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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Last Licks, or ALL the Books

Screen-Shot-2018-02-05-at-5.56.39-AMToday, we’re covering all the books! Ok, not all — but the last of the big hitters that we’re covering. Note that as always, we didn’t get to everything. And this year, which has been an astoundingly rich year, that may just mean we didn’t even get to the winner, because there is SO MUCH GOOD STUFF to read. The pile of books we read and didn’t cover is a pile of books that in most years probably would have been contenders; this year they didn’t even rate because there were 50 other books even better. So read on for our last formal coverages of the season — and please, make liberal use of the comments to make the case for anything we skipped that you think has a real shot of being named next week.

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Previous Winners, Part Two

Lightning image by Flickr user Jan-Joost Verhoef; CC BY 2.0

Lightning image by Flickr user Jan-Joost Verhoef; CC BY 2.0

And here is part two of our previous winners posts!

Again, we’re looking at past winners, honorees, and generally lauded authors who have a new book out this year, and again we’re wondering if lighting can strike twice (or, if you’re Marcus Sedgwick, four times).

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Previous Winners, Part One

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 4.44.13 PMAs the year turns, we thought we’d spend a few days looking back at previous winners, musing about the probability of a repeat medal for an author on this prestigious (and long!) list. Splitting the list alphabetically (which started with already 2-time winner M.T. Anderson last week), we get a couple of series entries, as well as a few independent titles. We hope you’ll jump in with your opinions in the comments!

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Jane, Unlimited

jane unlimited

It’s time for another joint conversation about a book. We had a great time last time, and are hoping to have just as much fun again. These are the times this blog feels most like committee work, where we’re all at the table (metaphorically), and all ready to talk about the same book — but all coming with our own perspectives, our own perceptions of “literary” and “great” and “important”. We may not always agree, but we have the opportunity to really hear what we all have to say about a title. It’s in the conversation that a winner can be found. This time, we’re looking at a title that has had two starred reviews. [Read more…]

Thanksgiving Nominations

"Thanksgiving Table" by Flickr user: vxla CC BY 2.0

“Thanksgiving Table” by Flickr user: vxla
CC BY 2.0

Welcome to the Someday nominating table! As you sit down at your Thanksgiving table, reflecting on a year’s worth of gratitude, spare a moment to think about the YA books for which you are the most thankful. Last year we asked you, our smart readers who steer us toward dark horses and hidden gems, to nominate a YA book not already on our list. Once again we turn to you to find out, is there a novel you think is underrated or overlooked? Which title do you want to champion as a contender?

After the jump, details and the books we’ve already committed to covering.

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SLJ’s Best Books 2017

What a reading pile might look like, if sloppily staged

What a reading pile might look like, if sloppily staged

It’s nearing the end of the year, and all the year’s best lists are going to drop…soon! In fact, this year is so far along that the NBA will be announcing winners this evening (can you belieeeeeeve it?). It’s fun to take notes and make sure our reading lists are as complete as possible as we head to ALA countdown time. We’ve seen what PW had to say; now it’s the Mother Ship’s turn. SLJ released their year-end list earlier this morning, with 71 titles for kids and teens included. Click for more thoughts! [Read more…]

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give cover imageIn a fairly rare occurrence, we all three read today’s book BEFORE the scheduled post date, so today’s post has all of us discussing it together, just like a RealCommittee might, if six people were missing.

Sarah: Friends. Friends. Is this the book to beat this year? To be honest, it’s hard to know where to start here. Is it with the critical acclaim? Because SIX STARS! THAT IS THE MOST OF STARS! ONE OF TWO TITLES WITH SO MANY! Or perhaps we should start with the pacey, plotty plot? (Because those types of reads are my favorite.) Is it with the fact that, yes, this book flows and moves, and still takes the time to develop the characters and write the heck out of a first person teen perspective? That voice, voice, voice. It’s immediate, it’s emotional, it’s self aware. It’s possible we could start with the fact that this is absolutely a book about the today and the now, and it’s also filled with universal questions about growing up, about life and death, and about our responsibilities to our communities, to our friends, to our families, and to ourselves.

