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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

When previously awarded writers tell other tales

When we start to compile our list of books to cover, authors who have a previous Printz win or honor are automatically added to the list. We also give serious consideration to writers with wins or honors from other important ALA Youth Media Awards. Of course, the logic is that a previous winner has a good chance of continuing to create work at a high level.

Today’s contenders come to us in slightly different form than the author’s previous work. Unlike her Printz and Caledcott honor book, This One Summer, Mariko Tamaki’s Saving Montgomery Sole is a prose novel. The Great American Whatever is Tim Federle’s first YA novel—his middle grade series, Better Nate Than Ever has earned him a Stonewall and Odyssey nomination as well as a Lambda literary award. Both Tamaki and Federle use themes present in their other books, but do they also use the qualities that earned them praise?
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Our 2015 Predictions and Picks: Loves and Likelies

One of the greatest joys of writing this blog is the chance to be spectacularly wrong* come the announcements. So here is our official post of both our personal picks — books we can support and love love love — and our predictions, which are the books we think are most likely — even if we don’t necessarily love them.

*Last year Joy and Karyn actually both predicted Midwinterblood, and Joy had Eleanor & Park on her personal picks. But otherwise, not so much with the accuracy.

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Pyrite Redux: Worlds in Flux

Our final three redux books are three of my own top books this year. They vary in length, in genre, in style, and more — indeed, in many ways I can’t imagine three more distinct titles. And yet, they have something essential in common (other than my appreciation, that is): all three are about moments of change and lives in transition, from Elena and Cat’s Prince and the Pauper/Vladimir Propp adventure to Windy and Rose’s quiet summer of seismic change to Marilyn Nelson’s personal journey that is a microcosm of change happening in the macrocosm of America during that same decade — whew! Big changes indeed, each one rendered beautifully.

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This One Summer

This One Summer, Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
First, Second, May 2014
Reviewed from final copy

In my head, as I’ve written this post, it’s mostly been a series of exclamation points and the word “squeeeeeeee” interspersed with pictures from the book’s pages. I mean, that’s legit Printz discussion, no? With 6 starred reviews, gorgeous art, a meditative story line, it really seems like my work here is done and I’m only 57 words along in this review. But perhaps you need convincing? Or are just in the mood for a good gush? In the name of due diligence, let’s explore what’s making me go squee. We’ve got beautiful art, strong characterization and an emotional, summer-wandering plot with complicated themes adding texture and weight…I’m pretty much squeeing over the whole package of this spare-but-profound graphic novel. [Read more…]