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Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

We’re Out! But before We Go, let’s talk Printz 2016

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Well, another season has come and gone, and emotions have ebbed and flowed and so many pages have been read!

Before we disappear back into our regular lives, we wanted to say thank you for reading with us, disagreeing with us, and generally raising the bar on the conversation in every comment. We will miss you all for these next several months! We’ll still be on Goodreads and Twitter, so look for us there.

And again, thank you to the RealCommittee, who work so much harder and with so little visibility. They have given us another great slate of titles and continue to work tirelessly to promote innovative, exciting, beautiful writing (and any number of other descriptors I am not articulating at this moment). We do this in fun, but they do it in earnest, and they deserve a round of applause, a week-long nap, and many many kudos.

So much for reflection. Let’s look to the future. I predict that the 2016 Printz winner will be…Kidding. I haven’t read a 2015 yet.

So let’s talk turkey: what are you looking forward to?

Comments are open for-evah (well, all year), so pop in with thoughts and suggestions any time. Let’s start building that contender list!

 

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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.

Comments

  1. BONE GAP by Laura Ruby blew me away. Wow. Just, wow. Incredible writing, characters, themes. It’s something special.

    I have THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma and ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers on my TBR. Also looking forward to BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN by Elizabeth Wein and SAINT ANYTHING by Sarah Dessen.

  2. THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brackenbrough.

  3. X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon is fantastic.

  4. Reiterating Cecelia’s picks — ALL THE RAGE, THE WALLS AROUND US, and BONE GAP are going to be worth talking about, for sure. I’ll also throw in Neal Shusterman’s CHALLENGER DEEP as another I think will get people talking this year.

  5. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
    The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
    Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
    Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

    Also, I hope for new books by Alaya Dawn Johnson, Franny Billingsley and MT Anderson, though I don’t know if any of them will be publishing new books this year.

  6. A third resounding vote for Bone Gap! It’s one that got away (I’m an editor and I lost the auction for this book) but I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Love, love, love.

  7. I just had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth Wein by phone for my Bookpage review of Black Dove, White Raven. It is marvelous and will, I think, appeal to a wide age range of readers.

  8. Has anyone read “There Will Be Lies” by Nick Lake? I haven’t read it, but previous winner…

  9. I finally got all the January review info for the 6 journals I track entered in my starred reviews spreadsheet. There are already 1 5-star book (Supertruck by Stephen Savage) and 1 4-star book (Earmuffs for Everyone by Meghan McCarthy), but since they’re both picture books for younger ages, they’re not particularly relevant here. There are however already 20 3-star books several of which could be contenders. I’ve only listed the ones that have reviews that include ages 12 and up in them which still leaves us with 16:
    3 stars:
    All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
    The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
    The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner
    Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan (Middle Grade – Kirkus says age 9-12, PW age 10-14, SLJ Gr. 5-8)
    Fatal Fever by Gail Jarrow (Non-Fiction – PW Age 10 and up, SLJ Gr. 5 and up, Kirkus age 12-16)
    The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
    Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner
    Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai (Middle Grade – Booklist Gr. 4-8, PW age 8-12, SLJ Gr. 5-8)
    Razorhurst by Justine Labalestier
    Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Graphic Fiction – SLJ Gr. 4-8, Kirkus age 9-13, PW age 9-12)
    Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
    Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper (Middle Grade – Kirkus and PW age 9-13; SLJ Gr. 4-8)
    The Tightrope Walkers by David Almond
    Wangara Maathai by Franck Prevot (picture book biography – Kirkus age 7-12, SLJ Gr. 2-6)
    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (middle grade – Kirkus age 8-12, PW age 9-12)
    X: A Novel by Shabazz and Magoon

    February journals still need to be entered. I hope to post again when I get those done!

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Bless you, Jen, and your data entry! That spreadsheet is pretty much my reading bible.

      All the Bright Places is up next for me, followed by X and Listen Slowly (all being read for our local librarian’s book club), and then I think Bone Gap, but only because I don’t have Razorhurst yet. (I already read Shadow Scale.) I’ve got Black Dove, White Raven and Magonia and Little Peach all piled up already as well. And isn’t the new Frances Hardinge out in the US this year? So much to look forward to!

