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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Watching the Awards…

The following stream of consciousness reflects my real time responses while watching the YMAs; I liveblogged through the YALSA portion of the morning. For those seeking actual information, the ALA Press Release is the place to go.

Trying to liveblog here. This might be an Epic Fail, but doing my best!

Lots of good stuff on the Alex list, including Mr. Penumbra, which I started last night on the rec of a teen and am adoring.

Schneider skewed young this year, so I have zero intelligent commentary.

Stonewall:
Yay Drama!

Gone, Gone, Gone: already on my to-read list, jumping up right now.

October Mourning: couldn’t handle it emotionally.

Sparks has a great subtitle! But I’ve never heard of it.

AND ARISTOTLE AND DANTE for the win! Despite having been a little cool on the book, I am super delighted by this! So delighted that I suspect I liked the book better than I realized.

CSK:

I love Kadir Nelson. I think that might be a professional requirement at this point, actually.

And Bryan Collier!

And Jackie Woodson!

Oh! Yay for No Crystal Stair — a beautiful and unexpected piece of writing.

Hand in Hand is another one I missed. Anyone have thoughts on it?

The MAE surprises me in the best ways every year. Waiting with baited breath…

So perfect! I grew up (well, at least I was still young when I read Alanna the first time…) on Tamora Pierce’s work — and based on the cheers, so did many others! And those are two series I particularly loved. Super cheers!

Morris. I maybe can’t breathe I want this for Seraphina so much.

*SCREAMS*

(edited to add: In case you couldn’t tell, Seraphina did indeed win, and it was the highlight of the YMAs for me)

Nonfiction. Joy is biting her nails… (She’s totally pulling for Titanic.)

I totally called that one — this is THE nonfiction book this year, the one everyone loves as a reader (even Joy).

YAY BETH! I am delighted to see Monstrous Beauty listed for the Odyssey. Ooh, and now I want to see how Fault plays on audio. Oh. This would not have been the audio for me.

*breathes*

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the Printz! It’s here! Will it be my Printz??

Honors:

Aristotle and Dante — I did say this was a serious contenda, right?

An honor for CNV.  I am… troubled. But I can get over it. At least it got something!

Dodger, making Sophie’s day, and I am always happy with any recognition for Sir Terry.

And hey, there’s the dark horse! The White Bicycle, what?

And… In Darkness. Wow. Well, I’m awfully glad we got to it in time!

Huge kudos to the committee, and super congrats to all of these books! I’m delighted that at least one of my faves, and one of our predictions, medaled!

Comments are open, so comment away!

Pyrite Honors!

The results are in, and opening the honor vote to the larger list made for some interesting shifts in some of the votes — although not statistically significant shifts when it comes to the actual Pyrite* honor slate.

ALA definitely affected our voter pool (another note for next year, get all the voting done by the Thursday of ALA week), so we went down to only 35 voters (from nearly 70 for the Pyrite gold — can you have Pyrite gold? Hmmm), and it wasn’t exactly the same voter pool. However, the results show that this smaller and somewhat different pool was mostly in agreement with the original voter pool.

Which gives us hope that Seraphina, which we love a LOT, does indeed have a chance at the RealPrintz (although we left it off our prediction list, given the challenge real fantasy has historically faced), since it continues to be the second most loved title for the Pyrite, first giving CNV something that resembled a run for its money and now sweeping the honor vote. Read on for details and the rest of the lineup.

Our Very Best & Most Excellent Guesses Ever For Tomorrow

(Housekeeping note: we are still compiling the honor book votes, so look for that post shortly.)

We’re going to make some predictions for tomorrow. They will, doubtless, be wrong: never has there ever been a cat so clever committee that didn’t surprise, well, everyone.

But we’re not just wildly guessing here either. Or, not entirely, anyway.

You may, perhaps, be thinking, Huh, didn’t they just do top 5s the other day? How is this different? The other day, what we listed were our individual picks. This time, we (in the Royal sense; today we’re speaking as a single blogging entity) are actually trying to anticipate the RealCommittee’s picks.

The RealCommittee process, as we’ve said before, is unique to each year, since every member brings their own sensibilities, preferences, and baggage with them. This means that it’s almost impossible to truly predict what a committee will select, because all of those elements that make up 9 individuals meld into something that has a personality of its own. In the end, there are a lot of excellent books that could wear the gold and silver this year, so the final decision can have a faint whiff of the arbitrary to those outside the committee — why this one and not that one, we ask? But for everyone sitting in that room, making the decision, the reason are many and completely clear.

So while we’ve been reading and discussing and reviewing in the context of the award all year, and we’d like to think that we have a not insignificant sense of the field, we’re bringing our own baggage to this prediction list, which means we aren’t just guessing — but we might still be way off base. [Read more…]

More of the books!

Karyn just posted an impressive roundup of last minute reading, so I’m chiming in with some more. With Monday morning’s announcement looming large, it seems like everyone is trying to sprint through their last minute reads in order to feel prepared. [Read more…]

All the Books!

Ok, not all the books, but a whole cluster of the titles that we wanted to cover and hadn’t gotten to yet, tidily rounded up in one post for your perusal.

In the last two weeks, I’ve read two more from the original contenda list (Pinned and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe), one Morris shortlist title (Love & Other Perishable Items) and two dark horse candidates that were brought to our attention by readers (In Darkness and Various Positions).

Sarah will be sharing a few more titles tomorrow, but sadly, neither of us managed to read Andrew Smith’s Passenger, a late addition auto-contender. It is, however, beyond a long shot for the RealPrintz — book 2 of a series, and, based on the first chapter and some student feedback, impenetrable without having read the first book.

