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How ‘Bout that NBA Longlist?

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

So the NBA longlist came out the other day, and it is full of goodness. 80% YA! YA that skews up, even. And lots of #ownvoices. Basically, made of win, and made of adding books to our pile, because I confess that What Girls Are Made of was not on my radar.

Oh yeah, also — Someday is back, ready for another season of wild Printz speculation and opinionated chatter about YA literature, and we’re so happy you’re here with us. We’ll start our usual reviews on Monday, but in the meantime we’d love to know: what are you pulling for this year?

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. My top 5 (but I still have a lot of reading to do)
    1. We Are Okay – Nina LaCour
    2. Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team – Steve Sheinkin
    3. Honestly Ben – Bill Konigsberg
    4. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
    5. Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Did you read the piece on AICL about Undefeated? ( It raised some pretty big issues.

      I thought Honestly Ben was… ok, but I didn’t love it. But I never read The Porcupine of Truth.

      • Honestly Ben is more of a companion to Openly Straight rather than The Porcupine of Truth.

      • Tenisha McCloud says:

        So yeah, Undefeated and the AICL review of it. At this point I’m a pretty firm believer that if Steve Sheinkin of all folks can’t get it right when it comes to Native American content, then literature about, and novels including Native Americans really gotta be reserved for #ownvoices. There are just too many pitfalls for non-Native authors. Let American Indians tell their own stories.

        • Karyn Silverman says:

          The thing I keep realizing with Native American stories is how deeply the false narratives have penetrated. I don’t even realize that there’s something to catch — with other narratives that aren’t mine (Jewish, white, cis-female, heterosexual), I can’t always articulate what’s wrong and I sometimes miss subtly problematic things, but I don’t feel oblivious. Yet with Native American depictions over and over I miss the issues because I’m so acculturated to them; I suspect even with the most thoughtful authors, this is the underlying issue that makes it impossible to get it right (or even inoffensive). I’m glad we have a source like AICL to prompt better reading and better writing, but the conversation is so overdue and the shift too slow.

  2. I just finished You Bring the Distant Near and would love to talk about it. I also really appreciated Dress Codes for Small Towns.

  3. Eric Carpenter says:

    I feel like I read a lot of good YA this year and my favorites have been
    Jane, Unlimited (the more I think about this one the more I love it. In a year of essential and timely books, Cashmore’s is the least essential and possibly the most fun)
    Long Way Down
    The 57 Bus
    Dear Martin (my Morris pick)
    The Hate U Give
    Vincent and Theo

  4. A Face Like Glass

    I’ve wanted an award for it for years.

  5. Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer and Elizabeth Wein’s The Pearl Thief (in addition to some already mentioned above). Also really enjoyed Megan Whalen Turner’s Thick as Thieves.

    • I really liked Thick as Thieves. It is a quick, action-packed read. For readers who hate that most YA evolves into some romance scene will be pleased with this book since it doesn’t have any love scenes.

  6. The Hate You Give by Angie
    Want by Cindy Pon should not be overlooked
    We Are Okay

  7. Karyn Silverman says:

    Ag! So many books not on my list. Also many on our list, thankfully.

  8. 1. The Hate U Give
    2. The Pearl Thief…I just finished this and it is SO good. Wein is in top form.
    3. An Uninterrupted View of the Sky
    4. Vincent and Theo
    5. Allegedly
    6. Midnight at the Electric

    Has anyone read Borne by VanderMeer? It just came onto my radar today. Sounds quirky.


    My somewhat-shameful haven’t-read-it-yet is The Hate U Give, which I know I need to fix posthaste. Also Vincent and Theo.

    In fact, the only NBA longlisted book I’ve read is All the Wind in the World, which I… did not love. I liked it, certainly, but didn’t love. I especially felt that the end felt flat, but I’ll wait for a review to spoil it.

    I’m also a bit of a dissenter on The Pearl Thief, despite my overwhelming love for Verity (or, perhaps, because of it; it paled in comparison). In particular, I had concerns about its handling of sexual assault. Again, more on that later.

    I think I could be persuaded about Jane, Unlimited, though I found it more appealing as an intellectual exercise than a reading experience.

    On the other hand, Strange the Dreamer yes yes yesssssss. Also A Face Like Glass, though it feels much more middle grade to me. Also I read it about 5 years ago, when it came out in the UK, and haven’t re-read it since

    And on the urgent to-read list:
    All the Crooked Saints

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      As usual, Mimi, we are mostly aligned in what we’ve been reading — I think all of those will be reviewed by me! Hopefully I can lead you to see the light about J,U, which I think is brilliant and was also some of the most fun I’ve had reading in years, although it’s not without it’s flaws. But I love it.

      I’m really excited to talk about All the Crooked Saints, although not for a few weeks yet, so get reading!

  10. All The Crooked Saints
    Genuine Fraud- Probably a long shot. Printz is tuff on Lockhart.
    Strange the Dreamer- Once again a long shot but I loved this book.
    Midnight at the Electric- Really excited about this one
    The Hate U Give- I personally thought this was just okay but everyone is losing it over this book so it will probably win.

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