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

National Book Award Finalists

And we have finalists! With yesterday’s announcement of the National Book Award Finalists in the Young People’s Literature category it’s really starting to feel like awards season. Last month, Karyn wrote about the longlist, observing that social conscience seemed to be a common thread among the nominees. Now that we’re down to five titles, her theory’s been reinforced.
[Read more...]

Far Far Away: Once upon a time…

16030663 Far Far Away: Once upon a time... Far Far Away, Tom McNeal
Knopf Books for Young Readers, July 2013
Reviewed from Final Copy

It is perhaps the most polarizing title of the year. Love, hate, and debate about audience have all bubbled up around Tom McNeal’s Far Far Away. A National Book Award finalist, the novel also has five starred reviews and has made four of the year’s best lists; clearly, there is a lot of love for this book. But whenever I discuss Far Far Away with someone who didn’t like it, they don’t just dislike the book, it’s more like disdain.

I’m not one of those people but I’m not quite on the side of adoration either. McNeal’s most prominent theme is story—its power and our lives as stories are two variations that we see in the novel. McNeal’s use of storytelling (specifically, fairy tales) as a major theme is done well enough, but when analyzed with other elements of the novel such as voice, style, and characters, Far Far Away is a book made up of discrete notes that, when played together, make a dissonant sound.
[Read more...]

Two Boys Kissing

Two Boys Two Boys Kissing

Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf. August 2013
Reviewed from ARC

Sometimes a book packs such an emotional whammy that every other aspect becomes irrelevant to 99.9% of the readers.

Two Boys Kissing is seriously packing. [Read more...]

The Long List

Everyone’s seen the NBA long list, yes?

Five titles are what I would consider firmly children’s and not within the Printz purview.

Of the other five, four were on our own longlist the other day, have garnered several stars, and are the books people* are generally speaking about.

(*people in this case=book people with a focus on well written YA)

Two things jumped out for our purposes: 1, Two Boys Kissing, which none of us have read yet,  clearly needs to move up on the to-read pile; 2, WHOA: Boxers and Saints appears to be considered one book from the National Book Award judges’ perspective.

(And speaking for me, alone, rather than the Someday collective, I am so happy there are others who felt The Summer Prince was something special, since it’s my personal frontrunner right now!)

So? Thoughts?

 

Does Never Fall Down Stand Up to the Hype?

never fall down 199x300 Does Never Fall Down Stand Up to the Hype?Never Fall Down, Patricia McCormick
Balzer + Bray, May 2012
Reviewed from ARC

National Book Award Finalist. Three stars. Patricia McCormick. Never Fall Down is a critical and popular darling, and there is absolutely no question about the emotional impact of the story. You would need to be a stone to stay dry-eyed reading about the atrocities Arn sees and endures under the Khmer Rouge.

So let’s cut to the chase. There’s really only one conversation anyone is having about Never Fall Down, and it’s all about the voice.

[Read more...]