January 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pyrite Time Is Here Again!

Yes, you read that right: It’s Pyrite time! In case this is your first rodeo: The Pyrite is Someday’s Mock Printz. Instead of gold, we award fool’s gold — because mock/fool, right? (Puns may be the lowest form of humor to some, but I never met one I didn’t like.) We have no affiliation with […]

The Book of Dust

This isn’t necessarily a big book in Printz speculation terms, but it’s a big book in the kidlit field; lots of excited librarians, lots of buzzing adults, lots of stars, lots of sales. Which means it’s the kind of book the RealCommittee is likely to look at, and it’s also the kind of book that […]

The Walters

The Walter Award has been announced, along with two honor books, and all three are books we’ve already talked about in terms of Printz contention —  although we only support one of them strongly. Of course, the Walter is a different award, with a different purpose, but the committee is looking for “outstanding books” so it’s fascinating to […]

More Previous Winners, with a Side of Uh-Oh

Two books today, both fantasy. All the Crooked Saints technically belonged in last week’s previous winners cluster, as Stiefvater received an honor for 2012’s The Scorpio Races, but it ran over the word count. And That Inevitable Victorian Thing seemed like a good book to pair with it; Johnston, like Stiefvater, loves to play with old stories in new forms, […]

Sleepers

2017 is done and there’s nothing else to be reviewed by the review outlets and everyone who isn’t on the artificial ALA timeline is looking at 2018 instead (ok, including me: I’m currently engrossed in the dark and mesmerizing The Hazel Wood, which name-checks like every book that made me, so you can imagine how […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

Long Way Down

There’s a weird kind of bookending happening this year; we opened with the biggest buzz for early 2017 books belonging to The Hate U Give and we’re closing 2017 with the biggest buzz for the end of the year going to Long Way Down, two books that look at violence in largely black, urban communities […]

We’re Making a List, Checking it Twice…

A list of lists, in fact! Because we’re almost halfway through December, which means that only Booklist’s year-end list is still to come. So today we’re checking in on Horn Book’s Fanfare and the Kirkus Best Teen Books list, which both dropped about two weeks ago, and as a bonus glancing at the NYT teen section AND […]

We’re Making a List, Checking it Twice…

A list of lists, in fact! Because we’re almost halfway through December, which means that only Booklist’s year-end list is still to come. So today we’re checking in on Horn Book’s Fanfare and the Kirkus Best Teen Books list, which both dropped about two weeks ago, and as a bonus glancing at the NYT teen section AND […]

We’re Making a List, Checking it Twice…

A list of lists, in fact! Because we’re almost halfway through December, which means that only Booklist’s year-end list is still to come. So today we’re checking in on Horn Book’s Fanfare and the Kirkus Best Teen Books list, which both dropped about two weeks ago, and as a bonus glancing at the NYT teen section AND […]

Fantasy You Don’t Want to Miss, a Two-fer

Let’s talk about heart books. Because today I want to call your attention to two books that are long shots at best, but which I loved them dearly as a reader. More than that, despite the flaws that I predict will ultimately sink them, these are strong books that deserve close attention. Both are contemporary fantasy, […]

Midnight

I’ve been dragging my feet with this one. I have plenty of excuses: the holiday weekend, my son’s (minor) surgery, major new unit coming up at school that I need to plan for. But those are just hot air; I have managed to write up books under far less ideal circumstances. Really it was that the posts […]

The Pearl Thief

I’ve been avoiding this review like the plague. I scrubbed my bathtub this afternoon in an attempt to not write this post, in fact, and I don’t know what my hang up is, really, except that this is not Code Name Verity but it is about Julie and so I have many feelings that have […]

Funny Girls

Today is going to be one of those ALL THE BOOKS posts, loosely linked by being by and about women and featuring humor. Which is a pretty loose thread, but let’s roll with it. As is often the case with these roundups, we don’t think any of these are books that are likely to go […]

Thick as Thieves

So, today’s post was scheduled to be about two new books in familiar worlds with thieves in them. But after rereading Thick as Thieves I decided to split them up — because really, both books (the other is Wein’s The Pearl Thief, of course) deserve full posts to themselves. Thick as Thieves delighted me when I […]

On the Day of the Dead when the Year too Dies (PW List)

I mean, not that Susan Cooper is really relevant here, but it’s almost Halloween and the first best of list for 2017 has dropped, and that says the year is ready to come to a close… Ok, so that first list, as always, is PW. Here’s the link to the complete list; jump below the […]

Strange the Dreamer

Do I start with why this is not going to win an award, or with why it should? Let’s start with the issues: it’s fantasy. It’s the start of a series. We’ve all heard this song before, and I don’t have faith that this is the book that will change the tune – but man, […]

Sleepers

Today I’m talking about two books that are impressive, powerful, skillfully crafted reads. Both have received some minor critical acclaim (1 star for Maresi, 2 for Fire Color One), and both are books no one is talking about or name-checking, which is a damn shame. More similarities: Both are imports and both are unexpectedly short, which […]