February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ’s Printz Blog Has Returned

Frog Prince sitting on pile of books

Photo courtesy of Thinkstockphotos.com

Once upon a time, a new blog discussing possible contenders for the annual Michael L. Printz Award for exemplary teen titles was born on SLJ.com. Now in its second year, Someday My Printz Will Come is back and ready to take on the challenge of speculating which literary gem will wear this year’s crown.

Bloggers and former Printz committee members Karyn Silverman, high school librarian and educational technology department chair at LREI, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, and Sarah Couri, director of library and information systems at Grace Church High School, both in New York City, return to analyze books published in 2012 and written specifically for a teen audience that might be considered the best in “literary merit.”

Bestowed annually by the American Library Association (ALA), the Printz Award differs from the more well-known Newbery Medal because it can go to a title that wasn’t originally published in the U.S. That and other aspects of the criteria and eligibility governing the Printz are expected to be the subject of debate on the blog.

While “Someday” started last year with a list of 35 possible contenders, combed from starred journal reviews and highly touted releases, this time Couri and Silverman will consider 60 books, and they foresee a rich and contentious conversation ahead. “We’re looking forward to being challenged and pushed, and hoping to run some guest or rebuttal posts as well,” says Silverman.

Debuting later this year is Someday’s Mock Printz component, called the Pyrite Printz, in which readers will get the chance to parallel the work of the actual committee, reading all of the shortlist titles and considering them against one another, followed by a vote to determine the winner. Silverman will run a Mock Printz in her own school, sharing her best practices and results along the way.

These teen lit mavens are up to the task before them and are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Couri states, “Our discussions last year were so passionate and really had me thinking. I can’t wait to get going!” Silverman agrees. “It forced me outside my own comfort zone, which makes me a better librarian, and often leads me to wonderful books I might have never read otherwise,” she says.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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