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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Welcome back!

Fresh pencils for a new season! (CC-licensed image by Flickr user Rex Boggs.)

It’s September, which means we’re back!

If you’re new here, this is the place to be for Printz speculation (we’re here and you’re here, so it must be). Admittedly, we’re usually wrong when it comes to predicting the winners, but that’s ok: the point is not to accurately predict but to speculate and discuss at RealCommittee level the plausible contenders for the Printz Award.

Of course, Printz committee work is shrouded in secrecy, and none of us are on the committee, so we’re just guessing. Mostly we’re here for fun — because don’t we all love arguing passionately about books? — and we’re thrilled to be back online and gearing up our arguments to defend our top choices for the 2015 gold!

Want to know what to expect? Need to catch up on your reading so you can join in? We’ll post our longlist later this week, once we’ve taken a look at the criteria and discussed just what “literary excellence” means. And we’ll be running our own Pyrite Printz later in the season so that we can have some RealCommittee style fun and voting.

So please, drop by the comments and say hi, and start plugging your top Printz picks — we can’t wait to get talking with you all!

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!


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 admit I haven’t read a lot yet this year. But I am also having a hard time finding a book to get excited about for the Printz. So far my two favorites have been The Crossover by Kwame Alexander and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I still have many on my to-read list but I’m excited to hear what you all are finding worth looking at!

  2. So far the book I would absolutely go to bad for is This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki — it delves into so many places, friendship, coming of age, womanhood, sexuality. I especially like how well it evokes Canadian lake summers and the situational/temporary friendships that come with them, and how it uses horror movies as a metaphor for sex — that thing that you’re curious about, and you don’t want to be too much of a baby for, but really it’s kind of terrifying, and you’re not sure if you’re interested for its own sake or just to prove (to yourself or others) that you’re brave and mature enough…

    I think We Were Liars is definitely worth considering.

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen more coverage of Pointe by Brandy Colbert — it’s a much better put-together book than some that have gotten a lot of starred reviews, and nuanced and subtle about relationships and eating disorders and sexual exploitation.

    I have issues with Girls Like Us by Gail Giles but the writing is certainly good. I also think How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson and Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf are worth consideration.

  3. I’m so glad you’re back!

  4. My top titles at the moment are EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU, POINTE, WE WERE LIARS and THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE. Also really loved SALVAGE by Alexandra Duncan and THIS ONE SUMMER. Still have lots to read though.

  5. I totally second This One Summer because of everything Emily said. That book was excellent, and I know the illustrations are not a consideration in this award, but they absolutely set the right mood and tone. I loved that book.

    I fear that my favorites from 2014 are not contenders. I loved The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty, but alas it’s a sequel to a previous book and it definitely can’t stand on its own. Nonetheless, it was highly imaginative, creative, original, etc. I’m also banking on Maggie Stiefvater’s next entry in the Raven Cycle to be spectacular. But again it’s clearly exempt from consideration due its reliance on prior installments. Sigh…

    What about the Riverman by Aaron Starmer? I feel that’s more of a Newbery contender, but there is a lot for teens to appreciate. It’s mindbending in fact!

  6. Welcome back! I can’t wait to talk about We Were Liars-it’s a buzz book that I didn’t feel the love for and can’t wait to discuss it with everyone and really delve into it.

    I loved The Crossover, but wonder if it will fall on Printz or Newbery or maybe get overlooked by both by being a middle book.

    I feel like I’ve read a lot of buzzed books that haven’t quite met Printz level for me, so I’m curious to see what the shortlist you create includes!

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Honestly, it’s more of a really long list!

    • Sarah I think we will be in a very small minority of people who did not love We Were Liars. I’m very curious to see what people loved about that book. I must confess I’m very behind on my titles as we get into the final third of the year. Can’t wait for the long list so I can catch up!

      • I posted on Facebook about it after I finished it and it led to a long discussion with my librarian friends. Someone pointed out that previous Printz Committee members were the ones being harshest with it, which I found interesting. I’m sure the committee’s reading and re-reading will reveal some of the issues I had with it-I can’t wait to discuss it! It’s good to know I’m not alone! 🙂

  7. Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

  8. Linda Landi says:

    Nothing has quite struck a chord with me this year as much as the aptly named “The strange & beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender.” The writing is so very lovely and after the first couple of totally off the wall events (wait, your sister is really a CANARY now?) I just went with it. And what is a more universal theme than love in all its forms, and the ways in which we embrace and shun it. There is one totally raw and horrific scene in it that for me, could change the audience, but as far as literary merit? Yup.

    The other one that has stuck with me in terms of style is “The unfinished life of Addison Stone.” The storytelling through “interviews” made me think about how we construct a composite picture pulled from various sources and how we choose to weight people’s perspectives. Are we the only ones capable of telling our own stories or are we as biased as anyone else? I also loved the media throughout: the photographs, magazine covers, and paintings. They helped tell the story.

    Grasshopper Jungle raises many of the same questions as Addison Stone. Who gets to tell the stories that we accept as history and which parts are deemed worthy of inclusion? It is such a bizarre story, and I didn’t love it, but I would have to say that it is one worth considering.

  9. My guesses so far are Grasshopper Jungle, Noggin, and We Were Liars. I wish the committee would consider more fantasy fiction.

  10. YAY! So glad we’re back!

    I’m in the same boat as a few other people here–I’ve read some good books but nothing that really compelled me as a Printz title. (Oddly enough, almost all my favorite books this year have been pubb’d adult.) So I’m even more interested in the discussions.

  11. Danielle C says:

    Glad this is back! I haven’t been blown away by much this year but my top pick is the lovely The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I also think This One Summer and The Gospel of Winter might be worthwhile considerations. The Riverman is also a super intriguing crossover pick.

  12. Barbara Moon says:

    This One Summer, Port Chicago 50, Addison Stone, Clariel, Poisoned Apples spring to mind. Am not listing the obvious front runners (Liars, etc) There are several others that I am quite fond of – actually very FOND of but not sure if they will make the cut (but hope that they will).
    Thanks for starting the discussion. I look forward to it every year.

  13. I second Poisoned Apples and triple, fifth, or whatever Grasshopper Jungle. One of my Newbery favorites that should also be considered for the younger end of Printz is Margi Preus’s West of the Moon. I also want to put in a plug for two terrific works of nonfiction: Albert Marrin’s A Volcano Beneath the Snow and Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov.

  14. Hooray! Well, let’s see….I’m looking forward to (possible) discussions of We Were Liars, The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, and When I Was the Greatest.

  15. I have not been that excited about any YA book recently. I have recently read Noggin by John Corey Whaley and loved it. I am not sure if it is Printz worthy. I am reading Grasshopper Jungle and cannot understand the hype surrounding the book.

  16. I would love to see discussion about FREE TO FALL because I devoured it and thought it was wonderful. CRUEL BEAUTY was stunning, too. I also need people to talk to me about GLORY O’BRIEN’S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE because I loved many things about it, but it took me forever to get through because it was just so weird. I think NOGGIN and WE WERE LIARS are strong contenders as well.

  17. I’m very excited to see the discussion about Ava Lavender – strange and beautiful, indeed. A few librarians in CT, myself included, are mock-ing for the first time at I look forward to getting the discussion started.


  1. […] Someday My Printz Will Come is gearing up for another year of discussion. The long list will be out soon and it’s always a good way to see what you’ve missed. […]

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