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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Books in Brief

I’ve been reading like  madwoman lately, trying to get through any books that anyone I know has mentioned favorably in the context of award getting. I have one more (Brooklyn Burning) that I want to finish and one review from our original contenda list left to post (Beauty Queens), and Sarah’s been working on a pile of her own, so we’ll get all that up this week. But MOSTLY what we’re going to give you this week is a Mock Printz of (y)our own. The list will post tomorrow, and we’ll give until probably midnight Wednesday to vote, and then do honor book polls with the goal to post all results by Saturday, just as the REAL committee is finishing their own discussions, decisions, and votes.

But I’m jumping ahead, because what this post is really about the last minute reading I’ve been doing.

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Karyn’s 5 Faves from 2011, with some extras

I’m loving all the Top 5′s over at Sarah’s post!

With no further fanfare, here are mine:

Chime: Above and beyond the literary merit, it’s just an awesomely haunting story. We need a name for this kind of book—I group this one with Galen Beckett’s Durrow Street series and a few others. Historical urban fantasy?

returning 198x300 Karyns 5 Faves from 2011, with some extrasThe Returning: I know you all know this by now, but I love this one. I fear no one else read it and it’s probably going to go out of print right away so I am just going to keep talking about it until that changes. Please read this and love it too.

bordertown 199x300 Karyns 5 Faves from 2011, with some extrasWelcome to Bordertown: It’s not a real contenda for the Printz; mixed author anthology, uneven quality, and so on. But it’s important and beautiful, and Bordertown saved me when I was a teen, so I am excited to pass it on to my teens, whether or not they need saving.

The Piper’s Son: Heartbreak, redemption, and don’t you love a love story that isn’t easy? I think that’s one the things Marchetta does better than almost anyone. Love is messy and a comedy of errors (sometimes tragedy) and it doesn’t always go so well. Tom and Tara Finke’s story may be only one element of this novel, but even if I didn’t love the rest of the book, that alone might earn my vote. Plus, Ben and the mullet brothers and Anson Choi.

For my fifth book, I’m going to have to agree with Sarah and say The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Boat of Her Own Making, although the fact that I just finished rereading this one might have artificially elevated it in my rankings. I also considered The FitzOsborne’s in Exile and The Name of the Star and a few others for position five, so clearly there were a great many books I really enjoyed. And in the end, perhaps my fifth fave from 2011 will be one of my Top Five 2011 Books I Haven’t Read Yet But Really Really Want to Read ASAP:

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Sarah’s Top 5

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...]

Stuck, Part 2

Stuck in the Mud 300x200 Stuck, Part 2

CC-licensed image by minicooper93402

You wanted to know, didn’t you?

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Just One More

hornbook 225x300 Just One More

CC-licensed image by dougbelshaw

List, that is.

The Horn Book Best of 2011 list posted today.

This means that all of our pre Jan 1 lists are out: BCCB and Booklist should release their lists right around the New Year (so much for a winter break!)

Here’s how it all shakes out:

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Excitement!

edublogs nominated bestnewblog Excitement!We are thrilled at the nomination of Someday My Printz Will Come for the Edublogs 2011 Best New Blog category! If you haven’t already checked out all of the nominees, please do so–we are in amazing company, and many of my daily reads are there. I feel a bit verklempt. Thank you, readers, who keep us honest and engage in conversation. We couldn’t do it without you!

Big shoutouts to fellow SLJ bloggers: Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production) in the Best Individual Blogs category; Angela Carstensen/Adult Books 4 Teens in the Best Library/Librarian Blog category; and Joyce Valenza (Neverending Search) in BOTH categories and Lifetime Achievement!

If I missed anyone over here, let me know. Now, click through and start reading all those other blogs, and come back later today for Sarah on Where Things Come Back.

I Coulda Been a Contenda

sophiesbooks 179x300 I Coulda Been a Contenda

Book packages, via @sophiebiblio

That pile? That’s what it looks like when you are on a committee. Every day.

(I still reflexively check every package that arrives at school, conditioned by years of book committees. I think I got hooked on the rush. The packages are rarely for me anymore, but somehow, two years later, I still live in a constant state of anticipation.)

But with so much great material flowing in, plus even more out there waiting to be discovered, how on earth does one ever decide what to read?

Well, you can be a passive committee member and just wait for feedback from the rest of the committee. Or you can read whatever you want to read and just hope something great pops up. Or you can apply the super scientific method (there’s lots of science in this post!) and create spreadsheets and lists and notebooks, oh my.

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Welcome!

Once upon a time there was a Newbery blog, which discussed contenders both real and mock. And people loved it. (They still do: head here to see for yourself, unless you came from there, in which case, pull up a chair! Stay!). But some of those readers wanted something a little different. For those who wanted picture books and a discussion as much about the art as the language, Calling Caldecott came along to keep them reading and discussing happily into the future. Others of those readers served teens, and they wondered where they should go for the Printz speculation. And lo! Along came their Printz Charming, smiling and nodding and speculating, with reference to the criteria and eligibility.

So that’s it, the story of where we came from and what we’re doing. Both of us have served on the Printz Committee, and while no two committees are ever the same, we do have a sense of how this crazy process works (really well, in case you wondered). So here’s how it’s going to go: we’re going to read. We’re going to write. We’re going to scour other blogs, bookstores, review journals, and our friend’s and colleague’s brains. And each week we’ll talk about some of this year’s eligible titles, or the conversations around those titles. We’ll do our best to bring you the kinds of conversations and reflections committee members might be having. Hopefully, you’ll join the conversation too!

Welcome to Someday my Printz Will Come! Join us as we kiss—I mean read!—all the frogs in the pond.