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The (Very Long) List
(I want to make a naughty or nice joke, but really, naughty books just don’t make it on Printz contender speculation lists.)
We’ve considered buzz, that strange ephemeral thing that happens on Goodreads and Twitter, we’ve looked at stars (shoutouts, ever and always, to Jen and her amazing list, without which we would have no accurate data on stars and books), and finally we’ve gone over the list of previous winners and honorees to see who has new books out this year.
Here’s our nonscientific methodology: the RealCommittee members have to start somewhere. Sarah and I both used all of the above selection tools, plus “I want to read this,” to determine what we picked up when we were on the RealCommittee. Here’s a little committee insider intel: Nomination numbers for Printz tend to be modest, because so much thought goes in before nominations happen, but wide readership is critical and lots of effort goes into laying eyes on lots of different books.
So each year we take all the books we’re hearing about, the books we want to read, the ones with three or more stars, and the ones by previously recognized authors. We toss in a few more books, for reasons scientific and gut-based. Then we start crossing things off. Most of the time, series books get crossed off early unless one of us thinks we can make a case for a specific title or just really wants to talk about it. Books one or two of us read and still can’t make any case for get put aside. We add more books as they get published/reviewed/read, and remove more books as we read more, and so it goes.
We have a spreadsheet, is what I’m saying.
The result is NOT a comprehensive list. Already in the comments on the first post of the season a few titles were mentioned that weren’t on our 2015 spreadsheet. We reserve the right to add books or remove books from this list, which right now stands as a promise — if it’s on the list, eyeballs will meet pages.
And we promise to do everything we can to never remove a book because no one has read it.
So consider this a start, and let us know what edits you would make already.
The List*, alphabetized by title, because really, isn’t that the way we think about most books?
100 Sideways Miles, Andrew Smith
Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld
And We Stay, Jenny Hubbard
Angel Island, Russell Freedman
As Red As Blood, Salla Simukka
Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teen Speak Out, Susan Kuklin, ed.
Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein (moved to 2015)
Bombay Blues, Tanuja Desai Hidier
The Children of the King, Sonya Hartnett
Clariel, Garth Nix
Complicit, Stephanie Kuehn
Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty
A Creature of Moonlight, Rebecca Hahn
Dark Metropolis, Jaclyn Dolamore
Egg and Spoon, Gregory Maguire
Even in Paradise, Chelsey Philpot
Everything Leads to You, Nina LaCour
Falling into Place, Amy Zhang
The Family Romanov, Candace Fleming
Fat and Bones, Larissa Theule
Fiendish, Brenna Yovanoff
Freedom Summer Murders, Don Mitchell
Girl Defective, Simone Howell
Girls Like Us, Gail Giles
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King
The Gospel of Winter, Brendan Kiehly
Grasshopper Jungle, Andrew Smith
Hidden Like Anne Frank, Marcel Prins and Peter Hank Steenhuis
The Hit, Melvin Burgess
How I Discovered Poetry, Marilyn Nelson
I Remember Beirut, Zeina Abirachad
I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson
The Impossible Knife of Memory, Laurie Halse Anderson
In the Shadows, Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo
Inland, Kat Rosenfeld
Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins
Islands at the End of the World, Austin Aslan
The Killing Woods, Lucy Christopher (removed 11/30)
Kiss of Deception, Mary Pearson
The Last Forever, Deb Caletti
Like Water on Stone, Dana Walrath
Little Blue Lies, Chris Lynch
Love is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson
Marina, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Mark of the Dragonfly, Jaleigh Johnson (removed 11/30)
A Matter of Souls, Denise Lewis Patrick
Never Ending, Martyn Bedford
Noggin, John Corey Whaley
On a Clear Day, Walter Dean Myers
One Death Nine Stories, Marc Aronson, Walter Dean Myers, & Charles R. Smith, Jr.
One Man Guy, Michael Barakiva
Otherbound, Corrinne Duyvis
Pointe, Brandy Colbert
Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights, Steve Sheinkin
Shadow Hero, Gene Luen Yang
She Is Not Invisible, Marcus Sedgwick
Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy
The Story of Owen, Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, E.K. Johnston
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton
Taking Flight, Michaela dePrince
This One Summer, Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
Threatened, Eliot Schrefer
Through the Woods, Emily Carroll
A Time to Dance, Padma Venkataraman
Tin Star, Cecil Castellucci
The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen, Nicholas Christopher (removed 11/3)
The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, David Almond
Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling, Lucy Frank
The Tyrant’s Daughter, J.C. Carleson (removed 11/3)
The Undertaking of Lily Chen, Danica Novgorodoff
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, Adele Griffin
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, Kate Hattemer
A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery, Albert Marrin
We Are the Goldens, Dana Reinhardt
We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
West of the Moon, Margi Preus
Wildlife, Fiona Wood
The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski
The Witch’s Boy, Kelly Barnhill
Zac & Mia, A.J. Betts
Zane and the Hurricane, Rodman Philbrick
Added after the initial posting of the list, but definitely worth discussing:
*It occurred to me today (Nov 3) that going back and linking to posts once they are up might be helpful, so I’m doing that retroactively and will try to maintain it going forward. I’ve also struck out a few books that one or more of us have read but none of can make a case for — however, if anyone would like to take any of the strikeouts on as a guest post, we’d be delighted.
About Karyn Silverman
Karyn Silverman is the High School Librarian and Educational Technology Department Chair at LREI, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (say that ten times fast!). Karyn has served on YALSA’s Quick Picks and Best Books committees and was a member of the 2009 Printz committee. She has reviewed for Kirkus and School Library Journal. She has a lot of opinions about almost everything, as long as all the things are books. Said opinions do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of SLJ, LREI, YALSA or any other institutions with which she is affiliated. Find her on Twitter @InfoWitch or e-mail her at karynsilverman at gmail dot com.
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