April 2016 Printz Contender Update

printzcontendergraphicPreviously I had been posting a monthly contender update over at SLJ’s Someday My Printz Will Come in the comments, but it’s really hard to format things in their comment editor so I’m moving them here and just posting a link there.

For information on the Printz criteria please see the Award Policies and Procedures. Some general bits to keep in mind: The age range for the Printz is 12-18 and the award is for literary quality not popularity. Given how widely the award committees have been casting their nets lately, the only thing I’m looking at for this list is whether at least one of the journals that awarded a star has an age range that overlaps the Printz age range.

When looking at titles that are considered contenders for the ALA awards, the general consensus is that anything that receives 3 or more stars deserves a look at least. Could be a brief look, but a look nonetheless. Something else to think about here is that the criteria for the Printz is not the same as the criteria any of the journals have for giving a book a starred review – and here’s your reminder that the process and criteria for awarding stars varies widely among the six journals I track.

With all that out of the way – let’s get to the lists! The first list is more traditional contenders. The 2nd list is the titles that just barely touch the age range or are non-fiction since non-fiction hasn’t been awarded since 2010 when Charles and Emma won the inaugural YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction Award and took a Printz Honor.

75 titles have been awarded 3 or more stars this year (6 stars-1, 5 stars-5, 4 stars-21, 3 stars-48). 1 of the 5 star books is too young; 7 of the 4 star books are too young, 18 of the 3 star books are too young. That leaves us with 49 books to consider. And by us, I mostly mean you since I am super behind on my reading this year and the swirling books in the graphic above haunt my dreams and to-do lists lately. Books that are new to the list this month are in bold.

List One (29 titles):
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan – 4 stars
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina – 4 stars
Character, Driven by David Lubar
Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff – (Graphic)
Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston – 4 stars
Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Half Lost by Sally Green
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge – 5 stars
The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork – 4 stars
My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks (Graphic)
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry – 5 stars
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – 4 stars
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Summer Days and Summer Nights ed. by Stephanie Perkins
A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham – 4 stars
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson – 4 stars

List Two (20 titles):
Booked by Kwame Alexander – 4 stars
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
The Door By the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Free Verse by Sarah Dooley
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
Jazz Day by Roxane Orgil – 6 stars
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
The Most Important Thing by Avi
Pax by Sara Pennypacker – 4 stars
Prairie Dog Song by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo – 5 stars
Samurai Rising by Pamele S. Turner (Non-Fiction) – 4 stars
Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier – 4 stars
The Storyteller by Aaron Starmer
We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman – (Non-Fiction) – 5 stars
Wet Cement by Bob Raczka – (Poetry) – 4 stars
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
Wild Robot by Peter Brown – 4 stars
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk – 4 stars

For complete publication information on any of these titles check out the spreadsheet. Happy reading!


8 thoughts on “April 2016 Printz Contender Update

  1. I am wondering if any books are starting to peculate to the top of the list for readers. I have only read about 6 of the contenders so far and I’m pretty neutral on all of them. My favorite so far is The Raven King and I am a little suspicious it is just because I’m crazy for the series and we’ve finally made it to the end. Ha! Burn Baby Burn is the book I’ve thought about the most…even got me back into a personal disco craze for a few weeks. The Golden Boys is mesmerizing like Lolita is mesmerizing but I’m not sure that is a good thing. The Memory of Light and The Steep and Thorny Way are the best of the contenders I’ve read and I will likely say a kind word about them as we are selecting out Mock Printz list, but I am not convinced either has what it takes to win. I have yet to read either of the 5 starred books. Up next on my reading list: The Bitter Side of Sweet and Samurai Rising.

    Liked by 1 person

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