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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Kicking Things Off (and a LIST)

1484545713_a6477d339e_zLabor Day has come and gone. School begins today for NYC. And the awards are only 4 months away.

In other words, we’re back in action!

If you’re stumbling upon us for the first time, remember: we know nothing (Jon Snow). But we’re going to have a blast speculating the &*#$ out of the 2016 Printz Award*, and we’d love to have you join in.

Need more info on who we are and what we’re about? Please poke through the archives and the about sections.

Those of you who have been with us all along really only want one thing: The List.

So here it is.

The usual caveats: We haven’t read all of these yet, so there are probably some duds. Also, we are certainly missing things. Sound off in the comments and let us know what’s what.

Oh! You might want to know the criteria used to compile this here list. Here you go:

  • Books with 3 or more stars from the major review journals (because that kind of critical respect tends to grab the attention of RealCommittee members, and there is some correlation between stars and winners); not every book with three or more stars will be on this list, but most of them are.
  • Personal reading (because that’s what RealCommittee members do: read, think, compare, nominate)
  • Buzz (because if people are talking, we want in)
  • New books from past winners (because sometimes — 7 times, say — lightning does strike twice)

And now, enough blathering.

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
The Tightrope Walkers, David Almond (previous winner and honoree)
A Song for Ella Gray, David Almond (previous winner and honoree)
Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson (nonfiction) (previous honoree)
Mosquitoland, David Arnold
Stonewall, Ann Bausam (nonfiction)
The Last Leaves Falling, Sarah Benwell
Tommy: The Gun that Changed America, Karen Blumenthal (nonfiction)
Scorpion Rules, Erin Bow
Lair of Dreams, Libba Bray (previous winner)
A Game of Love and Death, Martha Brockenbrough
Walk on Earth a Stranger, Rae Carson
Audacity, Melanie Crowder
Untwine, Edwidge Danticat
Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen
These Shallow Graves, Jennifer Donnelly (previous honoree)
Fell of Dark, Patrick Downes
Boys Don’t Knit, T.S. Easton
Dime, E.R. Frank
The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman, illus. Chris Riddell
The Dead I Know, Scott Gardner
Conviction, Kelly Loy Gilbert
The Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge
Shadow Scale, Rachel Hartman
Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You, Todd Hasak-Lowy
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, Philip Hoose (nonfiction)
A Thousand Nights, E.K. Johnston
The Truth Commission, Susan Juby
All American Boys, Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
A School for Brides, Patrice Kindl
I Crawl Through It, A.S. King (previous honoree)
The Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace
There Will Be Lies, Nick Lake
Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier
Calvin, Martine Leavitt
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story, David Levithan
The Infinite In-Between, Carolyn Mackler (previous honoree)
Baba Yaga’s Assistant, Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll
The Weight of Feathers, Ann-Marie McLemore
Dumplin‘, Julie Murphy
Juba!, Walter Dean Myers (previous winner)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Patrick Ness
All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (previous honoree)
I Am Princess X, Cherie Priest
Ash and Bramble, Sarah Prineas
Show and Prove, Sofia Quintero
Kissing in America, Margo Rabb
Boy in the Black Suit, Jason Reynolds
Carry On, Rainbow Rowell (previous honoree)
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby
The Hired Girl, Laura Ann Schlitz
Orbiting Jupiter, Gary D. Schmidt (previous honoree)
The Ghosts of Heaven, Marcus Sedgwick (previous winner and previous honoree)
X, Ilyash Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
Challenger Deep, Neal Schusterman
More Happy than Not, Adam Silvera
The Alex Crow, Andrew Smith (previous honoree)
When My Heart Was Wicked, Tricia Sterling
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1, Noelle Stevenson
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson
The Walls Around Us, Nova Ren Suma
All the Rage, Courtney Summers
Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan (previous honoree), and Deborah Biancotti
Supermutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki (previous honoree)
Honor Girl, Maggie Thrash (nonfiction)
Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein (previous honoree)
Ms. Marvel: Generation Why, G. Willow Wilson
Paper Hearts, Meg Wiviott
MARTians, Blythe Woolston
The Emperor of Any Place, Tim Wynne-Jones

As always, our list skews up (12 and up as the bottom of the range,  unless we hear otherwise about a book that skews young but is just astounding, in which case we’ll try to cover it) and heavily towards fiction and big publishers, both biases in our field in general and reflective of what we’ve seen and what gets published and reviewed. We’d love to find the sleepers, hidden gems, and tiny press publications, so speak up if you’re sitting on something.

*Someday My Printz Will Come is a speculation blog which examines YALSA‘s Michael L. Printz Award (“for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature”), usually referred to as the Printz, and tries to emulate, in a public forum, the kind of close reading and in-depth discussion that award committees undertake each year. We are not on the award committee and we have no actual knowledge of books being considered this year. For more information and to find out who’s on the RealCommittee this year — they are heroes! It’s hard work — please visit YALSA’s award page.

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.


  1. Eric Carpenter says

    I would add:
    MARCH vol 2
    and if we’re willing to skew on the younger end of the range Oppel’s NEST would be worth looking at.

  2. I haven’t read it yet but EVERYTHING EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon sure is getting a lot of buzz. I also don’t see GOODBYE STRANGER on the list. Younger end, but definitely still in Printz territory.

  3. I really enjoyed Boys Don’t Knit, but I don’t think it will hang with the big literary stuff to make that final 5. The end in particular becomes a bit of a romp at the knitting competition. It could be a lighter surprise, a la Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging but I don’t think so.

