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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

The Clock is Ticking!

Green Tree Frog by Flickr user Hunter Desportes; used under Creative Commons licensing.

Green Tree Frog by Flickr user Hunter Desportes; used under Creative Commons licensing.

Once upon a time, we went to a pond and started kissing frogs.

This year, the pond is large, the frogs are many, and (ALA Mid) winter is closing in. There’s no way we’re kissing them all, so we have some hard decisions to make.

In an ideal world, every frog published between January and June would be discussed by Halloween, leaving November and December for all those July through December frogs (tadpoles? This metaphor is collapsing).

There’s no way this is happening! So we’re going to crowdsource. Read on to see what’s left and help us decide which frogs are just going to have to hop away unkissed.

Here are the January to June books languishing unreviewed*. We ask you, friends:

What should we skip? (We’re still reading, so time spent not covering one book is time spent reading something else.)

What is still missing?

What can be discussed in the comments here and doesn’t need a post of its own?

All the Rage
Black Dove, White Raven
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler
The Bunker Diary
Cuckoo Song

The Dead I Know
Fell of Dark

A Game of Love & Death
Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go
Kissing in America
The Last Leaves Falling
A List of Things That Didn’t Kill Me
Ms. Marvel: Generation Why
Roller Girl
Shadow Scale
Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
There Will Be Lies
Tommy: The Gun that Changed America
The Truth Commission
We Should Hang Out Sometime
When My Heart Was Wicked

(Note that we have our hearts set on a few of these as serious contenders, so we reserve the right to kiss and tell after all.)

*Did you notice some glaring omissions? Don’t worry, we’ve got plans for X, Shadowshaper, Ghosts of Heaven, and Bone Gap.)

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. Please do cover! : The Boys Who Challenged Hitler; Cuckoo Song; The Dead I Know

    I don’t think they need a post: Stonewall; There Will Be Lies. (I actually kind of hope you post about TWBL because I’m hoping for an amazing comments section of yelling and controversy. But I would be very surprised if it were a serious Printz contender. Then again, I thought the real committee was wrong about In Darkness…)

    So far, of the books I’ve read, Cuckoo Song is my favorite or second-favorite for the Printz.

    Or perhaps you could do a World War II omnibus post with The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and Symphony for the City of the Dead, which is my other favorite for the Printz?

  2. Shelley Diaz says:

    Maybe you can do a roundup of graphic novels? Ms. Marvel: Generation Why
    Roller Girl

    Or a roundup of titles on the younger end of Printz eligibility? Hired Girl, Cuckoo Song, Roller Girl, Rebecca Stead’s book, Gary Schmidt’s book?

    • Shelley Diaz says:

      Oh, and Fell of Dark and The Bunker Diary would pair well–both super dark and grim.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      We already thought about the younger end roundup! But Cuckoo Song totes doesn’t belong in that list ;).

      • I’m guessing Cuckoo Song would be in there because of the age of Triss/Trista (she’s 13, if I’m remembering correctly). Regardless, it’s definitely a title I’d love to see covered – what a weird, beautiful book.

    • Even though I passionately love it, I’m thinking Roller Girl can be discussed in comments, mainly because it feels on the young end (it’s very much in the vein of Raina Telgemeier rather than the Tamakis, so right on the cusp of adolescence but much more in the vein of the Newbery, at least based on previous trends). I’d LOVE to see Nimona and any of the Ms. Marvels discussed, but they again seem like less likely choices for the RealCommittee (and that’s again based on the RC’s track record rather than eligibility or quality), so it’d be understandable if they didn’t get whole individual blog posts to themselves, as much as they deserve it.

    • With *6 Stars* I definitely think we need to discuss Goodbye Stranger. I would like to see a younger end compilation along with Orbiting Jupiter and The Hired Girl.

  3. From what I’ve read on that list, I would leave off Kissing in America and The Truth Commission. I enjoyed both, but don’t think they’re strong enough for a real shot at the Printz. Ms. Marvel, Roller Girl and Nimona could all go together in a post on graphic novels.

  4. I think Ms. Marvel v. 3: Crushed is stronger than v. 2: Generation Why, but I’m happy to have that fight in these here comments.

    I’d love a post on Black Dove, White Raven since the discussion of Elizabeth Wein’s books has been rich here in the past.

    But the time crunch is real–one of the issues I have with the Jan 8 start for Midwinter this year is that it gives December books almost ZERO time to be inspected in final copy, even if galleys were available for initial reads.

  5. I don’t think Roller Girl requires a post, honestly– despite how much I loved it, I don’t know that it’s got Printz potential. I also think Shadow Scale was (personally) uneven, so…

  6. Let’s discuss: Symphony for the Dead City (best Nonfiction of the year hand down); Black Dove White Raven; The Last Leaves Falling; Cuckoo Song.

    Let’s Not Discuss: DIME; The Dead I Know; Bunker Diary; Kissing in America.

    Up-in-the-air: Truth Commission (I personally like it and think it is unique enough to merit at least a peek); The Boys Who Challenged Hitler; The Game of Love and Death; Nimona; Roller Girl.
    And what about Drowned City by Brown?