  10. Here’s the February update – anything with 3 or more stars from these 6 journals: Bulletin, Booklist, Kirkus, SLJ, Horn Book, PW that was reviewed as including age 12 and up. Newly listed titles – have a NEW next to them.
    5 stars: X by Ilyasa Shabazz with Kekla Magoon
    4 stars:
    Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – NEW
    Fatal Fever by Gail Jarrow
    The Tightrope Walkers by David Almond
    Wangari Maathai by Franck Prevot
    3 stars:
    The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith – NEW
    All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
    The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
    The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner
    The Death of the Hat – Paul B. Janeczko, ed. – NEW – I’m thinking this is not eligible since it collects previously published poems.
    Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
    Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner
    Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
    The Maine Coon’s Haiku by Michael J. Rosen – NEW (1 review takes it up to age 12, but almost certainly too young)
    Mosquitoland by David Arnold – NEW
    Razorhurst by Justine Labalestier
    Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
    Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
    Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
    Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery with Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley – NEW
    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    So 4 new contenders really, I think based on stars: Challenger Deep, The Alex Crow, Mosquitoland and Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

    And, as usual, glad the spreadsheet is of use to others!

  11. “The Tightrope Walkers”, from the excerpt I’ve read, seems to be very absorbing, and beautifully written. I’ll have to read it when it arrives tomorrow. Also, “Mosquitoland” feels like an honor book, just saying; Mim’s voice is so strong. “Bone Gap” became a favorite.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      There’s been some backlash against Mosquitoland regarding the depiction of Native American characters. Thoughts?

      • Brenda Martin says:

        Truly I’ve been more than a little disappointed about the way the backlash has been handled. After scolding the author for the terminology used, he responded, but it wasn’t enough, or fast enough, and it got to the point that it felt more like shaming than discourse. In MOSQUITOLAND, the protagonist herself eventually realizes the error of her ways. That part has been conveniently left out of the discussion of racist insensitivity.

        The more I think about this one, the more it bothers me that it was – and continues to be – referred to as problematic. I’m starting to be troubled when authors feel that they cannot portray character’s faults and foibles about race, etc. genuinely, without being called out on it. It’s disillusioning.

        • Karyn Silverman says:

          Thanks for this, Brenda. I haven’t read it yet and the backlash was making me reluctant; this is a much more nuanced take and I really appreciate it. *moves Mosquitoland up the towering queue*

  12. End of March update – the list is getting really long, so for the 3 stars I only listed new titles:
    5 stars:
    Challenger Deep by Shusterman
    The Tight-Rope Walkers by Almond
    X by Shabazz and Magoon
    4 stars:
    All the Bright Places by Niven
    Echo by Ryan
    Fatal Fever by Jarrow
    Gone Crazy in Alabama by Williams-Garcia
    Roller Girl by Jamieson
    Wangari Maathai by Franck Prevot
    New 3 star titles:
    Audacity by Crowder
    Beastkeeper by Hellison
    Black Dove, White Raven by Wein
    Blackbird Fly by Kelly
    Bone Gap by Ruby
    Cuckoo Song by Hardinge
    Ghosts of Heaven by Sedgwick
    Hold Me Closer by Levithan
    Lost in the Sun by Graff (probably too young)
    March, Book Two by Lewis and Aydin
    The Thickety: The Whispering by Offermann
    The Truth Commission by Juby
    The Walls Around Us by Suma

  13. Whoops – can tell it’s time for me to go to bed, left out a titles word and got the author wrong……The Thickety: The Whispering Trees is by J.A. White and illustrated by Andrea Offermann.

  14. April Update:
    We have our first 6 star book: The Tight-Rope Walkers by Almond

    5 stars:
    Challenger Deep by Shusterman
    Roller Girl by Jamieson
    X by Shabazz and Magoon

    4 stars:
    The Alex Crow by Smith
    All the Bright Places by Niven
    Cuckoo Song by Hardinge
    The Dead I Know by Gardner – NEW
    Echo by Ryan
    Fatal Fever by Jarrow
    Gone Crazy in Alabama by Williams-Garcia
    Hold Me Closer by Levithan
    Lost in the Sun by Graff
    The Walls Around Us by Suma
    Wangari Maathai by Franck Prevot

    3 stars (only new titles):
    The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Hoose
    Circus Mirandus by Beasley (probably too young)
    The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly (probably too young)
    Dime by E.R. Frank
    The Game of Love and Death by Brockenbrough
    The Great War illustrated by Jim Kay (short stories by various authors)
    I Am Princess X by Priest
    Kissing in America by Rabb
    The Last Leaves Falling by Benwell
    Nimona by Stevenson
    Shadowshaper by Older
    Stonewall by Bausum

    That’s lots of new 3-star titles to read plus The Dead I Know which jumped right to 4 stars!

