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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Another Year-End List, with STATS!

my stats Another Year End List, with STATS!

This is how I do statistical analysis. There's a better way, right?

The Kirkus list posted yesterday, and it’s a whopper: a full 100 books.

Happily, since we’re talking 100, I can do some statistical analysis!

We had 42% of the books on the Kirkus list on our own contender list from the beginning — that’s not yet half, but more than a third, which is not a bad overlap.

(I’m not listing all 42 titles, though.)

An additional 7% of the list are on our unofficial list of books we will cover if we can get them read in time — two for their Morris nods (Wonder Show and Love and Other Perishable Items), one for multiple Pyrite write-ins (In Darkness), and four because we’ve been hearing things (See You at Harry’s, Enchanted, although I started that and felt a bit meh, The Broken Lands, and Vessel).

We’re also adding two more to our unofficial list now, since Kirkus marks the second year-end recognition for Drama (also on the PW list) and My Name is Parvana (also on the SLJ list).

A further 11% of the list are books that one or more of us have already read and didn’t think rated a post. We don’t disagree that that these are (or at least could be argued as being) in the top 100 of the year, but we felt these were not close enough to the top of the pile to merit the extra time. That said, they might find their way into a post eventually, time permitting.

Of the remaining 38%, I see a fair number of series books, many of them books with a strong fan base but which no one is reading except as part of the larger body of work and which, statistically speaking, are such Printz longshots that they aren’t worth covering here. We’ll call the rest dark horses, and see if we see them again or if they are just outliers.

Thoughts?

What a Day!

Stars What a Day!

CC-licensed image "How Many Stars" by Flickr user cobalt123

Today we had not one but two great lists (I’d like to say “that go great together,” but actually there is zero overlap).

First, the morning greeted me with the Morris shortlist, which I wasn’t expecting until Monday, and settled the pesky question of whether Seraphina counts as a debut. (It does, clearly, since it made the shortlist.) Of the other four titles, we’ve talked about After the Snow and The Miseducation of Cameron Post (although we didn’t point to either of these as books we were guessing we’d see on the Morris list, which I find interesting. Did we not realize they were debuts? Hmmm.) Wondershow I started earlier in the year but thought was so clearly a middle grade novel that I put it down about a third of the way in, so I am startled to see it here. But I guess it counts as young YA (that pesky crossover 10-14 range). So now I’ll need to revisit it. And the fifth book? Love and Other Perishable Items, by Laura Buzo? Yeah, never seen it! This one was totally under my radar, although it turns out Kelly of Stacked is a big fan, so now I am totally wanting to read it! Sadly, it’s not even out until next week, and I don’t have an ARC, so does someone have a copy to loan me??

Then, just to make the day even more full of listy goodness, midday-ish brought us The Horn Book Fanfare. I like how short and sweet this list is. It features everybody’s favorite, The Fault in Our Stars, as well as Pyrite nominees The Brides of Rollrock Island and Code Name Verity. In addition, a few other contenders made it — My Book of Life by Angel (which I’ll be posting in the next day or two, and is beautiful but, I thought, flawed), No Crystal Stair, A Certain October, and Dodger (perfect timing as we’ve been watching the tv miniseries of Going Postal in my house, and just last night I watched Sir Terry’s cameo as a postmaster. It’s been a pterrific week!)

I’m hoping to consult Jen’s fantastic records next week and start looking at the trends so far, but in the meantime, I have reviews to write! And we are woefully behind our schedule! We’re hoping to get caught up soon with the rest of the Q3 and 4 books.

Lists, Lists, Lists!

flickrfrogprince1 e1354242162284 300x262 Lists, Lists, Lists!

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

Yesterday was full of goodness! We saw the New York Times Notables, Library Journal’s YA for Adults list (which has strong crossover with the contender list, no surprise), and a peek (via Twitter) at the SLJ list, which is full of goodness and a few surprises.

Sometime in the next few days, and as even more lists come out, I’ll have more to say — this is the kind of data I like to obsess over, after all. But today, only one list really matters: the Pyrite Printz nominations!

[Read more...]

Is It That Time of Year Already?

You know, the time of year when it’s all about the lists? When we see what achieved consensus among the review journals, what got dissed, and what we missed?

Why yes, folks, it IS that time, because November started with Publishers Weekly Best Books 2012. Now, PW is always first, and they’re earlier this year than last according to my notes, so it’ll probably be a while before we see any of the other YA lists. (But for those with an interest in the full range of kidlit, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books 2012 is also out. You can check out the coverage at Calling Caldecott and 100 Scope Notes and weigh in with your thoughts.

And of course we’re less than 10 days from the NBA announcements, so there’s that too.)

But back to PW! And commentary!

We’ve already written at length about only three of the YA titles that made the fiction list (Bitterblue, The Fault in Our Stars, and No Crystal Stair).

Others are upcoming: Grave Mercy I’ll be posting about later this week, along with Code Name Verity (but you all know my feelings about that one any way, right?), so I won’t say any more than that for now about either of those books.

Almost everything else on PW’s list is also on our contender list (and maybe all this consensus means it IS a really excellent year?). Several of them are from repeat offenders, Printz style: Libba Bray’s The Diviners; A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers; Margo Lanagan’s The Brides of Rollrock Island; and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. And then we’ve got Lois Lowry’s Son, which I haven’t read yet but hear is firmly YA (unlike the rest of the series).

The two outliers are Ron Koertge’s Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

Lies, Knives… is not on our contenda list, and I’m sort of surprised to see it here. I thought it was ambitious, but ultimately didn’t carry through — literally; many poems left me baffled because it seemed as if they were truncated and some necessary final stanza was lacking. The package is beautiful, though, and I think there is an audience for this, and again this is one tainted by the baggage of what we know: retold fairy tales and me go way back, including a massive multimedia annotated bibliography in graduate school. To a less versed audience (pun alert!), this might play differently. Any strong supporters want to weigh in on it and defend its place as best book of the year?

Cinder looks awesome (or at least awesomely fun) but I just haven’t read it yet, and neither strong buzz nor star count put it on our list. Oversight? Oddball choice from PW? Let us know.

I also haven’t read either of the graphic novels that made the list, which both fall into that dreadful 10-14 age bracket according to PW, which makes them possibly YA or possibly middle grade. Has anyone read Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson or Drama by Raina Telgemeier? Are they YA? Are they contendas?

PW also has a separate nonfiction list, and I don’t know what happened there — in this year of almost unprecedented strength in children’s YA, only four books made the PW list? Of those, one is clearly too young (it’s also on the NYT illustrated list); we’d also ruled out Chuck Close’s Face Book, which PW agrees skews younger. The remaining two, which are on our list, are Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport and We’ve Got a Job by Cynthia Y. Levinson. And while I haven’t even read it yet, I am most shocked by the lack of Bomb.

So what jumped out at you? What did they miss, what do you think will make every list, and what’s an inexplicable one-off?