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Our 2017 Picks & Predictions

We’re less than a week out from the YMAs. Which means we’re less than a week from tears — of sorrow and of glee — and from the temptation to ask impossible questions like “why” and “what the hell happened to book X”.

But hang on.

The Monday morning quarterbacking is a time-honored tradition in library land as in sports, and I would never take it away. However, let’s not forget that 9 committee members, plus the administrative assistant and the Booklist consultant, worked their tails off all year to bring us Monday’s winners. Their choice may not agree with our choices. We may harbor bitter resentment as a result. But they still made the right choice. And we can’t wait to find out what it is!

So let’s take a moment to say a big collective thank you to the RealCommittee for their hard work and for the arduous weekend they have coming up. Sitting in that room letting go of books you love and listening to others, valuing their wisdom over your own heart, talking for hours on ending looking to reach a consensus — it’s not easy, and it caps a year of close, thoughtful, intensive reading. So THANK YOU, RealCommittee! We can’t wait to hear what you have in store for us on Monday.

Now that we’ve acknowledged that RealCommittee is always right, you might be wondering: how often are we equally right?

As a collective, we’ve been on fire: the Pyrite has accurately predicted the RealPrintz winner for two years running! Last year we tanked on our honor predictions, though, whereas for 2014, we’d collectively predicted two of the four named honor books in addition to the winner. In short, if Dolssa wins the RealPrintz this year, we all officially rock at this.

On a more individual level, for the 2016 award all three of your Someday blogging team accurately predicted we’d see Bone Gap in the winner’s circle, but, like the collective, we 100% failed to predict either of last year’s honor titles. For 2015, we had less consensus but a fair amount of accurate predictions overall: Karyn predicted This One Summer and Grasshopper Jungle; Joy predicted I’ll Give You the Sun and Grasshopper Jungle; and Sarah predicted I’ll Give You the Sun and This One Summer. For 2014, Joy and Karyn both predicted Midwinterblood, and Joy had Eleanor & Park on her personal picks.

So now the 2017 fun continues. This post, our annual picks and predictions — heart books and head books — is one of our favorites to write. It’s a chance to consider everything the year has offered and weigh the books against each other. It’s kind of like the Pyrite, except there weren’t we all mixing head and heart just a bit?

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Checking in

slj blog airportIt’s the halfway point of the season, and we’re done sowing our wild oats reading non-2016 and/or non-YA books. We thought maybe if we showed you ours, you’d show us yours? So here’s where we are with our reading. What have you been reading? (And if you went to ALA, we were #ALAleftbehind, so we need you to tell us what ARCS we should be jonesing for.)

Karyn

I have two loves vying for top place in my heart. Both are historical, too. Micro trend? Without further commentary, let me tell you that I adored The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

What I’m looking forward to most: Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor, which doesn’t come out until the fall but patience is a virtue.

Sarah

The love: This isn’t technically teen, but it’s the one that is sticking around inside me — Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Art! Creation! History and fictional biography, ambitious storytelling, original and memorable…I’m just listing words at this point, my love is so much.

What I’m reading next: The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner. Because who doesn’t love a good religious fundamentalist tale?

Joy

I loved We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (and shhh—this is a secret—I may have loved it more than anything I read in 2015). And because I can’t resist authors with three names, I also just read John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior. Next up is Kiersten White’s And I Darken. A lady Vlad the Impaler? Wha??

What To Read Next: 2017 Award Edition

2 number 0 TSL LOTTO number 1 Bingo Number 7

The season is done, the award has been given, we’ve all gasped and mourned (only two honors!) and celebrated, and finally it’s time to look forward to the 2017 YMAs.

A final thank you to the RealCommittee, whose hard work has given us three excellent choices to talk about and discuss for years to come. And now it’s a new year and there’s a new RealCommittee stepping up and it’s time for us to start reading 2016 books. All this and it’s only January 15th, whoo-hoo!

So let’s have at it: what are you reading/looking forward to/burning to talk about? Comments are open and will stay open, so even though we’re going dark officially*, the fun doesn’t really stop.

XOXO,
Gossip Girl
Karyn, Joy, and Sarah

*We reserve the right to pop up at any point to talk about anything, and especially to update you all with what’s on our radar. But mostly we’ll be dark.

(Image thanks to Spell with Flickr)