    • Many of the books on this list at Newbery candidates, not Printz candidates. I appreciate the lists but wonder if you could add a delineation of the suggested grade or age range? For example: Blackbird Fly is Gr.5-8; Beastkeeper is Gr. 7-10; Roller Girl is Gr. 4-8. Wangari Maathai is a picture book Gr. 2-4. High school students, our target students, do not and will not read books with young protagonists if they can help it.

      • Karyn Silverman says:

        Hi Anne, Jen’s quite conscientious about listing only those books that fall within the Printz range here. Technically the Printz is anything ages 12 and up, which means books that skew to the younger end are indeed fair game. Jen does note the recommended ages on her spreadsheet, which is linked elsewhere in the comment thread, and which I certainly check against when I am looking at collection development, but since the blog is focused on the award and the award can skew down, the listed books are all one we are likely to be looking at and analyzing once we start up again in September.

        • Anne Bennett says:

          I didn’t mean for my comment to come across as a criticism or complaint of all the hard work you guys do to help us find the best YA Lit out there. Thanks for this website and for your reviews and lists. Honestly, I come here all the time for help in my selection of books for my Mock Printz event.

          • Karyn Silverman says:

            Thank you! I just wanted to remind everyone of our mission and why we sometimes read picture books for a YA award :)

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Good golly, I have so much reading to do!

      Of the books that already had three stars, I’ve read several, but only a handful of the 4-5 star books — Roller Girl, All the Bright Places, and The Walls Around Us (which I largely liked, but my students are not fans, which I find fascinating, even if irrelevant in a court of Printz). X I read most of; I found myself thinking I’d rather read the nonfiction treatment, so I think the slightly fictionalized biography is not for me.

      Curious to hear what else others have read from the 4 or more stars pile and also what folks have read that isn’t getting the stars but knocked your socks off nevertheless. My top book for the year so far is Walk on Earth a Stranger, the upcoming Rae Carson, but I don;t know if anyone else has seen it yet. It’s fantastic. But I feel like I haven’t read widely enough yet at all from 2015 to have a real sense of the year.

  15. May Update – here’s the link to the spreadsheet itself – check there for age ranges and more info on each title: http://tinyurl.com/starredtitles

    6 stars:
    The Tight-Rope Walkers by Almond
    X by Shabazz and Magoon

    5 stars:
    The Alex Crow by Smith
    Challenger Deep by Shusterman
    Roller Girl by Jamieson

    4 stars:
    All the Bright Places by Niven
    The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Hoose
    Cuckoo Song by Hardinge
    The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly
    The Dead I Know by Gardner
    Echo by Ryan
    Fatal Fever by Jarrow
    Gone Crazy in Alabama by Williams-Garcia
    Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead – NEW – probably too young
    Hold Me Closer by Levithan
    The Last Leaves Falling by Benwell
    Lost in NYC by Speigelman – almost certainly not a serious contender, but one review puts it up to 12
    Lost in the Sun by Graff
    March, Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin – NEW
    More Happy Than Not by Silvera – NEW
    Shadowshaper by Older
    The Walls Around Us by Suma
    Wangari Maathai by Franck Prevot

    3 stars (only new titles):
    All the Rage by Courtney Summers
    Conviction by Gilbert
    Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Engle
    Fell of Dark by Patrick Downes
    Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee – another that’s probably not a real contender, but a review takes it up to 12
    Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible – again – two reviews take it up to 12, but not likely
    Lumberjanes, Vol 1 by Stevenson and Ellis
    Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith – probably too young
    Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Albertalli

    So, Goodbye Stranger by Stead could be this year’s Navigating Early, but it’s on the young side. March, Book Two and More Happy Than Not are likely both worth a serious look along with the three star titles that aren’t noted as being too young.

    There’s certainly several in the 4 and 5 stars that aren’t likely contenders either – certainly the Wangari Maathai picture book is a very, very long shot and several others fall in that middle school range that hits the edges of both the Newbery and the Printz.

