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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Booklist Editors’ Choice 2017

Booklist Online published their year-end list last month and in the pre-holiday rush, we missed it! There weren’t a ton of surprises–frontrunner faves The Hate U Give and American Street are both there, as well as Turtles All the Way Down which seems to be gaining momentum and buzz. Personally, I’m pleased that M.T. Anderson’s Landscape with Invisible Hand made the list as it’s been flying under the radar despite its five stars and that’s just weird and wrong. Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage also appears and you’ll hear more about that one from Karyn and Sarah soon.

On the nonfiction side, Vincent and Theo continues to rack up the honors as does Eyes of the World; however Nonfiction Award finalist, The 57 Bus, which we’ll be covering next week, didn’t make Booklist’s cut. It only has three stars so it’s not like a six star juggernaut was overlooked but the subject is so timely and so readable I’m surprised it doesn’t have more buzz. Then again, I haven’t read a few of the other nonfiction books that are Booklist’s editors’ choice, such as A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human or Faith and Fury: The Temple Mount and the Noble Sanctuary: The Story of Jerusalem’s Most Sacred Space (the former has three stars; the latter has none) so I can’t definitely say which is more deserving over others.

Like I always say though, spreading the love is always welcome. The more books that get mentioned and listed and honored mean more book titles that find their way to readers and that’s always a good thing. Be sure to check out the full list at Booklist and let us know what you think! The ALA YMAs are getting closer and closer so let’s ramp up our wild speculation!

The Not Even Slightly Comprehensive List of Books We’re Looking at This Year

Ok, here it is — the longlist for Someday My Printz Will Come, which is actually the shortlist, or at least a shorter list. For context: currently, our reading list and calendar have us covering more than 90 books between now and late January. We’ll likely revise some books off the list and add some on as we go, but at least 80 titles will get reviewed in some form — that’s the true long list.

This is not that list. We shared the long longlist the first few years of Someday, but then as we read through the books we hadn’t gotten to when the list posted, we found duds and felt like we’d obligated ourselves to read them by putting them on the list and inviting you all to read them too, in order to have a better discussion. And it seems that some of you trust us enough that you were using our list for various reasons, which was CRAZY, because that long longlist is a lot like the kitchen sink of the year’s YA, and it always had some gems (like, you know, the books that eventually went on to win, because usually we’re pretty good about correctly identifying the eventual winners as, you know, books) but also some actually not good at all books. Starting last year, we decided to share a more trimmed down list, and be a little more transparent about the fact that some of it is really just shots in the dark.

The below list comprises books we’ve read already and stand behind pretty strongly as a contender, books we’ve already read and strongly want to discuss, and books we haven’t read yet but for reasons — of author or buzz or gut instinct — we think will be worth a conversation. Since we’re already a few weeks in, I’ve gone ahead and hyperlinked books we’ve already reviewed, and I’ll try to remember to pop back in and add links as we go so that this post can also serve as a partial table of contents.

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Checking in with the mothership – SLJ’s Best of 2016

sljWith only six weeks left in 2016—an almost universally recognized dumpster fire of a year—the best of lists will release in a steady stream. We take the lists seriously because they can help us identify books that are beginning to have a strong consensus opinion, as well as books that may become a dark horse.

SLJ editors discussed a selection of favorites from their Best of 2016 list in a fun live stream (which you can view here and on KidLit TV). The full list will go live on SLJ’s website next week but you can download a PDF of all 66 titles now.

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It Begins…

PW coverToday, we interrupt our usual 3 review posts per week schedule to do our first list look.

Because yes, it’s November, and yes, we’re in the rapid dash to the end of the year, and yes, the Best of lists have begun with PW’s, which landed last week.

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The List, Abbreviated

Photo by Flickr user List_84, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Photo by Flickr user List_84, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Traditionally, we’ve launched the season with our massive (like, 90 titles long) reading list, but when we open with the big list, we always end up regretting approximately one-third of the titles.