(But if you never read the first book, The Marbury Lens, and want a really disturbing, stark, and very well-written book to read next, pick it up, because it really is a powerful read.)

We’re also sad to say that two buzz titles recommended by readers never made it onto either of our piles — Monument 14, recommended by Jen Hubert of Reading Rants, and The Opposite of Hallelujah, recommended by Kelly of Stacked. These are two well-read critics, and Jen definitely has a nose for Printz winners, so do check out their respective reviews. Whether or not either of these titles are named on Monday, they are definitely worth seeking out.

Okay, enough housekeeping! Onto the last of my 2012 reading.

[Read more…]

And the Silver Goes To…

The Pyrite version of silver is nickel, right? Wait. What? Apparently we are just as bad at chemistry as we are at math. Used under CC license from flickr user yaybiscuits123.

Honor Vote Time!

Honor book voting policies are weirdly absent from the RealCommittee P&P, but we checked in with a number of friends and colleagues, including at least one former RealCommittee Chair and one former RealCommittee Admin Assistant to make sure we had it down. And so we are ready to put the honor book voting procedures into black and white for all to see.

[Read more…]

The Votes Are In!

Look! The results! Only… we stripped out the titles from this version. So now you HAVE to read on.

Before we say anything else, or share shiny data, and definitely before we name the book that gets the Pyrite* medal (which, really, would be more of a paperweight), we want to say thank you.

Thank you, of course, for reading the blog. But mostly, and most importantly, thank you for caring about YA literature. Thank you for sharing your passion, for having opinions, for thinking about books, and for making this all worthwhile. We have such a lovely little corner of the internet — our community is so thoughtful, passionate, and kind; it’s a joy to be a part of it.

Ok, enough sentimentality. We’ll save the rest of the emotions for Monday’s tears (for joy or sorrow, but Karyn at least almost always cries a little during the YMAs).

So, you wanna know what won? [Read more…]

Top 5(s)

Hopefully you’ve already voted for the Pyrite Printz* (if you haven’t, do so!), but maybe you had some Printz picks that didn’t make that shortlist?

Well, so do we. So we thought we’d fill these final hours before the Pyrite polling closes by talking about our top 5s.

And as we talked through our lists, a very interesting dichotomy came up: were we going to discuss our top 5 books from the heart? Or from the head?

Because there were differences, although they aren’t mutually exclusive lists. So we decided we’d give you both!

Note that these are not predictions — we’re going to make our best guesses as to what the RealCommittee will choose (and doubtless be completely wrong!) on Sunday, at the very 11th hour. No, these are hopes, and dreams, and books we can’t let go of.

Anyway, read on for Sarah and Karyn’s Top 5 Heart and Top 5 Head YA Books of 2012. With annotations, sort of. Alphabetized by title, not ranked.

[Read more…]

Voting Time!

Time to decide which book we will adorn with a big ol’ hunk of Pyrite. It’s an honor, but it doesn’t work quite as well as a shiny sticker. CC-licensed image by Flickr user rcnevada, via Fotopedia

The time has come (as the Walrus said) to make some hard decisions.

We have 10 titles we’ve voted for already. These are the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the (drumroll) Pyrite* Shortlist!

But only one can wear the (fool’s) gold, and it’s time to decide which one.

[Read more…]

Pyrite Redux: Recently Reviewed Nominees

We’ve been bringing the Pyrite* books back up for a second round of discussion, but a number of them were discussed so recently — and with their Pyrite nominations in mind — that it seems silly to post again about each one.

However, we didn’t want anyone to forget what makes these books at the very top of the top of the year, so here are the remaining Pyrite candidates revisited.

When guest blogger Joy reviewed Bomb, she said “With descriptive language and clever plot juggling, Sheinkin creates the atmosphere of life as a wartime spy (or a bomb-building physicist); it’s dangerous and exciting. This effective world building and use of stylistic tools create a book that feels light.” She then went on to list some criticisms, and concluded by wondering if Bomb is more style than substance. However, this is the one nonfiction book that made the Pyrite shortlist and is dearly beloved by many. It’s also gotten a lot of love from the Newbery speculation crowd over at Heavy Medal. Printz pick or pan?

Ask the Passengers swept our live Mock Printz event, and seems to be the book everyone loves, although it lacks the splash of Code Name Verity. Sarah’s review praised almost every aspect of the book, especially the characterization. She also mostly predicted it will place in the RealPrintz when she said “I think this title could go far at the table.” Is she on to something? Is this the one that can win the consensus and take the Pyrite, and maybe even the gold?

Whether or not it gets pyrite, nickel (isn’t that the pyrite equivalent for silver?),  gold, or silver, The Brides of Rollrock Island wins the award for most hotly contested title of the year, at least around here. Karyn’s review was a great big waffle. She loved the language and the scope, but was left puzzled by the messages seemingly encoded in the themes and the plot. And the comments were almost equally divided, with no one seeming to be particularly swayed by anyone else’s observations and thoughts. Books we can talk about for hours are good, but when it comes to the Printz, consensus is key and a book this divisive often falls by the wayside. Will that be the fate of Brides?

The Raven Boys is a delicious fantasy and first in a series. And the same goes for The Diviners. Do either of them have what it takes to place despite the series issue? And the genre issue? Or are these heart books that will fall off the list as soon as the voting starts?

So that’s it, the last of the Pyrite Redux posts. Voting will begin today, so consider carefully your top three picks. And feel free to use the comments here as one last chance to sway the other voters. How persuasive can you be?

 

*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee. You probably figured that out on your own, but we like to make it clear!