    Happy reading!

    • OMG! I just about geeked-out over your megalist. Thank you!!!!!

      One question though. Why is Wangari Maathai on the YA list? It is a picture book and 3 of the four starred reviews say it is for the young reader (Gr. 1-4). Kirkus says it is for 7-12 year olds. Has the Printz committee ever selected a book where one reviewer put the top reader for the book as the bottom age for the award?

      • Hi Anne,

        When I put together this list, all I’m looking at is whether a review journal that gave the star has put a book within the age range defined within the Printz criteria (12-18). So Wangari Maathai -just- squeaks in. When Karyn, Sarah and Joy (the official contributors to this site – I’m just an interested civilian) put together their list sometime around Labor Day I highly doubt this picture book will make the list. They will probably quite rightly consider it too young. I haven’t had the chance to track down most of what’s on the list and I don’t feel right eliminating things without seeing them to confirm.

        I’m also somewhat influenced by how willing the committees seem to be to stretch the bounds of their criteria lately. A Caldecott for This One Summer, a Newbery for El Deafo, and a Printz for Navigating Early (starred reviews for ages 10-14 and 9-12 and Grades 5-8 and 6-9- so definitely on the young side for the Printz – but within bounds), all make me even warier of dismissing things than I might have been previously.

        The only thing I see in previous Printz honors that comes close to a picture book is the poetry cycle by Marilyn Nelson – A Wreath for Emmett Till. My data doesn’t go back that many years, but I suspect the reviews for that all put it much older than the Wangari Maathai picture book does.

        So – to conclude this very long response – no, I don’t think Wangari Maathai is a serious contender for the Printz; I definitely would not order it for my collection (aimed at high school students – which is not true for most of my YA Public Library colleagues in the area – they almost all work with Grades 6 and up) without some very firm nudging in that direction from someone I trusted or at the request of a high school student, but I’m keeping it on the list for now.

        Glad you find the spreadsheet useful – feel free to use your own criteria and the data from my spreadsheet to put a list together that fits your individual needs!

        • Karyn Silverman says:

          Word. The ways that committees have been stretching our sense of what is suitable for each award is both exciting and a little overwhelming — ANYTHING might be eligible! It makes it much harder to decide what to put on the list, but boy do the YMAs feel wild and awesome.

  16. June update: Link to the spreadsheet – http://tinyurl.com/starredtitles

    6 stars: Challenger Deep by Shusterman, The Tight-Rope Walkers by Almond, X: A Novel by Shabazz and Magoon

    5 stars:
    The Alex Crow by Smith
    Cuckoo Song by Hardinge
    Lost in NYC by Spiegelman (graphic and only one review includes age 12)
    Roller Girl by Jamieson
    The Walls Around Us by Suma

    4 stars:
    All the Bright Places by Niven
    The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Hoose
    The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly
    The Dead I Know by Gardner
    Echo by Ryan
    Fatal Fever by Jarrow
    Firefly Hollow by McGhee (only one review with age 12 – probably not a serious contender)
    Gone Crazy in Alabama by Williams-Garcia
    Goodbye Stranger by Stead
    Hold Me Closer by Levithan
    The Last Leaves Falling by Benwell
    Lost in the Sun by Graff
    March, Book Two by Lewis and Aydin
    More Happy Than Not by Silvera
    Razorhurst by Labalestier – (moved up to 4 – historical fantasy)
    Shadowshaper by Older
    Tommy: The Gun That Changed America by Blumenthal (new to list – non-fiction)
    Wangari Maathai by Prevot (only one review takes is up to age 12)

    3 stars (only titles that reached 3 stars in June for older 3 star titles see the comments above):
    Honor Girl by Thrash (Graphic Memoir)

    A fair amount of movement as already starred titles pick up additional stars. Only new stuff is Firefly Hollow which is too young really I think and then more serious contenders Tommy by Blumenthal and Honor Girl by Thrash.

  17. Anthony Isom says:

    While I do not think this book will win even a Printz Honor (although you never know), I absolutely adored CUT BOTH WAYS by Carrie Mesrobian. I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reader Copy back in February, and the book still roils deep inside me. I cannot get the characters off my mind, and Carrie has written her best-to-date. It is such a beautifully complex work leaving readers open to latch onto whomever they wish, judging not a single character but truly displaying life as it happens.

