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December 20, 2014

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Althea and Oliver

Althea and Oliver

Althea and Oliver by Cristina Moracho Viking, October 2014 Reviewed from final copy This book really amazed me by being a story that is bigger and harder and rougher and rawer than I thought it would be. It’s been named for two year’s best lists, and garnered three starred reviews, so it’s not just me […]

Highly Anticipated Titles from Printz-Winning Authors | Fiction Grades 9 & Up

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Printz winners Nick Lake and Marcus Sedgwick are back. Lake spins a tale featuring the ultimate unreliable narrator, in There Will Be Lies, while Sedgwick weaves together plots spanning centuries in his latest.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Story of Owen

The Story of Owen

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston Published by Carolrhoda Lab, March 2014 Reviewed from final copy You know we’re not going to get out of here without a Trogdor reference, right? I mean, that’s not in any way the point or even relevant, but it’s still burninating me up […]

Threatened

Threatened

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer Scholastic, February 2014 Reviewed from an ARC The art of reading for Printz is an interesting one; the pile adds and drops titles throughout the course of the year. With two stars and some buzz, Threatened was a back-and-forther for me — sometimes in the pile, sometimes to the side, sometimes […]

The Hit

The Hit

The Hit by Melvin Burgess Scholastic, February 2014 Reviewed from an ARC Melvin Burgess, Melvin Burgess, Melvin Burgess! So much love for Melvin Burgess, who can do dark and devious and subversive. The Hit has two starred reviews, an action-filled plot, unexpected twists, and a killer idea: a drug that will kill you after giving […]

Afterworlds

afterworlds

Three stars! Two plots for the price of one! Paranormal romance WITH commentary on the paranormal romance genre! A book for book lovers! Publishing trivia sprinkled throughout! Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is a door stopper of a book with a lot to say — about the intricacies of publishing, the craft of writing, the art […]

Through the Woods

Through the Woods

Through the Woods, Emily Carroll McElderry Books, July 2014 Reviewed from final copy Just yesterday, we had our annual visit from an NYPL teen librarian to get students public library cards and do a bunch of booktalks. The book that got the strongest reaction? Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods. Both classes had teens verbally enjoying […]

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Nostalgia and the Printz process don’t really go hand-in-hand. But those old school feelings really can color reading experiences. We have to do a lot of work to recognize them and move past them in order to assess a book more objectively. The first time you read someone, you might have been a young, impressionable […]

A Creature of Moonlight

A Creature of Moonlight

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2014 Reviewed from ARC This is a book that, I’m pretty sure, was written just for me. I love fantasy, I love courtly politics, I love dragons and willful ladies. Somehow, though, even though my review is due, I have to confess that I’m […]

Children of the King

Children of the King

Children of the King, Sonya Hartmett Candlewick, March 2014 Reviewed from ARC Luxuriant prose, complicated and resonant themes, contemplative characters — Hartnett’s historical fiction is actually a bit of a genre-blender with thin fantasy elements woven in. Traditionally, the Printz committee rewards books that mix genres — but RealCommittee choices also tend to skew older, […]

I Remember Beirut

I Remember Beirut

I Remember Beirut, Zeina Abirached Graphic Universe, August 2014 Reviewed from final copy I’m struggling to remain even semi-impartial here. This is a book that I loved reading. But when I put it on the list, I was pretty sure I was doing it because of personal reasons, not so much because I was ready […]

Laughter, Tears, and Gratitude at ALA Youth Media Awards Ceremonies | ALA 2014

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At the Printz Award Ceremony and the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet, the authors’ acceptance speeches ranged from moving to side-splitting, and the enthralled audience was dressed to the nines.

Review: Maggot Moon

Review: Maggot Moon

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. Candlewick Press. 2013. Reviewed from ARC. Printz Honor Book. The Plot: Standish Treadwell, fifteen, is dyslexic. He has different colored eyes, one blue, one brown. He lives with his grandfather; his parents are gone. He had one friend, Hector, and Hector is also gone. Standish’s world is one of fear and […]

JLG Selections Score Big at ALA Youth Media Awards

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Junior Library Guild has called it: of the Youth Media Award winner and honor books, 35 were JLG selections.

DiCamillo, Floca Win Newbery, Caldecott Medals

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Elated shouts and cheers followed the announcements of each winner of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards for books published 2013, presented on January 27. Kate DiCamillo and Brian Floca took the top prizes—the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

Join SLJ’s Youth Media Awards Pre-Game—and Post-Game—Show

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You’ve been preparing all year for this moment: The announcement of the American Library Association Youth Media Awards. Grab some coffee and join the fun by tuning into SLJ’s first-ever pre-game show (#sljpregame), streamed live via Google Hangout at 7:30 a.m. EST on January 27.

It’s such an honor

It’s such an honor

Heading into the honor vote, we knew a few things: Eleanor & Park and Winger were in strong positions to do well based on where they finished behind Boxers & Saints. Although E&P ended up 26 points behind Boxers & Saints (and Winger was 36 points behind), there was only a 24 point margin between E&P, Winger, The Summer […]

Rose Under Fire

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Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein Disney Hyperion, September 2013 Reviewed from an ARC Last year, we had a lot of great conversation about Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity, which ended up with a silver medal. This year, we have its companion title, Rose Under Fire. With two starred reviews, will this title go the […]

The Lucy Variations

The Lucy Variations, Sara Zarr Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, May 2013 Reviewed from ARC If you stop doing the thing that defined you and made you special for most of your life, who are you and can you ever move on? The Lucy Variations is a meditation on the classic young adult themes of […]

Review: Aristotle and Dante

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Simon & Schuster BFYR. 2012. Copy from library. Printz Honor Book. The Plot: Summer, 1987. Angel Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is fifteen, and it’s the start of another lonely, hot summer in El Paso. Bored, he goes to the local swimming even though […]