  7. Karyn Silverman says:

    Well, Nimona made the NBA shortlist, so that makes one decision!

  8. I would say Shadow Scale is too much of a sequel to need a full discussion. I loved it but I’m just not sure it stands on its own without reading Seraphina.

    I’d love to see coverage of Black Dove, White Raven which is one of my favorites from this year and The Truth Commission which is one of the books that I think has real potential to take an honor this year.

  9. Omission? A.S. King’s, I Crawl Through It. Though I haven’t read it yet it seem worth a look given her prior work.

    Interesting to note that each of the last five years King has had a book with at least 3 stared reviews.
    2015: I Crawl Through It, 4 stars
    2014: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, 6 stars
    2013: Reality Boy, 3 stars
    2012: Ask the Passengers, 6 stars
    2011: Everybody Sees the Ants, 5 stars
    2010: Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Printz honor

    Quite a run. You’d think it would lead to more recognition but, for whatever reason, all the books were published in October until this year, September 22th.

    • I highly suspect they’ll be looking at I Crawl Through It, but this post is looking at the books published between January and June that haven’t been covered yet and, as you noted, King’s is a September pub.

      Sometimes with the consistently highly decorated, but not awarded authors (for many awards, not just the Printz), I wonder if their recognition suffers as they go on because their style has been seen before. I know around the table you can’t directly compare to books from previous years, but I cannot imagine a way to turn your previous reading experiences completely off in your brain. Also, I think it’s very hard to NOT be impressed by well executed new styles/ideas/formats or authorial voices when reading for any purpose, and by design, committee members are very experienced in reading and evaluating literature so must be familiar with what’s been done making new things even more exciting. And of course everything depends on the field for the year and the sensibilities of that year’s committee! Each of King’s books was competing against a completely different slate and every committee is different.

      Also, if you read back aways you’ll see Beth Fama’s statistical analysis of how the stars vs. the Printz shake out and there’s not a very strong correlation. Which is sort of natural when you think about how different the criteria and process for determining stars across each of those journals is and how different again that is from the Printz criteria and process.

      Fun and interesting to see the history of King’s stars though! Thanks for putting that together! Might be interesting to look at that for several Printz authors – how does John Green’s history compare for example?

      • Karyn Silverman says:

        Just jumping in to confirm yes, we have I Crawl Through it on our list. We aren’t dealing with the back half of the year yet!

  10. I’ve been quiet this year (I am reading all of the posts!) but I absolutely hope you discuss ALL THE RAGE. I feel like Summers has been overlooked for so long as a writer — not just topically but in her prose — and I think ATR is that first book which really is launching her on the radar of being able to tackle a complex topic with outstanding writing. There’s a lot of meat here worth biting into.

    I disagree with the commenter above about THE TRUTH COMMISSION: it’s incredibly smart and savvy and heart-felt and well-written. I think, like Summers, Juby is not talked about on the level she should. This book, though, got a pile of starred reviews for a reason.

  11. Much as I love the book and it’s predecessor, I think you’re safe skipping Shadow Scale. It’s a great sequel with unexpected plot twists & turns. I hope she writes more books about Seraphina, however, it doesn’t stand out to me in the way that other Printz books have. Read it because you loved the first one, but it doesn’t stand alone as a story without the first. Good luck to you all.

  12. Rebecca Love says:

    I just finished Bunker Diary and loved it- provocative and sobering. Please don’t skip this one.

  13. Karyn Silverman says:

    Wow, not a lot of consensus but so much to consider! Here’s what is shaking out:

    We will skip Shadow Scale (I loved it, but also think it’s so firmly a sequel that it’s literary excellence is tied to another, not eligible, title, so it’s not really a contender).
    Roller Girl we’ll save for a group post on the titles that probably hew closer to Newbery territory, which we’d already planned on doing.
    And two people pulled for Bunker Diary, so we’ll do our very best to get to that (I don’t think any of us have read it yet.)
    That’s it for consensus!

    Dime, The Dead I Know, All the Rage, The Truth Commission and Cuckoo Song I’ve already read; I probably need to reread Dead, AtR, and and Truth Commission, or at least reskim them, before being coherent, so I might jump forward to August-September pubs (we’re trying not to post reviews things books have been out for a few weeks, at least until the December crunch) and then come back to them. (Of the five, Cuckoo Song I think has the most potential, but it’s also such a me book that I am probably biased…)

    I’m actually most curious about the books no one mentioned at all: Conviction; Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go; Infandous; A List of Things that Didn’t Kill Me; Tommy; and We Should Hang out Sometime. Has anyone read any of these? Thoughts?

  14. Strictly on my own reading, I’d love to see someone cover both Conviction and Infandous, even though I suspect one of these won’t make the cut while the other has a chance — I could see them both being discussed. The same goes for The Truth Commission.

    A List of Things That Didn’t Kill Me and We Should Hang Out Sometime are both good but not great memoirs; I incline to the first having more potential, but neither of them being unmissable candidates.

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