Thursday, January 24, 2013

Printz Award Hopefuls

Posted this to my library's Facebook page.  What do you think of my choices?

This coming Monday is the most exciting day in the life of a Youth Services librarian. It's the day they announce the American Library Association Youth Media Awards!!!! We wait all year to find out what will be added to the cannon of Printz, Newbery, and Caldecott books. These awards recognize the greatest of the great novels for children and teens.
Check out JCPL's Facebook page closer to the announcement date for a way to watch the awards live, but, for now, here are 10 YA books to watch out for come announcement morning:
  1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. If there is any 2012 YA book more respected than this one, I don't know what it could be. With a multitude of starred reviews, this World War II historical fiction novel is well-known around JCPL to be the absolute favorite of our Teen Coordinator (ME!) Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Hands down the most popular book published for Young Adults this year. Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Oprah all named it one of the best books of 2012. John Green has won the Printz Award once and has won a Printz honor once so it's never wise to count him out. I can almost guarantee this tale of teens dealing with cancer will make you cry. Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. A debut novel about dragons and the girl who embraces them. Part mystery, part adventure, all fantasy, this book is great fun to read but has serious literary chops too. Seraphina is already on the ALA Morris Award shortlist for outstanding debut, but it could easily wind up with a shiny Printz sticker on its cover as well. Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  4. The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan. NOBODY can beat Lanagan when it comes to beautiful sentence level writing and this novel is no exception. She already has two Printz honors under her belt, maybe 2012 is the year she takes home the gold? This retelling of the selkie myth is fascinating, ethereal, and a little bit tragic. As I love saying, it's so deep you could drown in it. Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  5. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalup. Bacigalup has already won the Printz Award a few years back for his masterful Ship Breaker. This dystopian novel is longer, darker, and even more intense. Will that hurt or help him with the 2012 committee? Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  6. The Diviners by Libba Bray. Bray is another former winner. One of the most versatile writers in all of YA literature, this huge tome is historical fiction filled with the supernatural. Nobody doubts Bray's talent, but could her chances be hurt by the fact that this is the first book in a series, and therefore a bit unfinished when it comes to themes and plot? We won't know til Monday! Link to this book in JCPL online:
  7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Another author who might suffer from series syndrome is Maggie Stiefvater. Stiefvater took home an honor last year for The Scorpio Races (flesh eating water horses FTW!) and some are saying this book is even better. It's certainly more approachable, but many people are saying this one doesn't stand on its own and needs the future books in the series to feel complete. Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  8. Every Day by David Levithan. Is Levithan the most beloved YA author to NEVER get any recognition from a Printz committee? Maybe, or maybe not, but he certainly stands a chance with his newest novel. Definitely high concept, about a person named "A" who wakes up in a different persons body every day, Levithan still has the skills to back up this fascinating plot. Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  9. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King. King won an honor a few years ago for Please Ignore Vera Dietz. This novel is getting even more buzz. A brilliantly written realistic fiction story, people are arguing if King's brief characterization is a strength or weakness. Regardless where you fall on that subject, it's hard to argue that this novel doesn't rise above most other 2012 books when it comes to plot and thematic depth. Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
  10. Bomb: the race to build and steal the world's most dangerous weapon by Steve Sheinkin. All of the ALA awards are notoriously stingy about giving recognition to great works of non-fiction, but it does happen from time to time. This is easily one of the best works of non-fiction to come out of 2012. As suspenseful as any crime novel, this book has already been named as a finalist in the Young Adult Library and Services Association's list of Oustanding Non-fiction for Young Adults. Could a Printz be next? Link to this book in JCPL online catalog:
The Printz Award is famously (and delightfully) idiosyncratic, so expect some surpises come announcement morning, but these are a few of the most buzzed about books published in the past year.

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