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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

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??

Our 2016 Picks and Predictions

Before ALA, before the YMAs, before the temptation to Monday morning quarterback, let’s all take a moment to say thank you to the RealCommittee. The 9 members of the RealCommittee have worked tirelessly and read endlessly. Whatever choice they make is the right choice, and I for one can’t wait to find out what it is.

And in anticipation of Monday’s announcements, let’s acknowledge something else. It’s not a competition, because the RealCommittee is always right, but we know we’re keeping score: how well do we, both as individuals and as a Pyrite collective in cahoots with all you you, do at predicting the winners?

For the record, and based on a very quick look at just the last two years: In 2014, Joy and Karyn both predicted that the RC would recognize Midwinterblood, and Joy had Eleanor & Park on her personal picks. In 2015, Karyn predicted that the RC would recognize This One Summer and Grasshopper Jungle; Joy accurately predicted I’ll Give You the Sun and Grasshopper Jungle; and Sarah predicted I’ll Give You the Sun and This One Summer. (Of course, we also all featured How I Discovered Poetry as a personal pick or prediction, or both, and we were all wrong on that one, so we’re still not exactly batting a thousand.) But overall either we improved or the RealCommittee was more predictable.

Speaking of more predictable, in 2014 the Pyrite only had one title match to the RealCommittee’s selections (Eleanor and Park with an honor); in 2015, on the other hand, we were incredibly prescient; the Pyrite winner and the RealCommittee winner were the same, and we also voted for two honor books in the Pyrite that the RealCommittee recognized. Upward trend or statistical anomaly? Only this year’s results will tell.

Regardless of our accuracy, going on record about our personal favorites and also our predictions definitely ranks as one of our favorite posts to write each year. Read on for both our personal picks — books we can support and love love love — and our predictions, which are the books we think are most likely to be recognized, even if we don’t necessarily love them.

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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?

The 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.

Welcome 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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