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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Our 2015 Predictions and Picks: Loves and Likelies

One of the greatest joys of writing this blog is the chance to be spectacularly wrong* come the announcements. So here is our official post of both our personal picks — books we can support and love love love — and our predictions, which are the books we think are most likely — even if we don’t necessarily love them.

*Last year Joy and Karyn actually both predicted Midwinterblood, and Joy had Eleanor & Park on her personal picks. But otherwise, not so much with the accuracy.

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Announcing our Winner and Honor Voting: A two-for-one post!

Comments were made, votes were tallied, numbers were crunched, and we’ve got a winner–no runoff this year; we’re calling it. As always, there’s a ton of really interesting information in the data so we’ll have in-depth analysis in a separate post after the honor voting results are in.

For now, let’s talk Pyrite! [Read more…]

Pyrite Vote Commencing!

We’ve revisited our top 11 Pyrite Nominees, and those of you headed to MidWinter are likely already en route (or snowed in, which I hope isn’t too many of you), and all that means

(insert drumroll)

it’s voting time!

The plan: We’ll use the comments for voting, with polls to close Friday at midnight or so. We’ll tally everything Saturday morning, post the result, and run the honor vote with super tight turnaround. Our final slate will be up by Sunday evening, just before the (bound to be unexpected) Youth Media Awards announcement on Monday morning.

Technical details, voting procedure, and the full nominee list after the jump.
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In Brief (at length)

We’re called “Someday My Printz Will Come” for a reason; we kiss a lot of frogs. Which is necessary if we want to read widely — and we do, because that gives us the best sense of the year. The Printz is, after all, an award for literary excellence in the publication year — wider readership means we are assessing the books against as many of the competition as possible.

We can’t cover every book we collectively read — if you’re interested in seeing those lists, find us on Goodreads — and there are plenty of books we are happy to skip. But we wanted to take a moment to give out a few honorable mentions to some books that aren’t quite frogs, but they aren’t princes, or Printzs, either.

So, in brief, a roundup of some titles we don’t think need a lengthy discussion but did deserve some acknowledgement. The following books fall into one of two categories — either we read them and loved them, but sadly believe they have no chance when it comes to the Printz, OR they landed on our list for reasons of stars (we do our best to lay eyes on everything with three or more stars) or buzz, but we just can’t see them going the distance.

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Predictions! Picks! Probable Mistakes!

Not that we ever get these right, but here goes.

Karyn’s Picks:

I’m going to start with the if if I had my druthers list: 5 books I both love AND support (mostly), in no particular order:

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The Votes Are In — But the Winner Isn’t!

The points, stripped of titles. Can you guess what the tied two might be?

You voted, and we have the results.

And… we’ll be voting again shortly, because we also have a tie.

But before we dip into the results, a few words:

Thank you! For playing along with us, for voting, for reading the blog, but mostly for caring about these books. Although only one book will win on Monday, and no more than four additional titles will be recognized with honors, your passion for so many more than five titles is critical and inspiring and a testament to the great year we’ve had in YA lit (previous snarking notwithstanding).

We do this blog because we love the books and the robust, amazing world of YA lit, and because in our lives, it actually matters who takes home the gold on Monday — and so we say thanks for caring too (it makes us feel less alone!) and thanks for championing great books for the teens with whom we work.

Ok, now let’s dig in.

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Reality Boy and More Than This and Black Helicopters, oh my!

A few final books we wanted to squeeze in: Reality Boy, which received some buzz early in the year but seems to have fallen off everyone’s radars despite three year-end Best lists; More Than This, a book that has picked up some traction recently as a buzz book and potential contender; and Black Helicopters, which seems strongly divisive but which no one has forgotten despite having first read it months ago — and staying power matters when it comes to awards.

(As a bonus, we each reviewed one of them so you can try to guess which “I” is which blogger!)

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All the Truth That’s In Me

Another guest post, this time on a book that has been getting a ton of positive press. Guest poster Maureen Eichner is a children’s assistant at a public library in the Indianapolis area. She has excellent taste in fantasy and is a thoughtful careful reader, so after reading and replying to this, do take a moment to check out her other writing:  Maureen blogs at By Singing Light (http://bysinginglight.wordpress.com) and spends more time on Twitter (https://twitter.com/elvenjaneite) than she would like to admit.

All the Truth That’s In Me, Julie Berry
Viking Books (Penguin), September 2013
Reviewed from final copy

All the Truth That’s In Me is Julie Berry’s first YA book — she has also published several books for younger readers. It’s garnered some critical kudos, with starred reviews from SLJ, Kirkus, Horn Book, the Bulletin, and PW, as well as a mention on the SLJ and Kirkus Best of 2013 lists. In some ways, it’s easy to see why it’s gotten this acclaim. But of course, stars or lack thereof don’t necessarily bear on the Printz.

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Message or Masterpiece (Or, Does the Problem Novel Still Exist?)

Today we’re running a roundup of books that we think are worth discussing because they are in the top, say, 100 of the year. But they aren’t quite there, and we don’t think they’ll go the distance. And to make the post about more than just a series of short reviews, we’ve limited today’s roundup to books that have a lot to offer but seem to lose out on Printzliness in the name of message or purpose. Every time we discuss these books, we find ourselves focused on a central issue not of writing but of the world: an issue discussed in the books at hand but not really of them.

And as we discussed this, we found ourselves comparing these books to the problem novels of yesteryear, because like them, what the books are about seems to weigh more heavily then how they are written, even if the how is light years beyond the old chestnuts. And really, these books offer so much more than just the issues at their hearts — but we were struck by the ways that the social issue at the heart of the text stuck in our heads the longest, outweighing the literary elements. Is this about our own biases, seeing and holding on to the part that feels like a news soundbite — and therefore, easy to remember and the sort of thing that we are reminded of by the outside world on a sadly too frequent basis — or is it an issue in the writing?

Let’s see! [Read more…]

The Dream Thieves

We put out a call asking for interested parties to take a shot at making the case for their top book of the year, and today, occasional guest poster Clair Segal is back to do just that. Or sort of that, because she’s taken on a challenge: talking about a second book in a series.

Clair is the library technology librarian at a New York City independent school. You can read more of her thoughts on Twitter, at her own blog, or on the AISL blog.

The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic, September 2013
Reviewed from ARC

See, the thing no one told me about going to your first Annual is that it makes you act crazy.

Totally crazy. Librarian!crazy. (Which is frankly the best kind of crazy because all things in life are better when prefaced with “Librarian!”)

But crazy is crazy, and I acted the book-obsessed-fool in Chicago. I stumbled over my tongue telling Holly Black how “amazering” Coldest Girl was. I tried to show Emily Danforth that I was awesome and hip, and great best-friend material. I waited in an insanely long line to profess to an indifferent Tamora Pierce that she had changed my life forever at the tender age of nine. (“Hmm,” my childhood idol offered, nodding politely and sliding over a signed book as her handler motioned me on.)

Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves made me beg a stranger for pity.

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