multiple Pyrite write-ins (In Darkness), and four because we’ve been hearing things (See You at Harry’s, Enchanted, although I started that and felt a bit meh, The Broken Lands, and Vessel).

We’re also adding two more to our unofficial list now, since Kirkus marks the second year-end recognition for Drama (also on the PW list) and My Name is Parvana (also on the SLJ list).

A further 11% of the list are books that one or more of us have already read and didn’t think rated a post. We don’t disagree that that these are (or at least could be argued as being) in the top 100 of the year, but we felt these were not close enough to the top of the pile to merit the extra time. That said, they might find their way into a post eventually, time permitting.

Of the remaining 38%, I see a fair number of series books, many of them books with a strong fan base but which no one is reading except as part of the larger body of work and which, statistically speaking, are such Printz longshots that they aren’t worth covering here. We’ll call the rest dark horses, and see if we see them again or if they are just outliers.

Thoughts?

every Unwholly day

every day by David Levithan
Published by Knopf, August 2012
Reviewed from a final copy

You know a book’s a big deal when the visiting public librarian gives it a shiny booktalk and then all the students want to do is keep hearing about that book, to the exclusion of all the other books said librarian brought. That book is this book: every day. Levithan’s latest has three stars, and is on a slew of year’s best books lists. It’s on our shortlist, too, so we’ll be looking at it again in just a few weeks. (I have to admit, I’m really happy about that, because I think that a few weeks of sitting with this book will help me digest it a little. I just finished it and I suspect that my enjoyment of it is clouding my Printz-vision. Well, that and the fact that I just plain enjoy reading David Levithan’s books.) [Read more…]

My Book of Life By Angel

My Book of Life by Angel, Martine Leavitt
Margaret Ferguson Books, Farrar Straus Giroux, September 2012
Reviewed from ARC

A four star book from an author whose last book netted an NBA finalist nod?

Yes please!

But just to put it right out there — Leavitt’s latest is nothing like Keturah and Lord Death, with its mythopoeic elements and historical/fantastical setting. My Book of Life by Angel is a gritty free verse tale of a teen prostitute looking for a way out. It’s Ellen Hopkins with a dash of Paradise Lost; Angel’s closet literary sister is probably Alice, from Elizabeth Scott’s utterly harrowing Living Dead Girl.

So what do you get when you mix literary concepts with street grit?

[Read more…]

What a Day!

CC-licensed image "How Many Stars" by Flickr user cobalt123

Today we had not one but two great lists (I’d like to say “that go great together,” but actually there is zero overlap).

First, the morning greeted me with the Morris shortlist, which I wasn’t expecting until Monday, and settled the pesky question of whether Seraphina counts as a debut. (It does, clearly, since it made the shortlist.) Of the other four titles, we’ve talked about After the Snow and The Miseducation of Cameron Post (although we didn’t point to either of these as books we were guessing we’d see on the Morris list, which I find interesting. Did we not realize they were debuts? Hmmm.) Wondershow I started earlier in the year but thought was so clearly a middle grade novel that I put it down about a third of the way in, so I am startled to see it here. But I guess it counts as young YA (that pesky crossover 10-14 range). So now I’ll need to revisit it. And the fifth book? Love and Other Perishable Items, by Laura Buzo? Yeah, never seen it! This one was totally under my radar, although it turns out Kelly of Stacked is a big fan, so now I am totally wanting to read it! Sadly, it’s not even out until next week, and I don’t have an ARC, so does someone have a copy to loan me??

Then, just to make the day even more full of listy goodness, midday-ish brought us The Horn Book Fanfare. I like how short and sweet this list is. It features everybody’s favorite, The Fault in Our Stars, as well as Pyrite nominees The Brides of Rollrock Island and Code Name Verity. In addition, a few other contenders made it — My Book of Life by Angel (which I’ll be posting in the next day or two, and is beautiful but, I thought, flawed), No Crystal Stair, A Certain October, and Dodger (perfect timing as we’ve been watching the tv miniseries of Going Postal in my house, and just last night I watched Sir Terry’s cameo as a postmaster. It’s been a pterrific week!)

I’m hoping to consult Jen’s fantastic records next week and start looking at the trends so far, but in the meantime, I have reviews to write! And we are woefully behind our schedule! We’re hoping to get caught up soon with the rest of the Q3 and 4 books.

Nonfiction! Finalists!

Probably you have all seen the shortlist for The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction already, but just in case:

Bomb
We’ve Got a Job
Moonbird
Titanic
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different

(Click through for descriptions/why statements and cover art.)

Of  the five finalists, we thought We’ve Got a Job skewed a bit young (but will be posting a nonfiction writeup from sometimes guest blogger Joy Piedmont soon covering this and Titanic) and didn’t even consider Steve Jobs. Oversight? Or one of those books that is excellent within the narrower confines of genre but doesn’t compare in the wider net of Printz-eligible titles?

Get Ready, Get Set, READ!

Well, folks, the results are in! We voted down the Pyrite Nominations to create a shortlist, and here it is:

I don’t think there are any real surprises here, except maybe the margin; Code Name Verity pretty much swept it.

Your task now, should you choose to join the fun (and regardless of whether you voted on the shortlist) is to read and/or reread these 10 books between now and mid-January; in the last week or two before the RealCommittee announces their Printz winner and honor titles, we will discuss each of these and put them all to a vote to determine the Pyrite Printz* winner. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially as I suspect the readership on some of the middle block of titles is still relatively low.

In the meantime, we’ll continue working our way through our still fairly large queue of books from the September contender list.

For those who want to see the full voting results, click through.

[Read more…]