December 3, 2016

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Mirrors and Manson: Another Morris Roundup

There are some fun parallels between the two novels we’re discussing today. Both are debut novels from Ivy-league educated women with impressive resumes in other careers. Both books came out in June and have narrators who are teenage girls struggling to find their place in the world. They are also both strong contenders for the […]

What would you bring to the nominating table?

Thanksgiving is so close, I can almost smell the turkey and mashed potatoes (or maybe I shouldn’t write when I’m hungry?). Of course, Thursday isn’t only about eating your weight in [insert your favorite Thanksgiving dish here]. We express our gratitude for all of the things that makes our lives meaningful. Here at Someday, we are so […]

Checking in with the mothership – SLJ’s Best of 2016

With only six weeks left in 2016—an almost universally recognized dumpster fire of a year—the best of lists will release in a steady stream. We take the lists seriously because they can help us identify books that are beginning to have a strong consensus opinion, as well as books that may become a dark horse. […]

Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing, Matthew Quick Little, Brown, May 2016 Reviewed from ARC Authenticity feels different to every reader. We all do our best to base our judgement against our personal experiences and knowledge, while acknowledging that there’s a whole lot we don’t know. When I think about the emotional accuracy of a novel, I’m usually […]

Highly Illogical Behavior

Highly Illogical Behavior, John Corey Whaley Dial Books, May 2016 Reviewed from ARC Humans expect a lot from each other. We like to think that we’re autonomous beings, when in reality, our choices are frequently motivated and influenced by others. In John Corey Whaley’s latest novel, he once again explores the interplay between a teen […]

Draw the Line

Draw the Line, Laurent Linn Margaret K. McElderry Books, May 2016 Reviewed from ARC Some books remind me that there is much I don’t know about the world. I’ve been very lucky that my personal life has never been touched by a violent hate crime. In Laurent Linn’s Draw the Line, Adrian Piper is a gay […]

Essential Maps for the Lost

Essential Maps for the Lost, Deb Caletti Simon Pulse, April 2016 Reviewed from ARC Girl meets boy. Boy loves girl. Well actually, girl finds the boy’s dead mother in a lake first. This isn’t your typical love story with a slice of grief. Deb Caletti hits all the targets for a melancholy teen romance without […]

When previously awarded writers tell other tales

When we start to compile our list of books to cover, authors who have a previous Printz win or honor are automatically added to the list. We also give serious consideration to writers with wins or honors from other important ALA Youth Media Awards. Of course, the logic is that a previous winner has a […]

Graphic Novel Siblings: Delilah Dirk and The Nameless City

The two books we’re talking about this morning might as well be graphic novel siblings. They share a lot of details in common: both are published by First Second, Canadian authors, 3 stars, action-hero female protagonists, male protagonists who drive themselves to exhaustion trying to keep up, and both are part of a larger serialized story. Even the […]

The Memory of Light

The Memory of Light, Francisco X. Stork Arthur A. Levine Books, January 2016 Reviewed from ARC How can I assess The Memory of Light in the context of the Printz Award? In some ways, it’s too real, too honest, and too close-to-home. It’s also surprisingly uninteresting and predictable. I struggled with these contradictory reactions throughout […]

We Are the Ants

We Are the Ants, Shaun David Hutchinson Simon Pulse, January 2016 Reviewed from final copy Have aliens been abducting Henry Denton since he was thirteen? Or has he been suffering from mental illness? Some days I believe the former; other days, the latter. But does it really matter? Probably not. We Are the Ants is […]

Checking in

It’s the halfway point of the season, and we’re done sowing our wild oats reading non-2016 and/or non-YA books. We thought maybe if we showed you ours, you’d show us yours? So here’s where we are with our reading. What have you been reading? (And if you went to ALA, we were #ALAleftbehind, so we need […]

What To Read Next: 2017 Award Edition

The season is done, the award has been given, we’ve all gasped and mourned (only two honors!) and celebrated, and finally it’s time to look forward to the 2017 YMAs. A final thank you to the RealCommittee, whose hard work has given us three excellent choices to talk about and discuss for years to come. […]

Pyrite: Fun with numbers!

I have to say, running the Pyrite this early in the new year is weird. That being said, many of you took a few moments during the last days of 2015 to vote for the books you think deserve a (fake) honor. As we’ve seen in the past, there’s not a lot of surprise in this […]

Honor Girl

Honor Girl, Maggie Thrash Candlewick Press, September 2015 Reviewed from final copy I was distracted while reading Honor Girl. The first two chapters orient the reader in the early days of the new millennium; there’s a list of celebrity crushes including Leonardo DiCaprio, Usher, and Justin Timberlake, our narrator is reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of […]

The Weight of Feathers

The Weight of Feathers, Anna-Marie McLemore Thomas Dunne Books, September 2015 Reviewed from ebook In previous years, I’ve been much more familiar with the Morris Award nominees, but Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers is the only book of this year’s nominees that I’ve read. Truthfully, if I don’t get around to the others I […]

Symphony for the City of the Dead

Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson Candlewick Press, September 2015 Reviewed from ARC One of my favorite books last year was Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia. Despite having a ton of critical praise for its tight, thrilling narrative and thoughtful approach to complex history, it […]

A Song for Ella Grey

A Song for Ella Grey, David Almond Delacorte Press, October 2015 Reviewed from ARC Here’s a novel that is exactly what its title indicates it will be: a song for Ella Grey. David Almond’s lyrical novel—his third (!) to come out this year—is about the desperate first love of one’s youth that can inspire for […]

All American Boys

All American Boys, Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely Atheneum Books for Young Readers, September 2015 Reviewed from final copy My high school students will find that this novel hits very close to home. As residents of New York City, many of them joined and organized protests when grand juries decided not to indict the police […]

Roundup: Countries in conflict

Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein Disney-Hyperion, March 2015 Reviewed from final copy Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go, Laura Rose Wagner Amulet Books, January 2015 Reviewed from final e-book It’s a midweek roundup of books with commas in their titles. Okay, these two books are also about countries in the midst of crisis. Black Dove, White Raven is set […]