May 2020 Starred Reviews

Book award season is in full swing now! The Kirkus Finalists and the National Book Award Longlist have both been announced. The online Mock Award Community has also started picking up steam: SLJ’s Heavy Medal is back with posts providing in-depth analysis of possible Newbery contenders as is the Pondering Printz column. Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott announced their plan for this award year earlier in September.

And me? I’m still behind, but plugging away at trying to get caught up.

May 2020 stars tally:

  • 668 books published in 2020 have been awarded 1051 starred reviews and 4 books published in 2021 have been awarded 8 starred reviews as of the end of May.
  • 3 books with 6 starred reviews; 8 books with 5 starred reviews; 30 books with 4 starred reviews; 57 books with 3 starred reviews; 132 books with 2 starred reviews; 438 books with 1 starred review.
  • 14 books are entirely new to the list: all with three starred reviews.

Continue reading May 2020 Starred Reviews

April 2020 Starred Reviews

I’m back with the April stars list! If you click through to the spreadsheet, you’ll see that due to the pandemic messing with publication dates, we have some 2021 titles already.

We’ve also got another title with six starred reviews joining the Fleming books – The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead.

April 2020 stars tally:

  • 567 books published in 2020 have been awarded 892 starred reviews and 3 books published in 2021 have been awarded 4 starred reviews as of the end of April.
  • 3 books with 6 starred reviews; 5 books with 5 starred reviews; 26 books with 4 starred reviews; 50 books with 3 starred reviews; 112 books with 2 starred reviews; 371 books with 1 starred review.
  • 18 books are entirely new to the list: 2 with four starred reviews and 16 with three starred reviews.

Continue reading April 2020 Starred Reviews

March 2020 Starred Reviews

So. Obviously it’s been awhile, but it’s time to start catching up. Many thanks to those who have reached out to check and make sure I’m ok. I’m very lucky to be fine. But I struggle to focus when I’m not working and when almost my entire job has moved online it is difficult to convince myself to spend more time on my computer when I get home. What this means for this blog is that Newbery and Printz posts are going to have to wait until I can get caught up on the starred reviews spreadsheet.

Honeybee joins The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh with six starred reviews – it’s a good year to be Candace Fleming!

March 2020 stars tally:

  • 455 books published in 2020 have been awarded 714 starred reviews as of the end of March.
  • 2 books with 6 starred reviews; 6 books with 5 starred reviews; 14 books with 4 starred reviews; 44 books with 3 starred reviews; 95 books with 2 starred reviews; 294 books with 1 starred review.
  • 25 books are entirely new to the list: 2 with five starred reviews, 3 with four starred reviews and 20 with three starred reviews.

Continue reading March 2020 Starred Reviews

Printz Contender Update graphic

2021 Printz Possibilities through February Stars

Printz Update! For information about criteria please see the January Printz post or the official criteria straight from YALSA.

41 books published in 2020 have three starred reviews or more as of the end of February 2020 reviews. That’s 15 new titles to look at this month. 7 of those are picture books, poetry collections or novels with an audience that doesn’t fit the Printz age range. Adding that to last month’s 12 gives us 19 titles that aren’t mentioned here at all. Break down of those that are listed: 4 young adult novels, 3 young adult comics; 2 young adult non-fiction; 10 younger novel outliers and 3 other outliers.

Contenders are organized by format: Novels, Comics, Non-Fiction. There’s two outliers lists – one for younger novels and one for anything else (essay collections, short stories, younger comics, etc.). I’m still not including titles that end at age 12 for their review ranges (i.e ages 8-12 or Grades 3-6) unless I’ve heard Printz buzz about them.  Continue reading 2021 Printz Possibilities through February Stars

February 2020 Starred Reviews

With the Illinois stay at home order extended until April 30, I’ll be working from home for the rest of the month. Trying to adapt library services and programming to an entirely remote model is keeping me plenty busy and I am very grateful that I am able to stay home and remain employed. Keeping busy has helped my mental health so far and I’m struggling to focus on reading anything, so I’ll be continuing to update my spreadsheets and this blog in my off-work hours. I hope you are all able to find your own ways to cope with this changed world and wish you as much health and safety as possible.

