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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Book List

Wanna know what we’re planning to write about this year?

We looked at that super long list (which grew longer as others tossed more titles in) and we thought about it. And you know, a lot of those books are great reads, but they aren’t really worth in-depth discussion. So we’ve narrowed it down. A LOT. Below, we’ve got a list assembled from multiple star books, buzzy books, and new books by old winners, cross-referenced against our own reading*. This is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive — we absolutely assume there will be other books that come bubbling up as we keep reading, and really, we’re not entirely sure all of these are serious contenders. We are sure that we want to talk about these books, because they are meaty and ripe for discussion.

(DISCLAIMER: it’s actually possible, though not totally plausible, that NONE of these books are serious contenders for the RealCommittee. Because secret. But it’s likely that these are on their list too, for the same kinds of reasons they are on ours, and that’s why we are using these books to model the depth of discussion.)

(*Yes, this means some books are not on this list not because they aren’t great for discussion but because none of us have read them yet. If there’s a book here your strongly support as a potential Printz (Real or Pyrite**), or especially if there’s a book not here you strongly support, and you want to write about it, let us know and we’d love to arrange that.)

We’ve read other books too, and we’ll probably end up talking about some of those books in addition to the ones below. But if you wanted a reading list of well written books you can discuss for hours, this is it. Or at least one such list. Or at least the start of one such list.


The list:

17 & Gone, Nova Ren Suma
Black Helicopters, Blythe Woolston
Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang
Charm & Strange, Stephanie Kuehn
Chasing Shadows, Swati Avasthi
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty
The Different Girl, Gordon Dahlquist
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
Far, Far Away, Tom McNeal
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Matthew Quick
The Kingdom of Little Wounds, Susann Cokal
The Lucy Variations, Sara Zarr
Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner
The Midnight Dress, Karen Foxlee
Midwinterblood, Marcus Sedgwick
A Moment Comes, Jennifer Bradbury
More Than This, Patrick Ness
Mortal Fire, Elizabeth Knox
Paper Valentine, Brenna Yovanoff
Picture Me Gone, Meg Rosoff
Relish, Lucy Knisley
Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein
September Girls, Bennett Madison
Sorrow’s Knot, Erin Bow
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman
Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith
Winger, Andrew Smith
Yellowcake, Margo Lanagan

(Yes, we realize there is no nonfiction, other than Relish, which is a memoir. This year it seems it’s pretty slim pickings, but if we’ve missed something please speak up.)


**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!



  1. Karyn Silverman says:

    Books I haven’t read yet but am eagerly anticipating and thinking might be worthy add-ons to this list from what others are saying:
    Friday Never Leaving, by Vikki Wakefield
    Gris Grimley’s version of Frankenstein — I saw a bindup at a preview and it’s STUNNING, although there might be some eligibility question; I’ll need to look for any past precedents.
    Mojo, by Tim Tharp (because Knights of the Hill Country caught me off guard and blew me away)
    Teeth, by Hannah Moskowitz

    • yes yes yes to Friday Never Leaving.
      I’m going to be eager to see what thoughts you may have on Teeth. For all of the praise I’ve seen of it, I found it to be really . . . boring.

      • Oh man, I disagree so hard.

        It’s not a fast-paced or exciting book, and it’s not what I was expecting. The horror is a slow burn, but that never felt boring to me; it felt like the overwhelming dread of abusive relationships, which was so apt. The friendships loop around on themselves–now close, now distrusting, now one-sided, now close again–in a way that struck me as very realistic and reflective of a lot of teen relationships (friendly, romantic, both, or neither.) And the ethical questions are, again, grounded in reality; he’s tugged backwards and forwards without really getting anywhere, caught in the not-wanting-to-think-about-it-but-unable-to-forget-about-it state that characterizes many dilemmas in real peoples’ lives.

    • TEETH.

      • YES, TEETH. I read this book what feels like forever ago and I still think about it. I’d really like to see a discussion of it here, even though (as much as I love it) I have my doubts about whether the RealCommittee will be discussing it or not.

