July 20, 2017

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Looking Ahead to 2018

(Image thanks to Spell with Flickr) The YMA dust has settled (even if nothing else has, or seems likely to) and so we’re turning our attention to the bright spots of 2017: the books we can’t wait to get our hands on, with special attention for the ones that seem likely to be on the […]

In the room where the livestream happens

Whew! The MTA was etermined to thwart me this morning, but I made it in just before Julei Todaro took the stage, and I’ve got my livestream running. (I didn’t mind being #alaleftbehind until this morning, when I elt so frystrated that the world outside ALA doesn’t stop everything for the YMAs!) Sarah and Joy […]

Pyrite Honor Votes: Results and Decisions

We voted, and we have some results to share! (Insert boilerplate about how this will be the simple version of the results with analysis to follow when Joy finishes geeking out over the numbers.) But first, a reminder about honor vote procedures: Based on the results of this ballot, the committee will decide if it […]

Scythe

Sometimes the world really does save the best for last. Because people? Scythe is amazing. I keep thinking about it. I unabashedly loved reading it in that can’t put it down way, but I also absolutely love it as a contender. It jumped the queue right into my top 5, and as the second to […]

Pyrite: A Seriously Decisive Win!

Well, we revoted, and boy-howdy do we have a decisive margin this time! A few thoughts on the raw data: In the interest of time, I’m only going to share a few highlights here, but the deeper analysis is totally interesting and we wouldn’t want to deprive geeky like-minded souls, so later this week we’ll […]

Pyrite: Honor Voting!

Now that we have our winner, let’s see how we are feeling about an Honor Book lineup. From the P&P: Honor Books All nominated titles are eligible for honor book consideration. Following the selection of a winner, a straw vote is conducted. Any title receiving no votes is removed from consideration. A formal, weighted ballot […]

Still Life With Tornado

Oh, A.S. King! Every year, a new novel. Every year, a bold move to expand what we think of as a novel. I’m not sure if I’m a King fan, but I find myself drawn to her books year after year because I trust them to be engrossing reading experiences, even if I have an […]

The Pyrite Results Are In… We Get to Vote AGAIN!

30 of us voted, and the results definitely  indicate some clear trends, but by the Printz guidelines, we do NOT have a winner. From the RealPrintz Policies and Procedures: To win, a title must receive five first place votes and must also receive at least five more points than the second place title. If no […]

Last Licks

There are so many great books, and every year we’re reading until the 11th hour to get in as many as possible. This year, between last minute reads and beloved books that didn’t seem like true contenders but deserve a shout-out, we find ourselves down to the final days before the YMAs with quite a […]

MOAR Morris

While Morris-Printz crossover isn’t exactly common, it’s happened twice —  in 2012, when Where Things Come Back took the double gold; and again in 2015, with sleeper hit The Carnival at Bray taking double silver. This season, we pretty much flubbed our Morris coverage; the debuts we covered earlier in the season were largely not […]

Pyrite Time

It’s Pyrite time! Did you think we weren’t doing it this year? Nah, we just wanted to wait until we’d covered as much as possible of the year’s best. We’ll be doing out best to adhere to the RealPrintz voting procedures, as follows: Any officially nominated book is eligible; in our case, that means anything […]

These Books Have Nothing in Common

That is, these books have nothing in common except their matching star count. But time is short and the books with positive reviews are many, so here we are, lumping them together. Russo’s If I Was Your Girl was on our list from the very beginning of the year. It’s a love story with a […]

Tales from Mother Russia

We’re back from a few days of rest, travel, and so much family, with yet another double post — always, as the year draws to a close, the double posts, because the good books just keep piling up. Today’s books in many ways have nothing in common — one historical fiction, absolutely realistic despite some […]

The Rest of the Best

I’m a little late to the party, but more lists! More books to read! More surprises, and also more alignment around the standout YA titles of 2016! We’ve already covered PW and SLJ (AKA the Mothership); now let’s look at Kirkus and The Horn Book from the trade side and NPR’s Book Concierge and The […]

The Lie Tree

Oh, The Lie Tree. For so long — since January, in fact, when I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC — I’ve been holding this up as an exemplar of great writing. Along with The Passion of Dolssa this has consistently held top billing in my head. It’s brilliant and unconventional; the writing is excellent; the […]

Railhead

Railhead, Philip Reeve Switch Press, April 2016 Reviewed from ARC Philip Reeve is underappreciated in the US. The Mortal Engines quartet was brilliant science fiction — pacy, philosophical, and heart-breaking. And then it was gone, apparently out of print. The prequel trilogy starring the incomparable Fever Crumb also failed to get as much traction as it […]

The Thin Line

I’m going to cheat a little today, and deviate from our attempts to review in roughly calendar order. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about middle grade and YA and all ages and the fine line between the Newbery and the Printz. We’ve had books on all ends snag awards, yes, but […]

Magical Realism

Magical Realism is hot: It’s the label attached to last year’s Printz winner Bone Gap, and it’s been popping up all over the YA and MG scene for the past few years. This year, again, offers us a handful of books in the genre. I’ve read three so far that deserve to be in the […]

Morris and Turner Contendas

Hello! It’s roundup time, today focused on contendas for awards other than the Printz. One of these awards is a real actual award, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award; the other is imaginary but no less real in my heart. The Morris you all know about, of course, and we’ve been covering several debut/Morris […]

It Begins…

Today, we interrupt our usual 3 review posts per week schedule to do our first list look. Because yes, it’s November, and yes, we’re in the rapid dash to the end of the year, and yes, the Best of lists have begun with PW’s, which landed last week. With only one list to look at, […]