Only 12 more stars for the 2019 list and they are all single stars. With the accumulation slowing down, I’ve cut the 2019 list from this post and going forward, but I am still including the 2019 tally for now. 15 new titles for the 2020 list though so lots to look for there although I know access is sparser than normal for most people.

February 2020 stars tally:

  • 1106 books published in 2019 have been awarded 1805 starred reviews as of the end of February.
  • 2019: 5 books have 6 starred reviews, 18 books have 5 starred reviews, 58 books have 4 starred reviews, 102 books have 3 starred reviews, 224 books have 2 starred reviews, 699 books have 1 starred review.
  • 336 books published in 2020 have been awarded 522 starred reviews as of the end of February.
  • 2020: 1 book with 6 starred reviews; 2 books with 5 starred reviews; 12 books with 4 starred reviews; 26 books with 3 starred reviews; 85 books with 2 starred reviews; 210 books with 1 starred review.

Continue reading February 2020 Starred Reviews

Newbery Contender Update graphic

2021 Newbery Possibilities through January Stars

The Newbery Award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children to

“the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year.” – Newbery Medal Terms and Criteria

Some additional parameters that the committee must consider:

  • Children are defined as being up to and including the age of 14.
  • Books must be published in the U.S. first; titles originally published elsewhere are not eligible.
  • The author must be a U.S. citizen or resident.

You can read the full criteria here.

I collate a list of titles that have three or more starred reviews (4 of the titles honored this January met this criteria – only Scary Stories for Young Foxes had fewer than 3 starred reviews) and break them down into these categories: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books, and Ineligibles. This year, to save some time, I’m not including the publication date here and just copying the citation from the January Starred Reviews post. You can, of course, still find the publication date on the Starred Reviews spreadsheet.

Standard disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Newbery committee and I have no knowledge of their official rulings on eligibility – I’m making my best guesses based on the terms and criteria and internet searches regarding citizenship/residency or content (wordless picture books or reprinted material). For a prime example of this – I wasn’t sure if The Undefeated would be eligible and clearly it was!

Heavy Medal, SLJ’s Mock Newbery blog, is soliciting mock field nominations monthly and you can check out their first list.

As of the end of January there were 26 titles with three or more starred reviews. I haven’t had a chance to review any of these yet, but I was able to grab copies of several before my library closed and am hoping to get to them over the next couple of weeks. Continue reading 2021 Newbery Possibilities through January Stars

Printz Contender Update graphic

2021 Printz Possibilities through January Stars

My library has closed to the public for a time to promote social distancing and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently staff will still be reporting for work in order to answer phones and email and fill holds via our drive-up window. Since I’m staying home as much as possible in my off-work time, I figured I might as well bring back some of my award winner posts – although I’m also hoping to spend some significant time reading and listening to books as well as catching up on some TV with my hubby. Obviously starred reviews and book awards will not be the topics at the top of many people’s minds right now and I encourage you all to do what you can to social distance yourselves and be safe and focus on whatever you need to and what helps, but I need to keep my mind occupied for my own mental health and for now this works for me.

Since this is my first Printz post looking at 2021 contenders, let’s take a brief look at the criteria:

The Michael L. Printz Award annually honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit, each year. – YALSA Website

Two additional eligibility notes:

  • Must be published between January 1 and December 31 by a United States publishing house. Works previously published in other countries are eligible the year they are published in the U.S.
  • Must have been designated by the publisher as a young adult book or within YALSA’s stated audience range of 12-18 years.

You can find the full policies and procedures here.

Each year’s honors and winners chip away at the concept of 3 starred reviews being the limit of what to look at, so while the main lists will still be covering titles with three starred reviews or more, I’m going to try highlighting other titles at the bottom of the lists occasionally as well.