So this year, we’re going to share a shorter, not even slightly exhaustive list. Here are our top 25 titles, included either because we’ve already read them or because they’ve gotten all the stars (by which I mean 4 or more, marked with an asterisk) or because the author or description have us thinking these are likely to be worth the conversation.

Obviously, we won’t be reviewing only 25 books this season, and we have plenty of books we’ve read that probably won’t go the distance but are certainly worth a conversation and therefore a post. But here’s the 25 we’re most excited to talk about, alphabetized by title because that’s how we’ve been discussing them.

American Girls, Alison Umminger
As I Descended, Robin Talley
The Bitter Side of Sweet*, Tara Sullivan
Blood Red, Snow White, Marcus Sedgwick
Burn Baby Burn*, Meg Medina
Character, Driven*, David Lubar
Every Exquisite Thing, Matthew Quick
Exit, Pursued by a Bear*, E.K. Johnston
Golden Boys*, Sonya Hartnett
The Head of the Saint, Socorro Acioli
Highly Illogical Behavior, John Corey Whaley
The Lie Tree*, Frances Hardinge
The Memory of Light*, Francisco X. Stork
My Lady Jane, Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows
The Passion of Dolssa*, Julie Berry
Railhead, Philip Reeve
The Reader*, Traci Chee
Samurai Rising*, Pamela S. Turner
The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner
The Singing Bones, Shaun Tan
Spontaneous, Aaron Starmer
Still Life with Tornado, A.S. King
Symptoms of Being Human, Jeff Garvin
Unbecoming*, Jenny Downham
We Are the Ants*, Shaun Davis Hutchinson

What would you add? Remove? Actually, let’s play this committee style: these are our nominations thus far. What are yours?

We’ll be back Monday with our first review. Catch you then!

PW Launches List Season!

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 11.58.00 AMProbably the exclamation point was unnecessary, since (A) PW always kicks off the pack and (B) it’s November when the season always launches.

BUT!

It’s still exciting. And full of surprises! And books I haven’t read, which is always a concern. Why are there so many books? Why must we all have to pick and choose? Why can’t we read instead of sleep?

(These are the questions I ask every year, so at least in that respect, some things are exactly as expected.)

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Kicking Things Off (and a LIST)

1484545713_a6477d339e_zLabor Day has come and gone. School begins today for NYC. And the awards are only 4 months away.

In other words, we’re back in action!

If you’re stumbling upon us for the first time, remember: we know nothing (Jon Snow). But we’re going to have a blast speculating the &*#$ out of the 2016 Printz Award*, and we’d love to have you join in.

Need more info on who we are and what we’re about? Please poke through the archives and the about sections.

Those of you who have been with us all along really only want one thing: The List.

So here it is.

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The (Very Long) List

We’ve got a list. We’ve checked it twice.

(I want to make a naughty or nice joke, but really, naughty books just don’t make it on Printz contender speculation lists.)

We’ve considered buzz, that strange ephemeral thing that happens on Goodreads and Twitter, we’ve looked at stars (shoutouts, ever and always, to Jen and her amazing list, without which we would have no accurate data on stars and books), and finally we’ve gone over the list of previous winners and honorees to see who has new books out this year.

Whew!

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Book List

Wanna know what we’re planning to write about this year?

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Top 5(s)

Hopefully you’ve already voted for the Pyrite Printz* (if you haven’t, do so!), but maybe you had some Printz picks that didn’t make that shortlist?

Well, so do we. So we thought we’d fill these final hours before the Pyrite polling closes by talking about our top 5s.

And as we talked through our lists, a very interesting dichotomy came up: were we going to discuss our top 5 books from the heart? Or from the head?

Because there were differences, although they aren’t mutually exclusive lists. So we decided we’d give you both!

Note that these are not predictions — we’re going to make our best guesses as to what the RealCommittee will choose (and doubtless be completely wrong!) on Sunday, at the very 11th hour. No, these are hopes, and dreams, and books we can’t let go of.

Anyway, read on for Sarah and Karyn’s Top 5 Heart and Top 5 Head YA Books of 2012. With annotations, sort of. Alphabetized by title, not ranked.

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