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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Zac + Mia

9780544331648 Zac + MiaZac & Mia, A.J. Betts
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2014
Reviewed from final copy

Remember when teens with terminal illnesses were the stuff of Lurlene McDaniels and also the Wakefield twins’ brother’s girlfriend? And not literary fodder.

Oh for the days of yore.

But the cancer book seems here to stay, and this one puts some spin on the tropes of the genre.

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NBA Longlist

I know, I know, it’s already old news — but it would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the NBA longlist in Young People’s Literature.

There are a few surprises, as always, a few “of course” books, and a side of “wait, really?”

There’s also a slant towards a type of book. Social conscience seems to be on the table as a criteria, or at least a bias. Greenglass House and 100 Sideways Miles maybe don’t fit that mold (I haven’t read either yet and descriptions don’t make it clear), but the rest do — even Noggin, which takes on ethics and identity as issues.

But because we are really narrowly focused here, what I am mostly interested in is how this list compares to our own list.

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How I Discovered Poetry

How I Discovered Poetry cover 198x300 How I Discovered PoetryHow I Discovered Poetry, Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Dial Books, January 2014
Reviewed from final copy

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...]

We Were Liars

we were liars We Were LiarsWe Were Liars, E. Lockhart
Delacorte, May 2014
Reviewed from ARC

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.

[Read more...]

The (Very Long) List

I Love Spreadsheets1 247x300 The (Very Long) ListWe’ve got a list. We’ve checked it twice.

(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.

Whew!

[Read more...]

What Is This Quality Thing, Anyway?

Blowing Questions photo by Flickr user Brian Yap 224x300 What Is This Quality Thing, Anyway?

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...]

Welcome back!

freshpencils 226x300 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!

 

Liveblogging the Awards

(to the tune of Watching the Detectives)

Finally up and running on our library big TV, just in time for the Schneider.

Here goes!

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Nickeled and Dimed: The Pyrite Printz Honor Vote

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...]

Whew! There’s A Winner At Last!

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!

[Read more...]