So I’ve been writing and rewriting a post on genre bias and the Printz for — I’m not kidding you — the past two weeks. But it boils down to a very drama-less post about a lack of genre bias in Printzland and how things seem to me to be fine. Which: good news for Young Adult Literature, but bad news for an interesting post, eh? [Read more...]
We’ve done a lot of writing about contendas this year, but you may have noticed that non-fiction has been absent so far. As a matter of fact, our own Mark Flowers emailed wondering “whither the nonfiction, bloggers?” And just as we were turning his question right back on him in the form of an invitation to do a guest post, he wrote a thoughtful and astonishingly complete post about awesome nonfiction reads for The Hub.
We definitely depend on you guys for NF recommendations; Karyn and I both have our baggage, afterall, and need people to pick up our slack/keep us honest. Mark’s got a great line up there, and there’s some stuff I’m really looking forward to tracking down. Steve Sheinkin’s Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon and Catherine Reef’s The Bronte Sisters sound fascinating (how’s that for a unique pairing?). Oooh, and Marching to the Mountaintop by Anne Bausum has a description that’s caught my eye a couple of times. Perhaps next time I’ll remember when I’m actually at a library?
What about you guys? What stellar nonfiction have you been reading?
A long time ago, we started out thinking and talking about the Printz policies and procedures. And do you know what I said? What I typed, I mean?
Yeah, but who wants to be on a committee that picks a book everyone hates, y’know? I guess this is a good opportunity to talk about POPULARITY (since the criteria are yelling…) versus APPEAL. And whether either of those concepts have any business being in the conversation that is actually all about QUALITY.
Karyn pointed out the difference between popularity and appeal, and mentioned that appeal is, in the end, a pretty subjective concept. She also pointed out that at the Printz table, you have the luxury of stepping away from the question of appeal and just focusing on questions of literary excellence.
And then I stepped in and beat on the drum a little more about teen appeal and how that’s an important part of our work as librarians and shouldn’t we think of the teens WHAT ABOUT THE TEENS?? HULK LOVE TEENS, WANT TEENS TO READ NICE BOOKS. (OK, Hulk has nothing to do with this post at all, but we just saw The Avengers and so now all I want to do is type like HULK. WITH CAPS. SMASH SMASH SMASH.) Back then, we moved on to other parts of the P&P. Because we had a lot of words to cover and more thoughts to share.
But I’m still wondering: Can something be both really excellent and really boring? And, as my notes for this blog post so eloquently said, “appeal teens reading quality what is YA anyway arg halp!”
Thursday afternoon, all three of us were lucky enough to attend the Little, Brown preview.
While all previews are fabulous, the LB preview is perhaps a bit MORE fabulous. This is entirely due to the shoes. For those who don’t know about the link between Little, Brown and shoes—sparkly shoes, high heeled shoes, shiny shoes, and this time around, tweedy with a cork-heel shoes—do yourself a favor and next time you are at a librarian conference, find the inimitable Victoria Stapleton (Associate Director, School and Library Marketing) and ask her about the shoes. [Read more...]
You guys, we made a calendar. We assigned topics. We had a schedule. And according to that schedule, my post this week was supposed to be a write up of Candlewick’s Fall ’12 preview that happened last Friday. Only, things changed, some stuff shifted…and I wasn’t able to make it.
So I’m going to do a little shifting of my own here. You can think of this post as a bridge between now and early April. Next week, we’ll be talking (a little) about what we’ve been reading. The week after that, we’ll be focusing on the differences between starred review criteria and Printz criteria. So I’ll spend this blog post looking at our starred review tracking, which may help shape your reading (Karyn did mention that we were serious about encouraging participation, right?), and may help get us started thinking about what those starred reviews mean in relation to the Printz Committee’s work. [Read more...]
If you’ve never been to a preview before: it’s a chance for the editors to tell people about upcoming, exciting titles. Editors give quick descriptions and show cover art — not quite a booktalk, but almost. Publishers are also often generous enough to pass on ARCs of some of the titles they talk about.
Karyn and I were lucky enough to see the Random House preview. They’ve got a lot of great stuff coming out this spring. When any of us are able to make it to a preview, we promise to summarize what we hear about with an eye to the Printz.
Titles we think are worth tracking down: [Read more...]
Here at Someday, we are getting organized for a full year of reading and thinking. (A full year, you guys! Well, nearly a full year! Not just a few months, anyway! As an official Slow Percolator, I am feeling really happy about this! I will include a few more exclamation points in order to illustrate my feelings: !!!!!!!!!) Behind the scenes, we’re combing through catalogs, checking publisher websites, and getting our review sources in order.
Here’s some of what we’re keeping our eyes peeled for:
New stuff from past winners, including John Green’s The Fault in our Stars and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Drowned Cities — man, am I curious to see what else he’ll have to say about his dystopic, scary world. Oooh, and new books from Walter Dean Myers and Libba Bray!
Oooooh, and Stephanie Hemphill has a new title, Ron Koertge has coauthored a collection of fairy tale inspired short stories, there’s new stuff from Patrice Kindl and Nina LaCour… Like Elizabeth said, it’s already shaping up to be a fantastic year.
But what about you all? What’s on your pile? What are you determined to track down?
Please note: this is a revised version of the post that went up at 2:30 this afternoon.
We will give a more detailed break down of the results with numbers and statistics and complex math shortly, but for now:
A Monster Calls and Chime are vying for the Pyrite medal, but the point spread between them is so narrow that we are doing a second vote. If you’ve read both of titles, please vote in our second poll so that we can declare a clear-cut winner!
Voting ends tonight at 7:30 8:30 PM, Eastern: new deadline based on 7:30 closing resulting in no tiebreak! This is close, but only one book can win. Once we have any sort of conclusion (come on, vote! Get others to vote!) we’ll let you know and post all the rest of the data as well.
Honor vote tomorrow, using the 8 finalists that are not Chime or A Monster Calls plus whichever of those doesn’t win.
There are so many enthusiastic, dedicated librarians running these events around the country, it’s really inspiring. We thought we’d find a few more and see what the scattershot results can tell us. Everyone knows, Crystal Balls are polished with spreadsheets made up of Mock Printz results, right?
A lot of places tend to hold their mock events around this time, so we don’t have a ton of results yet. Between the links here and the ones at YALSA, I tried to see which books were getting recognized most often (although this doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about which books will take the Mock Prize and of course doesn’t tell us what will win gold). A Monster Calls comes in with the most nominations at eight. Between Shades of Gray, by my count, got six nods, while Chime and Paper Covers Rock each had five.
Want more details?
Karyn has talked about this before — the conundrum you face when you really love a book but eventually have to admit that it’s flawed. I mean, maybe you email your committee about [REDACTED] and they respond politely at first, promising to take a look. But then you keep emailing and eventually someone, someone, has to respond and say, “Sarah, it’s a fun read but what about [REDACTED]? And you know, I had trouble believing [REDACTED]. And the [REDACTED] really just didn’t work, either, and I’m not even going to get into the [REDACTED].”
That’s when personal top five lists can come in really handy; you get to acknowledge — even celebrate — your baggage and then you can try to stuff it back in the closet and refocus on committee work. [Read more...]