Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Pyrite: We (sort of) have a winner

PyriteRealPrintz voting is a pretty particular thing, and winning has two conditions: “To win, a title must receive five first place votes and must also receive at least five more points than the second place title. If no title meets these criteria on the first ballot, any title receiving no votes is removed from consideration and a period of discussion of remaining titles follows.”

If we look at the Pyrite results and the voting regulations literally, we have a for sure winner; if we look at them and then try to scale them (where 5 out of 9 is a majority vote), we don’t have a winner.

[Read more…]

Untwine

untwine

Untwine by Edwidge Danticat
Scholastic, September 2015
Reviewed from final copy

Can I admit something embarrassing? This is the first time I’m reading Edwidge Danticat. I’ve been recommending her for years to eager readers, but I haven’t actually sat down and read any myself, until now. But what a title to start with: Untwine has received 2 starred reviews, and came out in September. I loved reading this book; it had me tearing up on the subway, and nearly missing my stop. What are its chances to get a medal in January? Well, that depends (of course) on RealCommittee. The layered language and beautifully woven themes make this a memorable and gorgeous read, but there are a few flaws, too. [Read more…]

Kirkus Teen

This is a little late, but Kirkus released their list last Monday. What I love about this list is that it’s HUGE compared to everyone else’s; in related news, Kirkus has a huge review volume, so it’s pretty well guaranteed that there will be a super surprise or two.

The quick and dirty breakdown:

The list is 50 titles long.

24 either were on our original list or else we added them along the way.

2 were not on our list but were added after appearing on other year-end lists (Conviction and Most Dangerous)

And a whopping 24 were not on our list at all, and of those 24, nearly half weren’t even on our radar. Now that you’ve got the numbers, let’s look at the titles in category 3.

[Read more…]

The Weight of Feathers

coverThe Weight of Feathers, Anna-Marie McLemore
Thomas Dunne Books, September 2015
Reviewed from ebook

In previous years, I’ve been much more familiar with the Morris Award nominees, but Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers is the only book of this year’s nominees that I’ve read. Truthfully, if I don’t get around to the others I don’t think I’ll mind so much because McLemore’s debut is a gem. (Although, I’ll always be sad that Adam Silvera wasn’t recognized for More Happy Than Not. ::shakesfistatsky::)

Despite the Morris nod, I think The Weight of Feathers is flying (no pun intended) under the radar this season because it’s a quieter story that on the surface seems like it’s been done to death. Young star-crossed lovers forced to live with the sins of their parents’ generation isn’t a new concept. McLemore’s approach, using magic realism in a contemporary setting, heightens the stakes for her characters. Are the families really cursing each other? What will happen if a Paloma touches a Corbeau?

[Read more…]

Pyrite Time!

It’s time to vote!

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page: The Pyrite is Someday’s Mock Printz. Instead of gold, we award fool’s gold — because mock/fool, right? (I am a sucker for a pun or pun adjacent reference.) We have no affiliation with the actual Printz, but occasionally we do in fact intersect with the RealPrintz winners, which is always super exciting.

This year, we’re doing it in high speed – no preliminary conversation beyond the conversations we’ve been having all along, no shorter list of nominations. ALL 2015 YA titles are eligible. Voting will happen in the comments. Votes are weighted (see process notes, below); feel free to add editorial comments but this is really a straight vote.

[Read more…]

Mocking the Night Away

Prince Printzbery, in his berry delicious crown.

Prince Printzbery, in his berry delicious crown.

A little bit of Mock related housekeeping to start off the week…

We’re just shy of a month out from the Youth Media Awards, so the clock is ticking. We’re also still reading frantically, trying to get to everything anyone says we should have read (we’ll fail, at least a little, but we’re trying! And still growing the list. So comments, yadda yadda, add your ideas, etc.)

This past weekend, we hosted our fourth in-person mock event, except we changed it up a little and looked at YA and children’s lit together in what has been dubbed the Printzbery (see also our series of posts about crossover books), a new tradition that I think we’ll keep.

And it’s well past time to launch the Pyrite, in a slightly abbreviated version.

Read on for more info and to find our how we’re Pyriting this year.

[Read more…]

Shadowshaper

shadowshaperShadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Arthur A. Levine Books, June 2015
Reviewed from an ARC

And now we are at the review I’ve been most excited about all year! The one that made me curse the linear nature of the calendar year, and the September publication date (editing note: I just found out Amazon listed this as out in June. I didn’t have to sit on this review??). All this waiting! All my bottled up excitement! I’ve had a few other books surprise me once I’ve picked them up this year, but this is a title I went into intrigued about — that cover! That premise! URBAN FANTASY, I HEART YOU. And while I am not here to report that this is a perfect book (does such a thing even exist?), I am happy to say that I’m not alone in my excitement. Four starred reviews. A myriad of lists (both summer reading recommendations and year’s best). But not just critical love; there’s been blog buzz and reader buzz for this title, too. [Read more…]

Symphony for the City of the Dead

Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson
Candlewick Press, September 2015
Reviewed from ARC

One of my favorite books last year was Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial RussiaDespite having a ton of critical praise for its tight, thrilling narrative and thoughtful approach to complex history, it didn’t manage to snag a Printz (although it did win lots of other great awards). Symphony for the City of the Dead is, in many ways, a wonderful sequel to Fleming’s book. M.T. Anderson begins Symphony with Dmitri Shostakovich’s childhood, just before the end of the Romanov reign and the rise of Lenin. For the first half of the book he alternates between chronicles of Shostakovich’s life and the political and social upheaval in Russia beginning with the Bolsheviks and the revolution straight into World War II. The siege of Leningrad and the composition of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 are the main focus of the rest of the book. Anderson—a two-time Printz honoree—does very good work here but a few things in Symphony may keep the author from earning his third Printz.
[Read more…]

Printzbery, Part 4: Last but Not Least

9780544462229 2The Marvels

I’ve had a busy two days, catching up on a few of the swing books we’ve got on the slate for our in-person Printzbery discussion this weekend. Also a busy few days sniffling and crying since both books are heavy on the feels.

[Read more…]

It’s Historical! (Fiction, that is)

Emperor of Any Place coverPaper Hearts cover

Today, two historical fiction books I’d love to talk to about, both set during World War II (making this an apt post to publish on the first night of Hannukah).

One is a lovely novel in verse that I don’t think has gotten much attention — zero stars, no buzz — but I was deeply touched by it and want to shine a little reflected glory on it by sticking it in the conversation even if it’s so dark of a horse it’s nearly invisible.

The second is a critical darling and I just don’t seem to have read the book everyone is raving about, so I’m eager to hear what others see in this one.

So join me below the fold for Paper Hearts and The Emperor of Any Place.

[Read more…]