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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Nostalgia and the Printz process don’t really go hand-in-hand. But those old school feelings really can color reading experiences. We have to do a lot of work to recognize them and move past them in order to assess a book more objectively. The first time you read someone, you might have been a young, impressionable librarian (Karyn is not the only one dating herself this week, ahem). Or an author’s earlier work could have defined an entire field and, you know, won the very first Printz award. What I’m saying is your (OK, be honest: my) baggage might make it hard to realize that the particular book you’re holding isn’t what you’re expecting. But, as always in Printz discussion, it’s important to focus on the book in hand, not previous works.  [Read more…]

It’s All About Who You Know

An array of baggage for every reader. ("Prada Luggage" by Marcus Troy via Flickr user o5com, used under CC.)

Last week, I was lucky enough to host Paolo Bacigalupi at my school. He addressed a crowd of mostly high school students, and he, not to put too fine a point on it, rocked. He was kinetic and energetic, brought the audience right in, and had lots of interesting things to say.

And while I could devote a whole post to the awesomeness of the visit, what I really want to talk about is a very particular brand of baggage.

Last year, Sarah and I gave some thought to baggage, and ultimately concluded that it’s all ok because the committee ameliorates the idiocy of the individual.

(Have you noticed that this is an oft sung refrain? Committee work makes you really really believe in committees working, once you’ve experienced it working and seen how astounding it can be.)

We were looking at the baggage a reader carries, which is the obvious one. But there’s also the baggage that the author brings on board.

[Read more…]

What Are YOU Carrying?

Baggage Dept

CC-licensed image by Noel Zia Lee, via Flickr

Reading is an immensely personal experience. Except when it isn’t.

This conundrum is at the heart of reading for a committee, or list, or award. We talk about this a lot. Today, we will talk (in full paragraphs!) here, so that everyone knows what’s going on in our heads and can chime in.

Karyn: A (short) while back, in her review of Everybody Sees the Ants, Sarah talked about a wall she had hit (Lucky’s dad’s age) that caused a crack in her windshield (we’re gonna beat that metaphor to death by the time January rolls around, so consider yourself warned).

There is no such thing as an objective reader. It’s just not possible. We bring ourselves to the books we read. [Read more…]