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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

The Walters

The Walter Award has been announced, along with two honor books, and all three are books we’ve already talked about in terms of Printz contention —  although we only support one of them strongly. Of course, the Walter is a different award, with a different purpose, but the committee is looking for “outstanding books” so it’s fascinating to look at which books they recognized from a year that is relatively rich in diverse titles.

(Yes, we still need more diverse books and more #ownvoices books and yes the numbers are still woefully low — but relative to previous years, it’s more than what we’ve had.)

Does WNDB/Walter recognition for Disappeared and You Bring the Distant Near push them higher on anyone’s Printz speculation? Does the win for A Long Way Down change your bets for its Printzly potential? Speculate away!


A Time to Dance

A Time to Dance, Padma Venkatraman
Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), May 2014
Reviewed from ARC

Joy referenced the #weneeddiversebooks movement a few posts back, when she talked about two black ballerinas, one fictional and one actual. In some ways, A Time to Dance could have been included in that post: it’s a book about a dancer who is also a person of color. But in other, critical ways, this entirely different, and not only because it’s a novel in verse and getting way more critical acclaim.

This isn’t perfect, but it definitely beats out those other dance books we’ve seen this year and the other novel in verse I’ve read so far (with the caveats that Brown Girl Dreaming is next to read, and I don’t consider How I Discovered Poetry a novel).

[Read more…]

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Nostalgia and the Printz process don’t really go hand-in-hand. But those old school feelings really can color reading experiences. We have to do a lot of work to recognize them and move past them in order to assess a book more objectively. The first time you read someone, you might have been a young, impressionable librarian (Karyn is not the only one dating herself this week, ahem). Or an author’s earlier work could have defined an entire field and, you know, won the very first Printz award. What I’m saying is your (OK, be honest: my) baggage might make it hard to realize that the particular book you’re holding isn’t what you’re expecting. But, as always in Printz discussion, it’s important to focus on the book in hand, not previous works.  [Read more…]