Not that we ever get these right, but here goes.
Not that we ever get these right, but here goes.
(Housekeeping note: we are still compiling the honor book votes, so look for that post shortly.)
We’re going to make some predictions for tomorrow. They will, doubtless, be wrong: never has there ever been a
cat so clever committee that didn’t surprise, well, everyone.
But we’re not just wildly guessing here either. Or, not entirely, anyway.
You may, perhaps, be thinking, Huh, didn’t they just do top 5s the other day? How is this different? The other day, what we listed were our individual picks. This time, we (in the Royal sense; today we’re speaking as a single blogging entity) are actually trying to anticipate the RealCommittee’s picks.
The RealCommittee process, as we’ve said before, is unique to each year, since every member brings their own sensibilities, preferences, and baggage with them. This means that it’s almost impossible to truly predict what a committee will select, because all of those elements that make up 9 individuals meld into something that has a personality of its own. In the end, there are a lot of excellent books that could wear the gold and silver this year, so the final decision can have a faint whiff of the arbitrary to those outside the committee — why this one and not that one, we ask? But for everyone sitting in that room, making the decision, the reason are many and completely clear.
So while we’ve been reading and discussing and reviewing in the context of the award all year, and we’d like to think that we have a not insignificant sense of the field, we’re bringing our own baggage to this prediction list, which means we aren’t just guessing — but we might still be way off base. [Read more...]
We’ve been bringing the Pyrite* books back up for a second round of discussion, but a number of them were discussed so recently — and with their Pyrite nominations in mind — that it seems silly to post again about each one.
However, we didn’t want anyone to forget what makes these books at the very top of the top of the year, so here are the remaining Pyrite candidates revisited.
When guest blogger Joy reviewed Bomb, she said “With descriptive language and clever plot juggling, Sheinkin creates the atmosphere of life as a wartime spy (or a bomb-building physicist); it’s dangerous and exciting. This effective world building and use of stylistic tools create a book that feels light.” She then went on to list some criticisms, and concluded by wondering if Bomb is more style than substance. However, this is the one nonfiction book that made the Pyrite shortlist and is dearly beloved by many. It’s also gotten a lot of love from the Newbery speculation crowd over at Heavy Medal. Printz pick or pan?
Ask the Passengers swept our live Mock Printz event, and seems to be the book everyone loves, although it lacks the splash of Code Name Verity. Sarah’s review praised almost every aspect of the book, especially the characterization. She also mostly predicted it will place in the RealPrintz when she said “I think this title could go far at the table.” Is she on to something? Is this the one that can win the consensus and take the Pyrite, and maybe even the gold?
Whether or not it gets pyrite, nickel (isn’t that the pyrite equivalent for silver?), gold, or silver, The Brides of Rollrock Island wins the award for most hotly contested title of the year, at least around here. Karyn’s review was a great big waffle. She loved the language and the scope, but was left puzzled by the messages seemingly encoded in the themes and the plot. And the comments were almost equally divided, with no one seeming to be particularly swayed by anyone else’s observations and thoughts. Books we can talk about for hours are good, but when it comes to the Printz, consensus is key and a book this divisive often falls by the wayside. Will that be the fate of Brides?
The Raven Boys is a delicious fantasy and first in a series. And the same goes for The Diviners. Do either of them have what it takes to place despite the series issue? And the genre issue? Or are these heart books that will fall off the list as soon as the voting starts?
So that’s it, the last of the Pyrite Redux posts. Voting will begin today, so consider carefully your top three picks. And feel free to use the comments here as one last chance to sway the other voters. How persuasive can you be?
*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee. You probably figured that out on your own, but we like to make it clear!
As I’m sure you all know, last night was the NBA banquet (gala?). And the winner in the Young People’s category was… the one not YA candidate! I was so sure it would be a YA book that I scheduled myself to write a reaction post. And now I find myself with nothing to say.
I was really convinced the award would go to one of the YA picks. In fact, when I was asked what I thought, I conceded that, having read only one of the shortlist titles, I probably didn’t get to have an opinion, but it surely wouldn’t be the token MG title, which was so clearly the outlier. Why do I ever make predictions? I am always wrong.
And I haven’t even read Goblin Secrets yet, because I’m pretty far behind on YA. Middle grade 2012 books are something I’ll look at in 2013. Or possibly when my kid is a middle grader, because there are just too many books! (She wails, melodramatically.) Fellow SLJ bloggers have read it, though, so check out Nina’s coverage on Heavy Medal or Liz’s on Tea Cozy for a sense of the book.
Anyway, so what I’m wondering is this: do we still need to read Endangered and Out of Reach? We added them to the contender list because they were on the NBA shortlist, although they hadn’t come up in any other context as likely candidates for the Printz, but none of us have read either of them yet (and because of the NBA nod, they are hard books to get hold of). Are they contenders? Why? And if not, why not?