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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

White Crow

crow 150x150 White CrowIdeally, if I were really on the Printz Committee, I’d be done reading all the contendas by this point. Actually, if we’re going for ideal, I’d have been done for a couple of weeks. At this point in the year, it’s time for very serious rereading: really going through the contendas in detail, weighing various elements, moving past first impressions into a firmer opinion of each title.

And, you guys, that would be super helpful because I could do with a reread of this title. (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately.) But let’s get started. [Read more...]

Definitions

Me: Ugh, I have to define Young Adult Literature for this blog post.

My husband: Huh. Is that why you’re making To/From gift tags by hand?

Me: Maaaaaaybe?

[Read more...]

Between Shades of Gray

gray 150x150 Between Shades of GrayKaryn’s already talked about historical fiction. And a lot of people have been talking about this book (four starred reviews, nominated for Best Fiction and a big ol’ Newbery discussion at Heavy Medal), especially in light of the Morris shortlist recognition. Karyn’s also already talked about Morris and Printz — where the two awards overlap, and where they don’t.

So that pretty much covers the background. I thought it could be interesting to look at Between Shades of Gray with Printz glasses firmly in place. [Read more...]

Stay With Me

stay 150x150 Stay With MeStay With Me got, by my count, four starred reviews, and I’m sure it will be (well, is already, since it’s out!) a hit with teen readers, too. I think it earned those stars, and I believe it will circulate well and be well-loved by lots and lots of teens.

It’s a Way 3 read for me (though I’ll admit, I’m not totally wild about it personally, it’s more that I cannot wait to hand it off to teens and would love to hear their thoughts). This is a book that doesn’t quite stand up to the close scrutiny of Printz-magnifying glasses, I think.  [Read more...]

By Popular Demand

woodpecker By Popular DemandYou asked for it, and you have been heard! When we posted our initial list oh so long ago, you clamored for this title! And then you asked for it again when Karyn posted her comparison of the PW, SLJ, and Kirkus best lists. And now here it is.

Only here I am, and I’m still mulling over exactly what I think of it. Like Imaginary Girls, it’s a book that, for me, would absolutely require a reread for committee purposes. I spent so much time worrying over Gabriel and restraining myself from reading the last page that reviews promised me would answer all my questions that, well, I would need another read to really digest it properly. It’s a novel with a lot of threads, and I’d be taking anther look at it to make sure that I really appreciated all of those threads…if I were actually serving on Printz. For our purposes here, and in the interest of getting through that Contendas list, well, I’ll give you what I’ve got. [Read more...]

The Scorpio Races

scorpio 150x150 The Scorpio RacesSusan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series haunted me as I read The Scorpio Races. Not because the two are really that similar; more because they are linked by Celtic mythology. And also partly because that series and this book are rooted in a recognizable world that suddenly and delightfully reveals  mythological roots (well, Scorpio Races is sort of an alternate world that doesn’t actually exist, but still. It feels the same).

I think I also connected the two because of the water horses, the capall uisce. [Read more...]

Round Up, Part Two

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

YALSA’s final nomination lists were posted last week.

We thought it’d be interesting to see what we are looking at here versus what Best Fiction for Young Adults and Great Graphic Novels will be checking out in January. (I am leaving Quick Picks off because the QP charge is so dissimilar to the Printz charge. And since Popular Paperbacks is retrospective, we can safely leave that list out, too. And until the short lists for the Morris and Nonfiction awards come out, there’s nothing we can say about those.) [Read more...]

Recovery Road

recovery Recovery RoadThis is the first book that I’ve stopped reading for this blog. I am sure this has been covered in other places, in fact I bet you’re sick of me talking about it…but just to obsessively, nervously explain, I am on infant care leave. My son is nearly 7 months old, and all the reading I’m doing is happening at a frantic pace as I flail around, playing catch up because I have mostly been reading books on sleep issues and watching youtube videos on how to take a temperature from a baby’s bottom. (I am sorry, google searcher/frantic parent, I am not actually here to explain how to do so, but I did find this video very helpful and surprisingly calming. Enjoy!)

[Read more...]

A Monster Calls

monster 150x150 A Monster CallsFair warning: this is a book that will hurt to read.

You’ve probably heard of it.  It’s getting stars in journals and a lot of love online. In fact, Heavy Medal wondered if it’d be eligible for the Newbery. It’s also got a moving, fascinating back story. It’s hinted at by the sentence on the cover (Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd), but the full story is here. [Read more...]

This Dark Endeavor

So there are some things that we probably all know about Victor Frankenstein. Let’s make a list:

  1. Mad scientist.
  2. Ruthless determination.
  3. “IT’S ALIVE!”
  4. Questionable judgment. [Read more...]