  2. Other than I’d say Wise Young Fool and Dr. Bird’s Advice….(hopefully a Morris contender if not Printz) were at least as good as The Lucy Variations and much better than Fangirl I like this list. Time to start placing holds on the ones I’ve missed.

  3. Barbara Moon says:

    For nonfiction would Courage has No Color or The Boy on the Wooden Box be possibilities?

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Would you consider either of those YA? Both seem to fall more squarely into MG territory, but I haven’t read either yet.

      • Barbara Moon says:

        I think you’re right. Although the Boy on the Wooden Box subject matter would be appropriate for older readers- some heartbreaking stuff, the writing is more MG. I still wish that there were more nonfiction titles that could be considered.*sigh*

  4. I’d put Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian back on the list…the narrator in that book is SO complex and the picture Mesrobian paints of him is SO nuanced that I think it deserves a look or two 🙂

  5. Sarah Flowers says:

    I think we might need to talk about Reality Boy, by AS King. It’s not perfect, but. . . . And King is a previous Printz honor winner.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Sarah, Sarah has some feelings. They are not entirely positive, so she was hoping someone would come forward in Reality Boy’s defense and then it could be a conversation. (I haven’t read it yet. On my list. But I often feel King’s books are good but not entirely all that.)

    • i second this recommendation…i thought there were problems, but still.

  6. Well, of this list I’ve read ten and started-but-didn’t-get-into four. Wild Awake I think just isn’t me and I wasn’t in the mood for not-me, but the other three books I bounced off–17 & Gone, Charm & Strange, and Paper Valentines–all dragged for me, specifically because they kept saying “what I’m going to tell you is…” rather than just getting to the plot and telling me already. Noble defenders, tell me why I’m wrong.

    Of the ten I’ve read, top of my list are:
    Kingdom of Little Wounds
    Rose Under Fire

    And *just* below those are:
    The Summer Prince

    The big one missing, for me, is Teeth. It’s right up there with Kingdom at the top of my personal list for the year. (Just as brutal, maybe more so, though… and it’s not like Rose is free of brutality, either… oh me oh my.)

    And four more were already on my holds list. Time to add even more!

    • Barbara Moon says:

      Midwinterblood is one of my favs this year. The Summer Printz intriguing & so unique. Actually both titles fit those adjectives -I think

  7. Are you considering Boxers & Saints as “one” book?

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      I need to look at the ISBN and packaging; I think we should be able to consider them as one but not sure I can support that with the P&P as they now stand.

      • My club is reading and deciding now on Boxers & Saints and whether it is one book. It is an interesting question, but for me what’s not in doubt is the fact that B&S is one of the best things I’ve read in an long time. Epic, historical, heartbreaking, at times hilarious, and overall totally exceptional.

      • I was disappointed in the decision to make this into two books – made me feel kind of uncomfortable (the word “cash-in” came to mind… did you see the price for both books together?!) Don’t have any idea how the Printz Committee would approach this, though.

      • Eric Carpenter says:

        According to today’s longlist, National Book Awards are considering them as one title…

      • Sam, I agree that the price of the pair is high, and I haven’t bought personal copies (yet) because of it. From a library standpoint, though, I like having two volumes to check out to two different patrons. I also wonder how durable the 500+-page paperback would have been with the same trim size and paper quality. (This is a real question–can anyone think of a comparable PB graphic work? How many circs has it survived? My first thought was BLANKETS, which my library doesn’t have–it’s a $30 paperback at almost 600 pages.)

      • You bring up a couple fair points, Kate – would it hold together well if it was one volume? And judging by the price you’ve quoted there for BLANKETS, it could very well be as expensive as a single volume as it is for two. That being said, I don’t see the whole diptych graphic novel presentation as being so “innovative” as some are saying (come on, what the hell – like we’ve never seen graphic novels in multiple volumes?!) And judging by what Eric links to – the NBA committee considering it as one title – I must again ask why they didn’t just make it one book! Damn it, I’m griping again… I promise I actually liked this a lot!

      • Sam – I can’t claim that this is the absolute answer, but for me the thing that made the two-book format work (and be more innovative than a multi-volume comic) was the ability for the comics to be read in either order or as entirely separate pieces, something like a smaller scale version of Chris Ware’s Building Stories.

