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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

The Not Even Slightly Comprehensive List of Books We’re Looking at This Year

Ok, here it is — the longlist for Someday My Printz Will Come, which is actually the shortlist, or at least a shorter list. For context: currently, our reading list and calendar have us covering more than 90 books between now and late January. We’ll likely revise some books off the list and add some on as we go, but at least 80 titles will get reviewed in some form — that’s the true long list.

This is not that list. We shared the long longlist the first few years of Someday, but then as we read through the books we hadn’t gotten to when the list posted, we found duds and felt like we’d obligated ourselves to read them by putting them on the list and inviting you all to read them too, in order to have a better discussion. And it seems that some of you trust us enough that you were using our list for various reasons, which was CRAZY, because that long longlist is a lot like the kitchen sink of the year’s YA, and it always had some gems (like, you know, the books that eventually went on to win, because usually we’re pretty good about correctly identifying the eventual winners as, you know, books) but also some actually not good at all books. Starting last year, we decided to share a more trimmed down list, and be a little more transparent about the fact that some of it is really just shots in the dark.

The below list comprises books we’ve read already and stand behind pretty strongly as a contender, books we’ve already read and strongly want to discuss, and books we haven’t read yet but for reasons — of author or buzz or gut instinct — we think will be worth a conversation. Since we’re already a few weeks in, I’ve gone ahead and hyperlinked books we’ve already reviewed, and I’ll try to remember to pop back in and add links as we go so that this post can also serve as a partial table of contents.

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Retold Epics, Part 2: Bull

Bull coverFull disclosure: Yvain and Bull were meant to be one post, only then Sarah had a LOT to say about Yvain, which meant it got its own post, leaving poor Bull all alone. Like Yvain, it’s a retelling that plays with form. Unlike Yvain, it’s a straight up critical darling — 5 stars! Sarah argues that Yvain should be a contender. Should Bull?

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The Careful Undressing of Love

The Careful Undressing of Love, cover image

This book. THIS BOOK.

 

Sometimes you pick up a book because you should; it got some stars (or, in this case, failed to get some stars), some people liked the authors other books, you’re sitting around portioning out the books and it’s your turn to take something off the pile. I read a lot of should books — that’s being a youth services librarian, basically — and mostly I am glad, because it makes me better at my job, and mostly the books are good, because lots of books are good, if you give them chance, but mostly they aren’t great.

And then, every now and again, you read a should book and it knocks your socks off. Like, across town lines off. You’ll never see those socks again, and you don’t care, because you’ve just fallen a little bit in love and that’s all that matters.

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Kirkus Finalists

The Kirkus Prize finalists list dropped last week. It only covers books pubbed in the first three quarters of the year, and the pool is any book that has received a Kirkus star (which, tbh, isn’t as rare as people think). Only two YA titles are in the running this year: everyone’s favorite (deservedly so) The Hate U Give and sleeper The Marrow Thieves, which received the rarest of rare accolades: a “highly recommended” from Debbie Reese (the author identifies as Métis, based on an interview I read with her).

The Marrow Thieves sounds fascinating, but wasn’t on our list (one star and a small press means limited buzz). Now I’m bumping it up my to-read and wondering who else has read it?

A List of Cages

Before I dive into the first review of the year, a few housekeeping notes.

We are, as we have been doing, plan to review in roughly chronological order. So for the next month, we’ll focus on Q1 books, those published between January and March 2017. We’re not going to be super strict about this — sometimes we’ll bump a book up or hold it, for example if we think it goes well with something else, or if we have’t read it and end up circling back to it. But we’re hoping this will make it more likely that people who don’t have amazing ARC/galley access will have read books we discuss by the time we discuss them.

In the past, we’ve always shared a list — more recently, an abbreviated list of 25 titles. It’s always sort of arbitrary (although I could tell you already the 10 books I am pulling for hardest). We’re tempted to skip it this year — but we’ll defer to reader opinion. Let us know.

And of course, as always, we are reviewing specifically for Printz speculation, which means we’re mostly looking for what’s wrong with books — because in the end it’s an elimination game, and being a great book isn’t enough.

Now, on to the first review of the year.

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How ‘Bout that NBA Longlist?

