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October 30, 2014

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The Shadow Hero

The Shadow Hero

The Shadow Hero, story by Gene Luen Yang & art by Sonny Liew First Second, July 2014 Reviewed from final copy I don’t review graphic novels here that often, although I read most of them, because I always worry that I don’t know enough about art. But I know enough to know that this is [...]

Belzhar

Belzhar

Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer Dutton, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC There’s always some weird dance of anticipation and dread when an author you respect as an author for adult readers dips into the YA world. Happily, Meg Wolitzer is very clear eyed about YA and about why she writes YA — it’s not to jump on [...]

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling, Lucy Frank Schwartz & Wade, August 2014 Reviewed from final copy I’m old. This year, it has really come home to me that I have been doing this for a while, with the following exchanges: Me: Oooh, a new one from Cecil Castellucci! Joy: You mean the LA Review [...]

Poisoned Apples

Poisoned Apples

Poisoned Apples, Christine Heppermann Greenwillow, October 2014 Reviewed from ARC Gosh, it’s a good year for poetry, at least from a publishing perspective. And unlike Nelson’s gorgeous memoir that I will be hard pressed to sell to actual real live teen readers™, Poisoned Apples has appeal in spades. This was a later addition to our list, [...]

Kirkus Prize Finalists

Kirkus Prize Finalists

In case you missed the news when it was first announced, or the recent news of the finalists, Kirkus Reviews now offers a really excellent writing award — it’s monetary, to the tune of $50,000, which for many authors probably represents a lot more time to write. The nominee list — all the star reviews [...]

The Winner’s Curse

The Winner’s Curse

The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski Macmillan, March 2014 Reviewed from final copy Not gonna lie. I loved this book. I loved from the pretty dress cover — I know! But I’m a sucker — to the thoroughly unexpected world. I loved the lack of easy answers and the fact that there is more to come. [...]

Zac + Mia

Zac & Mia, A.J. Betts Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2014 Reviewed from final copy Remember when teens with terminal illnesses were the stuff of Lurlene McDaniels and also the Wakefield twins’ brother’s girlfriend? And not literary fodder. Oh for the days of yore. But the cancer book seems here to stay, and this one puts [...]

NBA Longlist

NBA Longlist

I know, I know, it’s already old news — but it would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the NBA longlist in Young People’s Literature. There are a few surprises, as always, a few “of course” books, and a side of “wait, really?” There’s also a slant towards a type of book. Social conscience [...]

How I Discovered Poetry

How I Discovered Poetry

How I Discovered Poetry, Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Hadley Hooper Dial Books, January 2014 Reviewed from final copy Marilyn Nelson, author of the 2006 Printz honor book A Wreath for Emmett Till, is responsible for what may be this year’s most unique contender, pairing two genres only occasionally spotted in the YA world — memoir [...]

We Were Liars

We were liars

We Were Liars, E. Lockhart Delacorte, May 2014 Reviewed from ARC For the first formal writeup of the season, I thought I’d tackle the first likely contender I read (I read this one in late 2013, so I was early). Also, I know lots of people are itching to talk about it. First, pedigree: this [...]

The (Very Long) List

The (Very Long) List

We’ve got a list. We’ve checked it twice. (I want to make a naughty or nice joke, but really, naughty books just don’t make it on Printz contender speculation lists.) We’ve considered buzz, that strange ephemeral thing that happens on Goodreads and Twitter, we’ve looked at stars (shoutouts, ever and always, to Jen and her [...]

What Is This Quality Thing, Anyway?

What Is This Quality Thing, Anyway?

What is a Printz-worthy book? How do we gauge merit? Is great literature a definable thing? There are so many questions and so few answers, but if we’re going to analyze all these books in light of the Printz award, it’s probably a good idea to think about what it is we’re hoping to see [...]

Welcome back!

Welcome Back

It’s September, which means we’re back! If you’re new here, this is the place to be for Printz speculation (we’re here and you’re here, so it must be). Admittedly, we’re usually wrong when it comes to predicting the winners, but that’s ok: the point is not to accurately predict but to speculate and discuss at [...]

Liveblogging the Awards

Liveblogging the Awards

(to the tune of Watching the Detectives) Finally up and running on our library big TV, just in time for the Schneider. Here goes! As usual, though, I won’t bother boring you with the long list of “didn’t read” for everything other than the YA stuff! Although this Dragonslayer book sounds delightful. ROSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (wins the [...]

Nickeled and Dimed: The Pyrite Printz Honor Vote

Nickeled and Dimed: The Pyrite Printz Honor Vote

Well, we’ve got our winner, so now we need our honor books. Procedure for honor books is almost, but not quite, the same as procedure for the winner. All nominated titles are eligible, whether of not they received any votes in the voting rounds to determine the winner. You may vote for up to four [...]

Whew! There’s A Winner At Last!

Whew! There’s A Winner At Last!

And I do mean at last — for the first half of the votes, Boxers & Saints and Eleanor & Park were running neck and neck. But the final surge pulled one ahead conclusively, so we can call it — and move on to honor votes, if anyone has time given that my Twitter feed [...]

May the Best Book Finally Win!

May the Best Book Finally Win!

Did you know that “It’s a Pyrite runoff” can TOTALLY be sung to the tune of “It’s the final countdown”? I know. We make your world better every day. Anyway, voting is open for the Pyrite, AGAIN. For 25 hours only (until 7 pm EST Thursday), so please vote fast! (Although if you’re going to [...]

More Morris, or Rachel Hartman on Charm & Strange

More Morris, or Rachel Hartman on Charm & Strange

A few days ago on Twitter, Rachel Hartman (yes, you know, that Rachel Hartman, who brought us last year’s best debut — and one of last year’s best books, period), Seraphina, asked if we were doing a Morris shortlist roundup this year. The answer, sadly, was not really, because our Morris readership hasn’t been thorough [...]

Voting Time

Voting Time!

Well, it’s time to vote for the Pyrite! So enter your votes — weighted, 1, 2, and 3 — below and have your say. Voting will be open until 1/22, with any runoff and honor book votes on 1/23, and then we’ll post the results on the eve of Midwinter, just in time to be [...]

Roundup: All the Books

Roundup: All the Books

Okay, not all the books, but three books for the price of one post: The Golden Day, Winger, and The Midnight Dress. (It was going to be four books, because I stayed up way too late reading More Than This the other night, but I think I need to sit on that for another day [...]