    A book I read shortly after its release that still lives inside me that I *do* think will get some Printz buzz is MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera. A stunning work! Particularly when you consider this is a debut novel by a young writer. Reminds me very much of when I first read/discovered WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley. It is simply a heartwarming feat of excellence; I loved every word.

  18. Anthony Isom says:

    Also: NO PARKING AT THE END TIMES by Bryan Bliss. Although a “quiet” book focused a great deal of character development and not much on plot, I think this beautiful, very real story has all the makings of a Printz Honor.

  19. 5 Stars:
    Challenger Deep
    Bone Gap
    More Happy Than Not
    The Rest of us Just Live Here

    4 Stars:
    All The Rage
    All The Bright Places
    Misquitoland
    Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

    I’m really thinking More Happy Than Not is a front runner but it’s still early.
    I think Six of Crows is an excellent book but because it’s fantasy, it probably won’t be considered.

    • Dawn, are these your stars? Not actual starred reviews? I really like Challenger Deep, Bone Gap, All the Bright Places, and Mosquitoland, too. I also think that The Tightrope Walker and X: a novel have a chance. I also like, but I’m not sure about chances: Audacity, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13-B; The Ghosts of Heaven, and I Am Princess X. There are a lot of really good books this year.

  20. So, a week or so late, here’s the July report of what the six journals I follow have starred for the year. Spreadsheet can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/starredtitles
    I am having a tough time keeping track of what’s new stuff vs. not, so we’re going to try a full list this time of everything with 3 stars and above – here goes:

    6 stars:
    The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Hoose
    Challenger Deep by Shusterman
    Lost in NYC by Spiegelman (probably too young)
    The Tight-Rope Walkers by Almond
    X by Shabazz and Magoon

    5 stars:
    The Alex Crow by Smith
    Cuckoo Song by Hardinge
    Goodbye Stranger by Stead
    Roller Girl by Jamieson
    The Walls Around Us by Suma

    4 stars:
    All the Bright Places by Niven
    The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly
    The Dead I Know by Gardner
    Echo by Ryan
    Fatal Fever by Jarrow
    Firefly Hollow by McGhee (probably too young)
    The Game of Love and Death by Brockenbrough
    Gone Crazy in Alabama by Williams-Garcia
    Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Vernon (probably too young)
    Hold Me Closer by Levithan
    The Last Leaves Falling by Benwell
    Lost in the Sun by Graff
    March, Book Two by Lewis and Aydin
    More Happy Than Not by Silvera
    Nimona by Stevenson
    Razorhurst by Larbalestier
    Shadowshaper by Older
    Stonewall by Bausum
    Tommy by Blumenthal
    Wangari Maathai by Prevot (probably too young)

    3 stars:
    All the Rage by Summers
    Audacity by Crowder
    Beastkeeper by Hellisen
    Black Dove, White Raven by Wein
    Blackbird Fly by Kelly
    Bone Gap by Ruby
    Boys Don’t Knit by Easton
    The Bunker Diary by Brooks
    Circus Mirandus by Beasley
    Conviction by Gilbert
    Dime by Frank
    Enchanted Air by Engle
    Fable Comics ed. by Duffy (probably too young)
    Fell of Dark by Downes
    Funny Bones by Tonatiuh (probably too young)
    George by Gino (probably too young)
    Ghosts of Heaven by Sedgwick
    The Hired Girl by Schlitz
    Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Wagner
    Honor Girl by Thrash
    I am Princess X by Priest
    Kissing in America by Rabb
    Listen Slowly by Lai
    Lumberjanes by Stevenson et al
    The Maine Coon’s Haiku by Rosen (probably too young)
    Mosquitoland by Arnold
    A Nearer Moon by Crowder (probably too young)
    Nooks & Crannies by Lawson (probably too young)
    The Octopus Scientists by Montgomery
    Return to Auggie Hobble by Smith
    Shadow Scale by Hartman
    Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Albertalli
    Stella by Starlight by Draper
    Terrible Typhoid Mary by Bartoletti
    The Thickety by White
    The Truth Commission by Juby
    Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lowery
    The War That Saved by Life by Bradley (probably too young)

    Just a reminder – I have not read most of these books. I put this list together solely on the basis of the review journals and the ages they recommend. Please see the spreadsheet for more details on any titles. Thanks!

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