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

So the NBA longlist came out the other day, and it is full of goodness. 80% YA! YA that skews up, even. And lots of #ownvoices. Basically, made of win, and made of adding books to our pile, because I confess that What Girls Are Made of was not on my radar.

Oh yeah, also — Someday is back, ready for another season of wild Printz speculation and opinionated chatter about YA literature, and we’re so happy you’re here with us. We’ll start our usual reviews on Monday, but in the meantime we’d love to know: what are you pulling for this year?

Looking Ahead to 2018

number 2 Calendar Wood Block number 0 number 1 Colour Bingo green number 8

letter P letter R letter I letter N letter T Scrabble white letter on pale green Z

Scrabble white letter on blue P letter O letter S Scrabble white letter on pale green S letter I Scrabble white letter on pale blue B letter L letter E shain letter S

(Image thanks to Spell with Flickr)

The YMA dust has settled (even if nothing else has, or seems likely to) and so we’re turning our attention to the bright spots of 2017: the books we can’t wait to get our hands on, with special attention for the ones that seem likely to be on the 2018 RealCommittee’s reading list.

I’ve got my to-read shelf already building up of books I’m anticipating, mostly new books by already beloved authors, some of which seem likely Printz potentials.  What’s on your radar? Comments are open: let’s start building our collective reading list.

In the Room Where the Livestream Happens

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 8.56.38 AMWhew! The MTA was determined to thwart me this morning, but I made it in just before Julie Todaro took the stage, and I’ve got my livestream running.

(I didn’t mind being #alaleftbehind until this morning, when I felt so frustrated that the world outside ALA doesn’t stop everything for the YMAs!)

Sarah and Joy are still en route to their workplaces, watching while commuting, but they’ll chime in if possible, and I’ll be writing while we watch. YAY YMAs!

(tl; dr: Comments are open so let’s debrief togther! The complete press release can be accessed here.)

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Pyrite Honor Votes: Results and Decisions

By Materialscientist at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

By Materialscientist at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

We voted, and we have some results to share!

(Insert boilerplate about how this will be the simple version of the results with analysis to follow when Joy finishes geeking out over the numbers.)

But first, a reminder about honor vote procedures:

Based on the results of this ballot, the committee will decide if it wishes to name honor books and, if so, how many.

We can name up to four Pyrite honor books, per RealCommittee rules, but we don’t have to — last year, the RealCommittee only named two, which was a bold move (usually all four get honored). In my own RealCommittee year, we debated long and hard over how many honor books to name because of the points gap; we’ve seen this in the Pyrite before as well, where there is a clear distinction between the most supported and the least supported of the top four books. We can suss this out in the comments, and decide what we, as a shadow committee, want to name, but to do that you’ll need some numbers. Here they are:

The Lie Tree was the clear frontrunner — no surprise — with 70 75* points (7/5/0/1).

There’s a huge gap before the next group of books, which are pretty tightly clustered, as follows:

We Are the Ants: 35 (2/3/2/0)

Still Life with Tornado: 34 (2/2/3/1)

Scythe: 32 (3/1/1/3)

The Female of the Species: 32 (2/3/1/0)

Just to give a fuller sense of the points spread, March Book 3 just missed the top 4, coming in with 30 points (2/1/3/2), and The Sun is Also a Star had 29 (2/1/3/1); after that there’s another drop down to 22 points.

So, have at it: 1 honor book? 2? 3? Or do we go for the full four? (And if so, how?) Some years this is one of the more difficult choices the RealCommittee makes; let’s do our best to be as thoughtful.

*An earlier version of this post stated that The Lie Tree had 70 points due to a spreadsheet error.

 

Scythe

scythe-9781442472426_hrSometimes the world really does save the best for last. Because people? Scythe is amazing. I keep thinking about it. I unabashedly loved reading it in that can’t put it down way, but I also absolutely love it as a contender. It jumped the queue right into my top 5, and as the second to last 2016 YA book I read, that means it jumped a whole lotta books.

Basically, Shusterman took his commercial chops and mashed that with the thoughtful, nuanced writing he displayed so wonderfully with Challenger Deep, and the result is a near perfect combo.

 

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