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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

2012 Printz Award

The 2012 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature was particularly exciting for me because I’d read 4 of the 5 honored titles!

Here is the award winner and the honor titles, from the YALSA website. Please click through to the YALSA website for full information about the award, including the annotations from the committee:

The 2012 Winner

Where Things Come Back, By John Corey Whaley, Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. From my review: ”Where Things Come Back starts in a morgue, with seventeen year old Cullen identifying the body of his older cousin, Oslo. Cullen’s family and friends are introduced, a small circle of people in a small town. This is, at first, what Where Things Come Back seems to be about: small town boy coming of age. Strangely, another story is introduced, about a young man, Benton Sage, on a mission in Ethiopia a story that seems to have nothing to do with Cullen. On page 55, Where Things Come Back shifts: Cullen’s younger brother, Gabriel, disappears. It becomes a story of the loss of Gabriel, the search for him, but is also the story of how Cullen’s life goes on, because that is what happens. It is not just that the clocks don’t stop; it is that life is not so uncluttered that all else fades away and disappears along with the lost one. This is the first reason I love this book: Cullen’s life is full and messy and complicated. His reactions, his parents, are jagged and not linear.” One of my Favorite Books Read in 2011.

 The 2012 Honor Books:

Why We Broke Up, written by Daniel Handler, art by Maira Kalman and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. From my review:”This is Min’s story, her long, glorious, honest letter to Ed about how and why they got together, and fell in love, despite — or maybe because of — being so different. Ed, a jock, popular; Min, who loves old films and coffee with friends. Min sends a box of objects to Ed; and I love that Min does this, that she is the girl who holds onto these items and then sends them Ed and I wonder — will Ed read the letter? Will he go through the box and match the things to the letter, remember as she remembers? Or will the box go into the closet, under the stairs, in the trash?” One of my Favorite Books Read in 2011.

The Returning, written by Christine Hinwood and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group Young Readers Group USA. From my review: ”I had to stop putting expectations on this book, about what it would or would not be, and just let it enfold me. Just let myself sink into Cam’s world without worrying about who was a main character and who wasn’t, and whether this world was European or Asian or something else. And I realized that what The Returning was about, was not Cam, or Pin, or Graceful, but was about war, and the impact of war on regular people and regular lives. The people who stay in the same village, well, as Cam’s mother wisely says, “there’ve always been taxes, new Lord or old.” Their losses are in the generation of men that did not come home; Cam alone returned. For others, those displaced, like young Diido, the loss is of home and comfort and security. There are families like Graceful’s that now have opportunities they would not have had before.” One of my Favorite Books Read in 2011. Also one of my Top 5 Books of 2011.

Jasper Jones, written by Craig Silvey and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. The lone title I didn’t review! Review forthcoming.

The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc. From my review: “Killer horses. There are some reader who just need to know “killer horses.” I am not one of those people. Sorry, but I was never one of those girls who went through a horse phase. So, in other words, for me, Stiefvater had to work for it to make me fall for The Scorpio Races, and fall I did. What made me fall: the setting of Thisby. A small, isolated island except for the tourists who come for the Scorpio races and come to buy horses. The world where capaill uisce are real, and iron and bells and salt and circles can help tame them. A world where water horses kill and people view it as tragic and sad, but not unexpected. Thisby and the capaill uisce are from Stiefvater’s imagination (though based on the myths and stories of man-eating water horses), and so, too, is the time. It’s a world of cars but no Internet. It’s familiar, but slanted. Thisby is so real that midway through I began to wonder, half seriously, if I could visit.” One of my Favorite Books Read in 2011.

Yes, you read that right: not only did I read 4 of the 5 books, all four made my Favorite Books Read in 2011!

 Thank you to the committee, for all their hard work!

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Sondy says:

    Alas! The only one I’d read was The Scorpio Races (so loved it!). Though I’d planned to read some others, but hadn’t gotten to them yet. I hope I will have finished all of them before the Printz Reception in June.

  2. Chachic says:

    I’ve only read The Scorpio Races and it was included in my best of 2011 list as well. I have a copy of The Returning though, need to bump that up the TBR pile. I grabbed a copy because both Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta blurbed it.

  3. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    Sondy & Chachic, what’s funny is I thought of THE SCORPIO RACES as so much “my” type of book, meeting my personal reading needs, that I didn’t think of it for Printz.

    Chachic, let me know what you think of THE RETURNING.

  4. Sophie Brookover says:

    Well, I can say with pride & satisfaction that you have wonderful taste! :-) I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see colleagues Get It about the books we chose. They are all still very much on my mind.

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