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PW Launches List Season!

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 11.58.00 AMProbably the exclamation point was unnecessary, since (A) PW always kicks off the pack and (B) it’s November when the season always launches.


It’s still exciting. And full of surprises! And books I haven’t read, which is always a concern. Why are there so many books? Why must we all have to pick and choose? Why can’t we read instead of sleep?

(These are the questions I ask every year, so at least in that respect, some things are exactly as expected.)

On the exciting side, so many of the books we’ve covered or planned to cover are on PW’s Young Adult list. Critical consensus: it’s a thing. (Although it gets way more interesting to examine when we reach critical mass on lists.) Still, here’s what PW recognized that we’ve already discussed: Simon VS the Homo-Sapiens Agenda; The Game of Love and Death; Saint Anything; All the Bright Places; The Hired Girl; X; Challenger Deep; and Nimona. As a corollary, they also named 7 titles that we know we’ll be discussing in the next 4-6 weeks (and by know, I mean they were already on our list): A Song for Ella Gray; Symphony for the City of the Dead; Shadowshaper; All American Boys; Bone Gap; MARTians; and The Shepherd’s Crown.

On the surprises! end of things, what what Magonia? We had this on our list early on, then we took it off (and then it went back on, and then off again). I started it and wasn’t blown away, no one is talking about it, and really all the attention seemed to fizzle once it was more than a blurb from Neil Gaiman (which seemed to be the genesis of a lot of the early buzz). Did we give it up too soon?

On the even bigger SURPRISE! side of things, with a dash of concern (personal, not regarding the list): two books that weren’t on our radar at all are now waving for attention, Drowned City and Trouble is a Friend of Mine. Have you read either? Should we?

And finally, speaking of so many books, on the PW Middle Grade list, the other three of our four (thus far) Printzbery candidates showed up (Echo, Roller Girl, and Goodbye Stranger).

So what do you think? It definitely skews to the commercial side of things — perfect for PW — but it’s nicely rounded and overall has something for (almost) everyone.

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 started my Best Books 2015 Spreadsheet. As the other 5 lists that I track are announced I’ll add them. Here’s the link:

    I included March, Book 2 and SuperMutant Magic Academy even though PW put them in the Adult Comics section because some of the other journals have been putting them in the Young Adult category. Therefore I show 52 titles even though PW would probably say they only picked 50 for Children and Young Adults.

    • Thank you, Jen, for creating the master lists…this one and the really big list of starred reviews. I find them very useful as I am making my decisions about what books to read next and pay attention to. Of the 15 YA books on the list I’ve only read ten of them, eight of them are on our Mock Printz list, including the seemingly new addition, The Drowned City, which only takes about a half hour to read. I love list season!

  2. I am cracking up at how books are assigned to categories or age groups and what seems to be misses. No way is the Daniel Ellsberg book in the interest area for middle grade students. Just because Sheinkin normally writes for this population doesn’t mean this one is. March2 and SuperMutant are probably best assigned to adults just for general interest, but it is so hard to tell with graphic novels. Does that take them off the Printz consideration list?

    I’ve only read one of the Discworld, Tiffany Aching books (Hat Full of Sky). Do you think I would appreciate Sir Terry Pratchett’s last book or would I be lost reading it?

    Take a look at Drowned City. It is a Fast, well-done, thought provoking read.

  3. Chris Gustafson says:

    Yes! Drowned City and Trouble is a Friend of Mine are (vividly thoughtful) and (quirkily memorable) respectively. Worth reading and talking about.

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