    The only other one of the list I’ve read is the Ms. Marvel: Generation Why which I would be delighted to see honored, but I cannot imagine a committee choosing a superhero title. Perhaps I should not be so cynical, but I am.

    Hooray for your return!

  4. Yay! You’re back, too! I have a lot of reading to do, but I believe we have the majority of the titles. X: A Novel, Saint Anything, and The Boys Who Challenged Hitler have definitely stood out for me.

  5. How about The Porcupine of Truth, by Bill Konigsberg?

  6. Hooray! This is one of my favourite times of year, along with The Actual Awards and all the Battles in March. I’ve read and loved many of the books on your list (and read and not-loved some others, but there will be days for that…)

    Another one that’s stuck in my mind is OUT OF DARKNESS by Ashley Hope Pérez. (I’m sure I’ll think of more when I’m near my list of books I’ve read!)

    I’d also be very interested in talking about an age range for THE MARVELS. In Edelweiss, Scholastic says 8-12 on the hardcover but 10-up on the ebook. Shrug. But I’d easily recommend it to 12-14 at least.

  7. I loved Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

  8. I have only read about 16 titles on this list and I’m hoping that Bone Gap, More Happy Than Not, and Challenger Deep are on the top because they were great.

    Some titles I don’t think will are Princess X, Cuckoo Song, Saint Anything, or These Shallow Graves. I just don’t think there were strong enough.

    There are a couple of books I read that aren’t published yet and I hope make your list and those are Six of Crows by Bardugo and Wolf By Wolf by Graudin.

    • Karyn Silverman says

      I have some big issues with Wolf by Wolf, both regardining the writing and as a Jewish person, but I’d be interested in hearing what made it stand out for you.

  9. I loved Bone Gap but thought The Accident Season was even stronger. About to star A History of Glitter and Blood which i’ve heard raves for.

  10. I’ve actually read a few of these!

    BONE GAP, THE TRUTH COMMISSION, and THE WALLS AROUND US are all fantastic. I’d especially like to see BONE GAP get some love, although it really read more as an adult book to me. I’m reading CHALLENGER DEEP right now and I think it will almost certainly be a contender.

    I enjoyed SAINT ANYTHING and THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT but wouldn’t really consider either of them Printz-worthy. I enjoyed ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES at the time I read it, but the more I think about it, the less I like it. Take that as you will. 🙂 THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH had a really interesting concept, but I didn’t think it was executed especially well–I kind of felt like it tried to do too much.

    There are many more that I really hope to get to before the award! Of those, I’m most excited about/have heard the most positive buzz about DUMPLIN’ and THE HIRED GIRL.

  11. Hurrah!
    NBA longlist is released & Someday My Printz List are both released
    Let the autumn reading begin.

  12. Although I’ve been a long-time fan and lurker, this is my first time posting a comment. I really enjoyed Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes, We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen, and Weird Girl and What’s His Name by Meagan Brothers.

    • Karyn Silverman says

      Welcome! Lizard Radio and Minnow Bly were on my radar, not so the Nielsen or Brothers books.

    • I too loved We Are All Made of Molecules by Nielsen. Few authors, in my opinion, are able to successfully pull off the split narrative. I think she did did it beautifully. We Are All Made of Molecules is sitting at the #2 spot on my current Printz Top 5. (just behind Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda)

  13. Hey! I’m so glad you’re back. This blog is my guide to YA reading during the year. One title I’m looking forward to reading (chomping at the bit, more like) is Orbiting Jupiter. I hear it’ll make me cry and I love a book that makes me cry!

  14. My bests so far are THE HIRED GIRL, BONE GAP and NIMONA. I listened to the audiobook of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and thought it was terrific, but I have a hard time judging literary merit via the listening experience. SYMPHONY OF THE CITY OF THE DEAD blew me away.

  15. Yay. We’re back! So many books and so little time before Midwinter ALA Meeting. I start to get panicky because I don’t want to miss any of the good ones. I like LOTS of books this year (last year I really only liked one, the winner) My favorite contenders so far: CHALLENGER DEEP; BONE GAP; AUDACITY, MOSQUITOLAND, PRINCESS X, and NIMONA. I also listened to SIMON V HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and loved it. My adult daughter was really captivated by CUCKOO SONG. I haven’t finished reading it yet. Before you jump on me about Princess X, don’t forget I’m from the Seattle area!

  16. Is the big megalist of starred reviewed books updated?

    The reason I ask. I couldn’t find several of the books on your list above on the megalist and when I checked my source (TILEWAVE) several of them had less than three starred reviews, a few even had NO starred reviews at all. Two examples: WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED; PAPER HEARTS.

    • Karyn Silverman says

      Oh! Apologies for not making this clearer in the initial post. The four criteria for inclusion on the megalist are OR categories, not AND. So three or more stars OR buzz OR we liked it OR the author is a previous winner. Some books happen to fall into multiple categories, but that’s just chance. Both of the books you listed are books I’ve already read and think are worth discussing. I’ll be surprised if Paper Heart doesn’t pick up any stars (I think it’s an October pub, so reviews should be just rolling in). When My Heart Was Wicked is a definite dark horse, but the writing is well worth a discussion regardless of stars collected.

  17. Another October book is “The Emperor of Any Place. It’s on your list and I think it’s extraordinary.. Will be interested to know what you think.


  1. […] for business from September to January, “Someday” kicked off its first post with a long list of possible contenders for the 2016 Printz Medal, including titles that have been […]

  2. […] hear me singing?! This ‘seasonal blog’ has begun postings for 2016 Printz race…. […]

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