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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

So how about that NBA longlist?

NBA Young People's Literature longlist - book cover thumbnails

10 books.

6 YA, 2 nebulous, and only 2 middle grade.

7 of the recognized titles already on our own initial list.

I’m pretty happy with this NBA longlist, I must say! [Read more…]

The Boy in the Black Suit

The Boy in the Black Suit coverThe Boy in the Black Suit, Jason Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, January 2015
Reviewed from final copy

Sometimes people who are grieving can find comfort in structured routines. Matt Miller, the titular boy of The Boy in the Black Suit, doesn’t just adopt a routine; he gets a job at a local funeral home where he will witness other people’s grief every day. Quietly sitting in on the services and observing the mourners helps Matt feel like the pain he’s felt following the death of his mother is the same as everyone else’s. It gives him a sense of normalcy when everything in his life has changed. He’s a regular fixture at the funeral home where he meets, of course, someone who challenges everything he thinks he knows about mourning, and that someone is a girl who will change his life.

[Read more…]

Life, Life, and Masturbation: The Alex Crow

The Alex CrowThe Alex Crow, Andrew Smith
Dutton, March 2015
Reviewed from ARC and ebook editions

Last year, Andrew Smith wrote a book that had: weird science, boys who talk about masturbation, an incredibly strong voice, and strange animals created by the aforementioned weird science.

Love it or hate it, we couldn’t stop talking about it.

So why is The Alex Crow, which could also be described as a book with weird science, boys who talk about masturbation, an incredibly strong voice, and strange animals created by the aforementioned weird science, making so little ripple?

Backlash against Smith’s problematic writing of women? (It’s not better here, exactly, but used as part of the absurdism and thus ameliorated.) The fact that he JUST received a Printz honor? A less astounding package?

Or does The Alex Crow suffer because it feels like it’s not original, even though the thing that makes it seem less original is the same author’s work?

[Read more…]

We’re Out! But before We Go, let’s talk Printz 2016

number 2 number 0 Phase 10 Dice Red number 1 Bingo Ball Number 6

letter S letter P letter E letter C letter U
letter L letter A Hangman Red Letter T letter I letter o letter N

letter B Brick letter e Letter Bead letter G Foam Play Mat Letter I letter n letter S exclamation mark

Well, another season has come and gone, and emotions have ebbed and flowed and so many pages have been read!

Before we disappear back into our regular lives, we wanted to say thank you for reading with us, disagreeing with us, and generally raising the bar on the conversation in every comment. We will miss you all for these next several months! We’ll still be on Goodreads and Twitter, so look for us there.

And again, thank you to the RealCommittee, who work so much harder and with so little visibility. They have given us another great slate of titles and continue to work tirelessly to promote innovative, exciting, beautiful writing (and any number of other descriptors I am not articulating at this moment). We do this in fun, but they do it in earnest, and they deserve a round of applause, a week-long nap, and many many kudos.

So much for reflection. Let’s look to the future. I predict that the 2016 Printz winner will be… [Read more…]

Liveblog & Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Well, here we are, YMA Day!

I’ll be watching the award stream since I am sadly not in Chicago, and I’ll do some live reaction blogging for the YALSA portion of things. See you in the comments after for the Monday morning quarterbacking (on a Monday morning, no less!)

Also, while there may be shock, outrage, glee, or any other manifold emotions pouring off of me, I want to take a moment to reflect, very seriously, on the incredible hard work the RealCommittee has done. I reserve the right to disagree, but in the end I know how intense and amazing that process is, and I recognize that they are always right, because that’s what the process does. It separates the emotion from the criticism and gives us something very close to an unbiased slate. Thank you, RealCommittee, for all you’ve done this year! I can’t wait to find out what you have in store.

And now, for the live(ish) reaction portion of the morning.

[Read more…]

Honor Vote Results, with a Small Surprise

Well folks, it’s been a whirlwind mock weekend here at Someday. When we announced our winner yesterday we also noted the four titles that finished just behind I’ll Give You the Sun’s winning 52 points. Those books were: This One Summer, Grasshopper Jungle, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, and How I Discovered Poetry—with the last two titles tied for fifth. With roughly half of the voters from the Pyrite round (which is consistent with previous years we’ve done this), the weighted totals were pretty similar in the honor vote. How similar? Read on for a closer look at the numbers and to find out which books earned Pyrite honors!
[Read more…]

Dark Horses

Some dark horses for your viewing entertainment.

For our final review of the season, squashed in at the 11th hour, we bring you a quick and dirty final roundup to shed a little bit of love on some books that we never got to discuss at length but that we still think deserve a little attention.

[Read more…]

Pyrite Redux: We’re All Stories in the End

At last Saturday’s Mock Printz, a Hudson Valley Library Associate book club regular, Susannah Goldstein, aptly called 2014 “the year of storytelling.” It was a dead-on observation that applies to so many 2014 books. Storytelling is certainly a theme that’s resonated with me this year. One major question books like How It Went Down and The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone ask is: who gets to tell your story after your gone? I’ll Give You the Sun and 100 Sideways Miles are both interested in individuals as authors of their own stories. Let’s take a second look at two books that also explore story and storytellers: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith and Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. [Read more…]

Sex and girls and stuff

We’ve got another round up here and this time, it’s all about the complexities and frustrations and amazing moments related to gender, sex, identity, hook ups, heartbreak, and true love. And who couldn’t use a little love at this time of year, amirite? Well, to be honest, these three books aren’t all about wuv (twue wuv); they are more about all the messy parts — the hook ups and doomed romances, the figuring yourself out, and the murder mysteries you might find yourself investigating from your family’s vintage record store. Although I’m not convinced that these titles are in the running for Printz medals,  I’m excited to share these books here; they have some really great moments. [Read more…]

Morris Nominations

YALSA’s Morris Award (technically the William C. Morris Debut Award) is a great showcase of strong new voices in the YA literature field. Often there are a few books we have had on our speculation list that end up being Morris finalists, because good writing is good writing. And, of course, sometimes the best writing is a debut — from Looking for Alaska, 10 (TEN!) years ago (before the Morris, but still a debut) to Seraphina just two years ago.

But the thing is that the Morris pool is a LOT smaller. And often crowded with schools of commercial clone fish, against which the more original and/or literary novels tend to really shine. And we all know that a big fish in a small pond often becomes a small fish when the body of water is bigger.

The Printz is a pretty big body of water. [Read more…]