Greetings! Many of you reached out with very kind concerns and I want to say thank you so much for them. I’m still doing fine, but have had several things happen in my personal and work lives that have pulled me away from this blog. On the negative side, I was one of the unfortunate victims of unemployment fraud. Luckily, it was caught very early so mostly was just annoying and time consuming to deal with. On the positive side, I’m going to be on Jeopardy, Thursday, July 8! This was the experience of a lifetime and I’m so thrilled that I had the opportunity to do it. Tune in on July 8 to see how I did. You can look up where to watch in your area here: https://www.jeopardy.com/about/find-your-station
I’ve finally caught up on entering 2020 journals for the Starred Reviews spreadsheet. That means the spreadsheet is up to date through January 2021 journals – so still pretty far behind, but much less so than before! The current plan for blog stuff is as follows:
Final blog post rounding up 2020 titles with 3 or more starred reviews.
Catching up on comments and contact us forms.
2021 journals into the starred reviews spreadsheet starting with February.
Thank you once again to everyone who reached out to check on me! I hope you all are weathering these strange times as well as possible and that you’ve been able to read at least a little. I recently finished Firekeeper’s Daughter and wow, did I love that!
Happy reading and I hope to be back with more book related content soon!
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.
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→
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.
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.
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.
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→
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.