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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Soliciting Contenders

Readers, we need you!

We’re working our way down the long list, and we’ve got a few roundups of some other books that we think are in the top, say, hundred books of the year but don’t quite have that thing that wins the gold. But we know there are gems we’ve missed or dismissed, and we need you to fill in those holes.

So if the book you think is the #1 book of the year in YA lit isn’t on our list, won’t you take this moment to write a really long comment talking about that book?

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 was convinced that A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge was published in the US this past February, which I think would make it a contender for the Printz. I can’t find any records that say it was, though, which is a pity, because it’s hands down one of the most spectacular books I’ve read this past year. Smart and funny and wacky and elegant and brilliant, and it straddles a not-quite-fantasy line that lands it squarely in Hardinge-genre.

    Also, it has a white rabbit. Random literary references FTW.

  2. I too adored A Face Like Glass and hope it gets published in the US before too long.

  3. The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal is really staying with me. The writing is sophisticated and daring, the world building unique, and the story both bizarre and compelling. It hits all the notes a Printz committee will be looking for in a prize for literary excellent. Cokal’s facility with language is something special.

    • I’m only about halfway through, but I’m really perplexed about why Kingdom of Little Wounds was published as YA. While it certainly has some teen characters, it reads a lot more like adult fantasy. The amount of sexual abuse going on is staggering (which is not to say that it CAN’T be YA, just that it doesn’t feel like a YA treatment of the subject to me). I’m also uncomfortable so far with the whole thread about the ineffective king who’s maybe only terrible because he’s secretly gay, and of COURSE he’s in love with the advisor who wants to take advantage of him–it’s a bad cliché. (Again, I’m halfway through–if all of this turns around, I’ll eat my words.) The political plots, too, seem to have an adult sensibility about them so far. But I could be persuaded!

      • Karyn Silverman says:

        I’m right there with you, and I’m not sure if I can be persuaded. I also though the sex and violence were often highly gratuitous.

  4. Scowler by Daniel Krause for the long list.

    I certainly don’t have my own buttons sorted when it comes to YA/notYA, but I do think that a reader who appreciated Tender Morsels would find TKoLW rewarding.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      I loved TM — that was my RealPrintz year, so I read it a lot and really grappled with it. TKoLW has a lot going for it but I can’t get past the sense of gratuitousness; I also see very little that is YA in the sense of the adolescent experience; the girls are 17 in a time when that was well into adulthood. In TM, there is a huge arc of growing up for several of the characters that feels more genuinely tied to the experience of adolescence and thus more genuinely YA.

      None of which technically matters but that’s where I am.

    • Daniel Kraus – overlooked due to his subject matter? Perhaps. One of the best writers I’ve come across – and I’m not a horror fan. But I LOVE his work. Rotters was excellent, and so was Scowler. Difficult, but so well written… Kraus really knows how to craft his words.

  5. What about The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky? It’s on the younger side for Printz-the girls seem very young, although I can’t remember if their age/grade is ever mentioned, but it can also fit firmly into the 12-14 bracket on the younger side of Printz. It has a fantastic use of plotting and suspense and is very well written. Great depth to the plot and one that I think would hold up very well upon a re-read.

  6. I hope Scowler is given consideration too. Kraus is just an amazing, thoughtful writer. I felt literally ill as I read Scowler, which was his intent as far as I can tell!

    Coming back to defend TKoLW a little more. The dark story of political intrigue and individual survival was original and well-plotted. Each voice was distinct and Cokal let their stories unfold, telling the reader just enough to keep you wondering what could possibly befall these people next. To that end, I liked that the kingdom created was violent and uncertain, the madness was palpable and grows as the tale goes on. While gratuitous in places, I don’t think the violence was used for cheap effect.

    In that same vein, that was probably my biggest problem with The Golden Day – the ending read as a bit of a trick or device to me, inconsistent with the rest of the book.

    • Good point Meghan! The ending of The Golden Day is a bit of a trick and I think the Real Committee will have a lot to discuss regarding that ending.

    • The Golden Day .. sigh. That ending just killed the book for me. It was really going strong till then, too! Not sure it would hold up to much re-reading, since I’ll know the finish now.

      TKoLW – I’ve gone on record with how much I admire and flat-out LOVE this book. The violence is horrifying but appropriate in historical context. The layers and levels keep me thinking about the story too – this is a book to revisit over and over.

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