26 books published in 2020 have three starred reviews or more as of the end of January 2020 reviews. 12 of those are picture books, poetry collections or novels with an audience that doesn’t fit the Printz age range so aren’t mentioned here at all. 3 are young adult novels, 3 are young adult comics; 2 are young adult non-fiction; 5 are younger novel outliers and 1 is an other outlier.

Contenders are organized by format: Novels, Comics, Non-Fiction. There’s two outliers lists – one for younger novels and one for anything else (essay collections, short stories, younger comics, etc.). I’m still not including titles that end at age 12 for their review ranges (i.e ages 8-12 or Grades 3-6) unless I’ve heard Printz buzz about them.  Continue reading 2021 Printz Possibilities through January Stars

January 2020 Starred Reviews

Just a couple changes to the 2019 list, but a lot of movement on the 2020 list including our first book with 6 starred reviews already!

January 2020 stars tally:

  • 1094 books published in 2019 have been awarded 1793 starred reviews as of the end of January.
  • 2019: 5 books have 6 starred reviews, 18 books have 5 starred reviews, 58 books have 4 starred reviews, 102 books have 3 starred reviews, 224 books have 2 starred reviews, 687 books have 1 starred review.
  • 245 books published in 2020 have been awarded 369 starred reviews as of the end of January.
  • 2020: 1 book with 6 starred reviews; 1 book with 5 starred reviews; 8 books with 4 starred reviews; 16 books with 3 starred reviews; 59 books with 2 starred reviews; 160 books with 1 starred review.

Continue reading January 2020 Starred Reviews

December 2019 Starred Reviews

Not a ton of movement with the December reviews, but I went ahead and kept the 2019 titles because there were a few additions to the three starred reviews.

December 2019 stars tally:

  • 1072 books published in 2019 have been awarded 1759 starred reviews as of the end of December.
  • 2019: 5 books have 6 starred reviews, 17 books have 5 starred reviews, 57 books have 4 starred reviews, 101 books have 3 starred reviews, 221 books have 2 starred reviews, 671 books have 1 starred review.
  • 162 books published in 2020 have been awarded 227 starred reviews as of the end of December.
  • 2020: No books with 6 starred reviews; no books with 5 starred reviews; 4 books with 4 starred reviews; 8 books with 3 starred reviews; 37 books with 2 starred reviews; 113 books with 1 starred review.

Continue reading December 2019 Starred Reviews

November 2019 Starred Reviews

Obviously I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus lately, but it was for a fun reason. This year, for the first time, I served on the reader panel for Illinois’ Lincoln Award – the reader’s choice award for grades 9-12. It was a fascinating process – the best part was hearing the teen reading panel voice their opinions on the titles up for consideration. The final list for 2021 should be released in late February or early March. Now that I’ve been through the process once, I’m super excited for next year. I already have plans on how to improve managing my reading and note taking while still keeping this blog going.

While I was gone, the ALA Awards were announced. Check out the complete list of winners here. Unfortunately, since I’m so far behind, I’m going to be focusing on catch up rather than analyzing the winners and how they compare with starred reviews and best book lists. Luckily Anne over at My Head is Full of Books has you covered on the starred reviews for the young adult titles at least!

I’m still including 2019 titles on this November post because there were several new additions. The December reviews post might switch over to just 2020 titles – we’ll see how much movement we get in 2019 titles once I’ve entered the December information.

November 2019 stars tally:

  • 1061 books published in 2019 have been awarded 1741 starred reviews as of the end of November.
  • 2019: 5 books have 6 starred reviews, 17 books have 5 starred reviews, 56 books have 4 starred reviews, 99 books have 3 starred reviews, 221 books have 2 starred reviews, 663 books have 1 starred review.
  • 108 books published in 2020 have been awarded 123 starred reviews as of the end of November.
  • 2020: No books with 6 starred reviews; no books with 5 starred reviews; 1 book with 4 starred reviews; 6 books with 3 starred reviews.

Continue reading November 2019 Starred Reviews