Marilyn Nelson, author of the 2006 Printz honor book A Wreath for Emmett Till, is responsible for what may be this year’s most unique contender, pairing two genres only occasionally spotted in the YA world — memoir and poetry — to make a whole that is notable and worth recognizing. [Read more...]
For the first formal writeup of the season, I thought I’d tackle the first likely contender I read (I read this one in late 2013, so I was early).
Also, I know lots of people are itching to talk about it.
First, pedigree: this one made our longlist in a whopping 4 categories. Buzz (although some of that was manufactured by the smart marketing people who knew they had something worth pushing); previous winner (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, 2009 Printz Honor book); stars (five of them); and interest (Frankie was one of my committee’s picks, and I also love love love Lockhart’s smart, sly Ruby Oliver books, which seem fluffy on the outside and are actually protein and pathos packed when you dig in.)
Now, I like intricately plotted books that work seamlessly when I read them but leave me thinking about the author’s skill in putting all the bits together once I’ve finished reading. I also like mysteries and unreliable narrators.
In other words, We Were Liars was made for me — but that’s not what makes it a worthy contender.
(I want to make a naughty or nice joke, but really, naughty books just don’t make it on Printz contender speculation lists.)
We’ve considered buzz, that strange ephemeral thing that happens on Goodreads and Twitter, we’ve looked at stars (shoutouts, ever and always, to Jen and her amazing list, without which we would have no accurate data on stars and books), and finally we’ve gone over the list of previous winners and honorees to see who has new books out this year.
What is a Printz-worthy book? How do we gauge merit? Is great literature a definable thing?
There are so many questions and so few answers, but if we’re going to analyze all these books in light of the Printz award, it’s probably a good idea to think about what it is we’re hoping to see recognized come February 2. [Read more...]
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!
(to the tune of Watching the Detectives)
Finally up and running on our library big TV, just in time for the Schneider.
Well, we’ve got our winner, so now we need our honor books.
Procedure for honor books is almost, but not quite, the same as procedure for the winner.
All nominated titles are eligible, whether of not they received any votes in the voting rounds to determine the winner.
You may vote for up to four title, but do not need to vote for all four slots. Votes should be numbered and will be weighted — 7 points for first place, 5 for second, 3 for third, and 1 for fourth.
So go forth and vote! We’re down to the wire, but we’re also in the midst of ALA travel, so we’ll leave the poll open until… Saturday night, 8 pm-ish. Try to vote BEFORE reading all the results (Miriam, I’m looking at you!) if you want to more closely imitate RealCommittee practice, since they vote blind. Or read the results and do the math, as you choose!
Here’s the nominated title list, again, minus Pyrite winner Boxers & Saints: [Read more...]
And I do mean at last — for the first half of the votes, Boxers & Saints and Eleanor & Park were running neck and neck. But the final surge pulled one ahead conclusively, so we can call it — and move on to honor votes, if anyone has time given that my Twitter feed indicates the whole world has already arrived in Philadelphia!
Did you know that “It’s a Pyrite runoff” can TOTALLY be sung to the tune of “It’s the final countdown”?
I know. We make your world better every day. Anyway, voting is open for the Pyrite, AGAIN. For 25 hours only (until 7 pm EST Thursday), so please vote fast!
(Although if you’re going to be truly thoughtful and imitate RealPrintz process as much as possible, before you vote you’ll take a look at what’s been said about all the books again, starting with any comments on the results post and then clicking through titles as needed; many of these have also been written up elsewhere and truly thorough voters will poke around at other blogs and in professional review sources as well.)
Voting is weighted — vote in order from your top choice to your third choice, and number them to be sure. Only vote for books on this list! And may the best book win.
17 & Gone
All the Truth That’s In Me
Boxers & Saints (as a single entity)
Charm & Strange
A Corner of White
Eleanor & Park
Far Far Away
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
The Golden Day
The Kingdom of Little Wounds
The Midnight Dress
More Than This
Rose Under Fire
The Summer Prince
*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!
A few days ago on Twitter, Rachel Hartman (yes, you know, that Rachel Hartman, who brought us last year’s best debut — and one of last year’s best books, period), Seraphina, asked if we were doing a Morris shortlist roundup this year. The answer, sadly, was not really, because our Morris readership hasn’t been thorough enough. Out of that conversation came the following guest post, in which Rachel reviews Charm and Strange, the most Printz-buzzed of the Morris shortlist titles.
For those of you who don’t
stalk follow Rachel on any social media, a few salient biographical details and some links: In addition to Seraphina (which won the Morris Award last year AND a Printz Honor) and also the author of the forthcoming sequel (in March 2015. I KNOW) Shadow Scale. She can, as mentioned, be found on Twitter, where she procrastinates, talks about music and writing, frequently makes me laugh, and is a general source of things that are Good. But if you really want all the details, you should head over to her website and blog, this month featuring Morris shortlist authors and books — in fact, she’ll be posting an interview with Stephanie Kuehn later today! But enough of the introduction and on with the write-up.
I asked Karyn whether y’all would be doing any kind of Morris roundup this year. She told me time was tight, so probably not. I’ve only read Charm & Strange from this year’s Morris list, but I volunteered to review it because I’m on deadline. My procrastination knows no bounds.
There will be spoilers ahead — to my great relief, since this is a difficult book to discuss without spoiling — but let me try to give you the spoiler-free condensed version first. I loved Charm & Strange, and that’s saying a lot. I’m a fantasy person. It takes a very special real-world, “problem” novel to keep my attention at all, let alone make me love it. This is an intensely painful book to read, however. In terms of awards, I don’t know. I never predict anything correctly. You could certainly write a multi-page paper on this book — or on the psychology, philosophy, and metaphor contained therein — and yet I don’t think I could bear to re-read it. I’m not sure how it would hold up if I did, since so much hinges upon the reader and Win discovering the truth together. Once all the terrible truths are revealed, is that all there is — and is that enough?
Come with me under the fold, and let’s dig into this thing!