So I’ve been writing and rewriting a post on genre bias and the Printz for — I’m not kidding you — the past two weeks. But it boils down to a very drama-less post about a lack of genre bias in Printzland and how things seem to me to be fine. Which: good news for Young Adult Literature, but bad news for an interesting post, eh? [Read more...]
We’ve done a lot of writing about contendas this year, but you may have noticed that non-fiction has been absent so far. As a matter of fact, our own Mark Flowers emailed wondering “whither the nonfiction, bloggers?” And just as we were turning his question right back on him in the form of an invitation to do a guest post, he wrote a thoughtful and astonishingly complete post about awesome nonfiction reads for The Hub.
We definitely depend on you guys for NF recommendations; Karyn and I both have our baggage, afterall, and need people to pick up our slack/keep us honest. Mark’s got a great line up there, and there’s some stuff I’m really looking forward to tracking down. Steve Sheinkin’s Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon and Catherine Reef’s The Bronte Sisters sound fascinating (how’s that for a unique pairing?). Oooh, and Marching to the Mountaintop by Anne Bausum has a description that’s caught my eye a couple of times. Perhaps next time I’ll remember when I’m actually at a library?
What about you guys? What stellar nonfiction have you been reading?
I flew to Anaheim, my suitcase packed with dresses, knowing intellectually that it would be the end of my term on the 2012 Michael L. Printz Award Committee, but in completely emotional denial. We’d all be having book discussion meetings, right? We’d be arguing passionately for the titles we thought best embodied the award’s criteria! Yeah! Um, no.
Fortunately, I quickly got my head around the notion of this being our time to celebrate our wonderful winner, Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley and our amazing four honor titles, Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler & Maira Kalman, The Returning, by Christine Hinwood, Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey and The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. Oh, YEAH, that’s what all these dresses were for — the four Printz events I’d be attending over the course of the weekend! [Read more...]
A long time ago, we started out thinking and talking about the Printz policies and procedures. And do you know what I said? What I typed, I mean?
Yeah, but who wants to be on a committee that picks a book everyone hates, y’know? I guess this is a good opportunity to talk about POPULARITY (since the criteria are yelling…) versus APPEAL. And whether either of those concepts have any business being in the conversation that is actually all about QUALITY.
Karyn pointed out the difference between popularity and appeal, and mentioned that appeal is, in the end, a pretty subjective concept. She also pointed out that at the Printz table, you have the luxury of stepping away from the question of appeal and just focusing on questions of literary excellence.
And then I stepped in and beat on the drum a little more about teen appeal and how that’s an important part of our work as librarians and shouldn’t we think of the teens WHAT ABOUT THE TEENS?? HULK LOVE TEENS, WANT TEENS TO READ NICE BOOKS. (OK, Hulk has nothing to do with this post at all, but we just saw The Avengers and so now all I want to do is type like HULK. WITH CAPS. SMASH SMASH SMASH.) Back then, we moved on to other parts of the P&P. Because we had a lot of words to cover and more thoughts to share.
But I’m still wondering: Can something be both really excellent and really boring? And, as my notes for this blog post so eloquently said, “appeal teens reading quality what is YA anyway arg halp!”
So, starred reviews and the Printz award. We’re going to cover this topic in at least two posts this year, so whatever I don’t address (or get dead wrong), Karyn will cover in a couple of weeks!
I’m a visual, list-making sort of person, so as I mulled over this topic this week, I found myself making a mental chart of how they relate, in terms of their functions as well as how they’re determined.
So, remember when I wrote that whole post about changes?
And I mentioned that we might make the whole Mock Printz thing a bit more—what’s the word?—organized, planned, intentional this year?
Well, now we are ready to unveil that set of changes. Because we don’t just have a plan. We have a vocabulary.
Here at Someday, we are getting organized for a full year of reading and thinking. (A full year, you guys! Well, nearly a full year! Not just a few months, anyway! As an official Slow Percolator, I am feeling really happy about this! I will include a few more exclamation points in order to illustrate my feelings: !!!!!!!!!) Behind the scenes, we’re combing through catalogs, checking publisher websites, and getting our review sources in order.
Here’s some of what we’re keeping our eyes peeled for:
New stuff from past winners, including John Green’s The Fault in our Stars and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Drowned Cities — man, am I curious to see what else he’ll have to say about his dystopic, scary world. Oooh, and new books from Walter Dean Myers and Libba Bray!
Oooooh, and Stephanie Hemphill has a new title, Ron Koertge has coauthored a collection of fairy tale inspired short stories, there’s new stuff from Patrice Kindl and Nina LaCour… Like Elizabeth said, it’s already shaping up to be a fantastic year.
But what about you all? What’s on your pile? What are you determined to track down?
This morning we watched the ALA Youth Media Awards livestream (and please, can the stream enter the 21st century? Just a pan shot of the audience/committee members or two, a few interior shots for the Caldecott and Geisel and various illustrator awards? We don’t need much, but something more than the really not-exciting slideshow for the folks at home?).
And we were delighted!
Because oh, how we did not call it!
The Printz Committee recognized the full four possible honor books plus, of course, the winner.
We ran the total numbers (only 30 voters; everyone else was probably on a plane en route to Dallas, which is where I wish I was headed!) three ways: total voters and points, and then only those who had read all 9 books (5 voters) and again for the 9s and 8s combined (7 voters), just to see if there was any noticeable change based on number of candidates read.
And boy howdy there sure was! [Read more...]
Please note: this is a revised version of the post that went up at 2:30 this afternoon.
We will give a more detailed break down of the results with numbers and statistics and complex math shortly, but for now:
A Monster Calls and Chime are vying for the Pyrite medal, but the point spread between them is so narrow that we are doing a second vote. If you’ve read both of titles, please vote in our second poll so that we can declare a clear-cut winner!
Voting ends tonight at 7:30 8:30 PM, Eastern: new deadline based on 7:30 closing resulting in no tiebreak! This is close, but only one book can win. Once we have any sort of conclusion (come on, vote! Get others to vote!) we’ll let you know and post all the rest of the data as well.
Honor vote tomorrow, using the 8 finalists that are not Chime or A Monster Calls plus whichever of those doesn’t win.