      • I’m not sure I buy the argument that you can read them independently of one another. They are obviously meant to be read together as they are packaged that way. Additionally, how much does the epilogue at the end of SAINTS have to do with the main story told in that volume? Doesn’t it serve more as an epilogue to both volumes? Also, I’d like to find a person who read SAINTS before BOXERS – I don’t yet know of one and I’d be curious if that impacted their reading of the work. Finally, what I liked least about this being a two volume work was knowing how the second volume would end on page 200-something of volume one.

      • Sarah, I’m hoping to read SAINTS before BOXERS–because clearly the experiment needs to happen, and I sometimes like reading linked books out-of-order (I actually recommend this for some series; read volume 4 of Sandman first, read the last book of the Dalemark Quartet first…) so why not?

        However, it depends somewhat on the library–I’ve got both on hold but BOXERS is ready to be picked up and SAINTS isn’t even in transit yet, so I may need to (read and) return BOXERS before I get my hands on SAINTS. Will report back!

  8. Is Relish eligible? It’s listed in the “for adults” section on First Second.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      When I checked I saw it listed with the age rec of 16 and up, which — just like a book aimed at ages 10-14 — should be eligible. We can tackle this when we talk about the Boxwrs and Saints/solo or duo issue, and The Kingdom of Little Wounds, which whatever the publisher says is so clearly not at all a YA book.

  9. Ugh. The Different Girl? Really? It raises more questions than it answers. And not in a good way. No resolution. Just one huge cliff. That you wish you’d jumped off of before reading this book. Confusing in the worst, most unsatisfying way.

  10. Caitlin L. Baker says:

    I’d like to add Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin and The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna. Easily two of the best books of the hundreds I’ve read this year.

  11. I’m a little disappointed to see that Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys was dropped from your list.

  12. Yes. I am going to add to the call for Teeth for Hannah Moskowitz. Also, how about Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis?

  13. I think I count about 30 books on that list (never mind the ones mentioned here in the comments) and I’ve read….3. I knew I was behind, but that’s pretty far behind. I have read some other 2013 YA releases, but nothing I feel I need to push for strongly to include on the list. I loved Mind Games, but I think it will suffer from something like The Hunger Games did – its very plot-driven and the prose is just too good at getting out of its own way (which, as I recently listened to Divergent and am now listening to City of Bones, it has become very clear to me just how hard that is and how underrated – they are both fine, but Collins blows them away). I also thought Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass was pretty good, but not good enough that I feel the need to champion it. Now – Must. Get. Reading!

  14. For nonfiction, I would recommend Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice by Catherine Lewis. It’s funny and witty and yet an excellent writer’s guide. And it’s an enjoyable read too!

  15. I thought that Golden Boy by Sullivan was very, very good. I’m shocked it’s not on the long list. My other librarian friends are very high on Out of Nowhere by Padin, but I haven’t read it. My fav’s of 2013 so far are: Eleanor and Park; A Corner of White; Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock; Golden Boy; and Maggot Moon. Close second: Second Prince; and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. I abandoned TEETH one third in. I thought it was awful. Should I have prevailed? I’m wondering why no one is talking about The Fifth Wave. I think it is the IT book of the year. Mark my words. Also, is Lord of Opium considered MS rather than YA? I haven’t read it yet but imagine it will get good reviews.

  16. I don’t know if you’re still getting comments on this post (I hope you are!) but I wanted to mention Frances Hardinge’s A Face Like Glass. It’s gotten next to no buzz – I’m not sure why – but it’s a FANTASTIC book. It was published in the US in 2013, so that should make it Printz-eligible.

    I’d read it back in 2012 after having it shipped to me from the UK, and it, along with Code Name Verity, was my favorite read of the year. It’s quirky and odd and whimsical and somehow supremely elegant at the same time. I’d love to see you spotlight it so it receives a bit more of the attention it deserves!

    • I don’t see the Hardinge book available in the US.

      • I concur with Allison. I see UK versions of A Face Like Glass available in Baker and Taylor which can be ordered to send here, but no US versions so it is sadly not eligible unless other publication info comes to light.


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