If you have been checking back regularly, you might have A: been disappointed when we did, after all, go dark, and B: noticed that we edited our last post to reflect that we would indeed be going mostly dark.
Life. It gets in the way, doesn’t it?
We have lots to say today, so we’ve numbered it for easy navigation. If you are in the tl;dr camp (because you need to pack cardigans and shoes for ALA, perhaps?), you’ll probably find 2 and 5 the most exciting. Certainly we do!
1. We’re not dead!
2. Changes! We like to keep it fresh, so…
Change number one is a sad one: Sophie has left us for greener pastures (have you checked out the #readadv Twitter chat she co-hosts with Liz (@LizB) of A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy and Kelly (@catagator) of Stacked? It’s awesome!). Because the reading list didn’t leave with her, we have a second staffing change, this one happy: Joy Piedmont, my colleague and our go-to pinch-hitter last year, has agreed to step in and do a bit more for us this year, while Sarah, thanks to the aforementioned life thing, might be writing a bit less (that’s change 2a, if you’re keeping count, and it’s a sad change for a happy reason).
(Don’t tell her I let the cat out of the bag, but there’s a new baby on the way! Feel free to send picture books and/or well-wishes.)
This year is looking a little less glutted with brilliance than last year, which is too bad but also sort of a relief, so we should be able to stay on top of things despite all this people shuffling, although we also have a fallback/ancillary plan (which is item 3 AND change 3. Go me and my numbering system):
3. We’d like to also formally issue an invitation to any interested parties to guest post in defense of a top Printz** pick. It can be a title we are already planning to write about or have already written about, or a book we haven’t heard of, or a book we read but dismissed summarily and didn’t write up at all — the important thing is that, like the RealCommittee whose work we are shadowing and modeling and pretending to be sort of similar to, we need more voices if we want to really do a fair job covering all the books that are potential long-listers.
(Thanks and a shout-out to Emily H. who suggested this form for guest bloggers, because it’s much better than the model we tried last year. Or it will be, if anyone takes us up on it.)
Posts can be any length but need to be thoughtful, critical write-ups. Leave a comment or email me at the address provided on the About page if you’re interested and we’ll tawk.
4. We’re headed to ALA! Sarah is already in Chicago, and I’ll be there Friday night (which, whoops, is already tomorrow!); Sophie will also be there but Joy sadly will not. Will we see you there? Will we fight you for the last copy of a galley? Let us know if you will be at ALA, if you want to meet up and place RealPrintz 2014 bets under the table, and what books you spot or snag that looks amazing.
5. Titles! Because really, the only reason we ever tried to not take the off season off was to make it possible for anyone who was interested to read more or less the same list of books as what we’ll be covering on Someday.
So today we are releasing the pre-contenda list!
The pre-contender list has three main categories and is ripe for discussion.
Our categories are 3-or-more stars; new books by previous winners and honorees of the RealPrintz; and buzz, which is a catchall for books we have heard things about from others, or are looking forward to ourselves, or that were really appealing at a preview. Many of the buzz books are fall pubs and might move to the 3-or-more stars list once reviews come out, but for now we’re calling them buzz books; similarly, some new books by previous Printzers also have three-or-more stars, but we consider the author’s previous work the more pressing reason to have these on the list so they are in that category for our purposes.
You might have noticed that as in the past, we are automatically including any book with 3 or more stars at this point.
BUT — change 4 — we don’t swear they’ll make the final contender list, which we’ll release in September, nor — change 4a — that we’ll review every three-star book at length. As we discussed last summer, there are books that get — and deserve! — lots of stars that just aren’t seriously in the running, and we don’t want to pick those books apart. So we’ll look at everything with three or more stars, but we might not write about them all.
Technical deets and credit: The list was assembled using Jen J‘s fabulous starred review spreadsheet, the biggest help imaginable, plus a variety of review sources, buzz on Twitter and Goodreads, and some research of upcoming titles.
A final process note: we are avoiding everyone else’s blogs in an attempt to not be swayed by the opinions of others before we read books for ourselves, but a few places we want to be reading reviews? The already referenced Tea Cozy and Stacked, and Mark and Sarah Flowers’ Cross-Referencing. If you know any other sources we should be avoiding and then later reading avidly, let us know.
So without further ado (because there’s been a lot of ado in this here post already), here’s the list. We want to hear your thoughts: What’s missing? What needs to be added? What have you read already?
3-or-more stars (alpha by title)
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty
Courage Has No Color, Tanya Stone
Crash & Burn, Michael Hassan
Dark Triumph, Robin LaFevers
Doll Bones, Holly Black (possibly too young)
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Emancipation Proclamation, Tanya Bolden
Etiquette & Espionage, Gail Carriger
If You Find Me, Emily Murdoch
In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Cat Robins
The Lucy Variations, Sara Zarr
Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner
My Brother’s Book, Maurice Sendak
Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys
September Girls, Bennett Madison
Teeth, Hannah Moskowitz
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
Uses for Boys, Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Winger, Andrew Smith
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, Meg Medina
New books by previous winners/honorees
The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey
Boxers, Gene Luen Yang
Darius & Twig, Walter Dean Myers
Hideous Love, Stephanie Hemphill
Hostage 3, Nick Lake
The Killing Woods, Lucy Christopher
Midwinterblood, Marcus Sedgwick
Mortal Fire, Elizabeth Knox
Picture Me Gone, Meg Rosoff
Quintana of Charyn, Melina Marchetta
Reality Boy, A.S. King
Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein
Saints, Gene Luen Yang
Yellowcake, Margo Lanagan
*Pratchett reference and obligatory footnote. See Urban Dictionary for the explanation, or you could just read Lords and Ladies.
**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!
17 & Gone, Nova Ren Suma
The Beginning of Everything, Robyn Schneider
The Bird King, Shaun Tan
Black Helicopters, Blythe Woolston
Black Spring, Alison Croggon
Bruised, Sarah Skilton
Charm & Strange, Stephanie Kuehn
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black
The Different Girl, Gordon Dahlquist
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, Evan Roskos
The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater
Fallout, Todd Strasser
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
Far, Far Away, Tom McNeal
Fat Angie, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Firecracker, David Iserson
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Matthew Quick
Frankenstein, Gris Grimley
Homeland, Cory Doctorow
The Howling Moon, Cath Crowley
I See the Promised Land, Arthur Flowers
If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan
Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher
Mind Games, Kiersten White
Mojo, Tim Tharp
A Moment Comes, Jennifer Bradbury
More than This, Patrick Ness
OCD, The Dude, and Me, Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Orleans, Sheri Smith
Paper Valentine, Brenna Yovanoff
The Paradox of Vertical Flight, Emil Ostrovski
Pieces, Chris Lynch
Rapture Practice, Aaron Hartzler
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, Lucy Knisley
The Reluctant Assassin, Eoin Colfer
Scowler, Daniel Kraus
Sex & Violence, Carrie Mesrobian
The Sin-Eaters Confession, Ilsa Bick
Tumble & Fall, Alexandra Coutts
The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman
Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith
Wise Young Fool, Sean Beaudoin
Zebra Forest, Adina Gewirtz