Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Mocking the Night Away

Prince Printzbery, in his berry delicious crown.

Prince Printzbery, in his berry delicious crown.

A little bit of Mock related housekeeping to start off the week…

We’re just shy of a month out from the Youth Media Awards, so the clock is ticking. We’re also still reading frantically, trying to get to everything anyone says we should have read (we’ll fail, at least a little, but we’re trying! And still growing the list. So comments, yadda yadda, add your ideas, etc.)

This past weekend, we hosted our fourth in-person mock event, except we changed it up a little and looked at YA and children’s lit together in what has been dubbed the Printzbery (see also our series of posts about crossover books), a new tradition that I think we’ll keep.

And it’s well past time to launch the Pyrite, in a slightly abbreviated version.

Read on for more info and to find our how we’re Pyriting this year.

As far as the Printzbery goes, one of our attendees is writing it up for SLJ, so I don’t want to spoil anything. I will tell you that we had a blast and putting the Newbery and Printz mock slates together definitely makes for some really interesting conversational shifts; we talked merit for each award, as per standard Mock practice, but we also looked at a few books from both lenses (nominators had to say whether they were presenting each book as a Newbery or Printz). We had four true YA titles (Symphony for the City of the Dead, The Walls Around Us, Bone Gap, and Challenger Deep), four crossover titles (The Hired Girl, My Seneca Village, Orbiting Jupiter, and Goodbye, Stranger) and four books that our early polling process had placed as Newbery only (The Marvels, George, Rollergirl, and The Thing About Jellyfish). We voted in the end for a Printz, a Newbery, and a Printzbery winner and recognized a different book for each of the three awards.

Printzbery Stray Thoughts:

  • Bone Gap dropped a bit in my estimation through the discussion, something I’ll explore more when I review it (probably with The Accident Season) for next week.
  • My Seneca Village appears to be the most difficult book to get a hold of this year and one stalwart attendee, who had driven from Connecticut to Queens to get his hands on a copy, rather succinctly said “it wasn’t worth it.”
  • Everyone wants a third book in the Russian History series that currently consists of The Family Romanov and Symphony for the City of the Dead (and so what if Anderson and Fleming didn’t know they were writing a series?).
  • Strawberries look good in crowns.

Now on to the more exciting piece of housekeeping, the 2016 Pyrite!

Time is short. Here’s how it’s going to work:

On Wednesday, the Pyrite will officially begin. We’ll put up a brief procedural post, and everyone can vote for three books, weighted, then and there (we’re skipping the nomination process entirely. Blame ALA and the early Midwinter date).

Everything we’ve covered and everything we haven’t covered is fair game, so now is the time to either comment on this post for a book we haven’t talked about OR go and rally the troops (or try to drive them away) in the comments on something we’ve already covered (hyperlinked table of contents below).

We’ll leave the voting open though the weekend, and post results on 12/23. If there’s a tie, we’ll go from there; if not, we’ll declare a winner and move on to honor voting.

After all that, we’d love to dissect the results with you all, and we’ll keep on keeping on with reviews throughout and beyond the Pyrite (we’ve currently got books scheduled out until January 6th).

Table of Contents for all our 2015 posts thus far*:
The Alex Crow, Andrew Smith
All American Boys, Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
All the Rage, Courtney Summers
Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace
Audacity, Melanie Crowder
Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein
The Boy in the Black Suit, Jason Reynolds
Boys Don’t Knit, T.S. Easton
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, Philip Hoose
The Bunker Diary, Kevin Brooks
Challenger Deep, Neal Schusterman
The Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge
The Dead I Know, Scott Gardner
Dime, E.R. Frank
Dumplin, Julie Murphy
The Emperor of Any Place, Tim Wynne-Jones
A Game of Love and Death, Martha Brockenbrough
Goodbye, Stranger, Rebecca Stead
The Hired Girl, Laura Ann Schlitz
Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go, Laura Rose Wagner
I Am Princess X, Cherie Priest
I Was Here, Gayle Forman
The Infinite In-Between, Carolyn Mackler
Illuminae, Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Juba!, Walter Dean Myers
Lair of Dreams, Libba Bray
The Last Leaves Falling, Sarah Benwell
A List of Things that Didn’t Kill Me, Jason Schmidt
The Marvels, Brian Selznick
More Happy than Not, Adam Silvera
Mosquitoland, David Arnold
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson
Orbiting Jupiter, Gary D. Schmidt
Paper Hearts, Meg Wiviott
Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier
Rollergirl, Victoria Jamieson
Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen
Scorpion Rules, Erin Bow
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older
Show and Prove, Sofia Quintero
A Song for Ella Gray, David Almond
Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson
Stonewall, Ann Bausam
A Thousand Nights, E.K. Johnston
The Tightrope Walkers, David Almond
The Truth Commission, Susan Juby
The Walls Around Us, Nova Ren Suma
We Should Hang Out Some Time, Josh Sundquist
X, Ilyash Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

*I’ll try to keep this updated as we review more more more books.

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. I’m going to lobby for Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

    He’s long overdue for some Printz love. Long, long, long overdue.

    • Karyn Silverman says

      Details, please! Because I adored the concept of this one but the execution left me a little eh.

      • Ha.

        Well. I probably have bias here, because I am an admitted Ness Fanboy, and haven’t read a YA outing for him that I didn’t love.

        I agree that the concept is great, but execution-wise, I think he really succeeds with the humor. The book reads like a delightfully literary romp, and maybe that’s why I like it so much. Ness’ previous work for teens has been somber and reflective, and TRoUJLH is far more rooted in the zeitgeist. That is, it’s tongue-in-cheek and topical, an amusing reflection of our times.

        Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any outright funny Printz books (the one that most people cite as funny, or at least “madcap”, Going Bovine, just didn’t work for me).

    • I loved THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE as well, and I haven’t read any other Patrick Ness. (Just a children’s/YA lit enthusiast here, not a librarian or teacher.) Teen Librarian Toolbox did a great job, I thought, talking about the strengths of this book:

  2. Anne Bennett says

    I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on BONE GAP after the Printzberry because it is still high on my list, but not the top.

    I few books I think we should really pause over that haven’t received the love I feel they are due:
    AUDACITY by Crowder. Usually books written in verse shouldn’t be. But this book just soars in this format. The poetry is so good. And the historical information is not so overwhelming with the poetic light touch. Loved it.

    THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN by Sedgwick. I wouldn’t say this book was my favorite of the year but it deserves more attention than it has received. The writing. OMG Sedgwick can write. And the interconnected stories which would drop off just when he had me in the palm of his hand.

    I CRAWL THROUGH IT by King. Stranger than an Andrew Smith book? Possibly. I think the uniqueness of the genre, surrealism, makes it worthy of some big time attention.

    THE UNLIKELY HEROES OF ROOM 13-B by Toten. Maybe not the strongest book of the year but my students LOVE IT. In terms of messaging about mental illness, this book is superb and very accurate. I’d like to hear what others think of it but no one is discussing it.

    I still think that there are three books which are tied for the lead to win a Printz: CHALLENGER DEEP; MOST DANGEROUS; and SYMPHONY FOR THE CITY OF THE DEAD…two nonfictions!!!!

Speak Your Mind