July 2016 Stars Update

Summer Reading is over; the first day of student attendance for the school district the majority of our patrons attend is next Tuesday. I’m wrapping up all the summer volunteer things and trying to get my Fall programming launched – all while impatiently awaiting the post Labor Day launch of book awards season! Traditionally both Heavy Medal and Someday My Printz Will Come start posting shortly before or after Labor Day weekend. The National Book Award will announce its long list in mid-September and the Kirkus Prize will announce its finalists on September 20. While neither of these share the exact eligibility requirements of either the Newbery or the Printz – meaning there’s not as much overlap as one might think (a post for another day), they can give titles weight in the mock discussions surrounding the ALA Awards and are exciting to add to the speculation.

Of course, starred reviews also give titles weight in the mock discussions so on to the main event: There’s no movement on the 6 starred reviews list – we’re holding steady with these three.


Stats for the year so far – here’s hoping that this will be the first month in awhile that I haven’t missed something!

  • 1279 stars have been awarded to 806 books published in 2016.
  • 3 books have 6 stars, 8 books have 5 stars, 32 books have 4 stars, 80 books have 3 stars, 170 books have 2 stars, 513 books have 1 star
  • Breakdown of the 1279 stars by journal: Booklist 248; Bulletin 48; Horn Book 36; Kirkus 422; PW 300; SLJ 225.

5 starred reviews – 8 titles; The Best Man by Richard Peck, School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, and Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk are new to the 5 starred reviews list:


4 starred reviews – 32 titles; 5 are new to this level: As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds, Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier,  The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, and Lion Lessons by Jon Agee

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3 starred reviews – 80 titles – new books are in bold:
American Girls by Alison Umminger
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Anything But Ordinary Addie by Mara Rockliff
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur
Bubonic Panic by Gail Jarrow
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky
Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari
Cricket Song by Anne Hunter
Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah
Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff
The Door By the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti
Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Flannery by Lisa Moore
Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle
Free Verse by Sarah Dooley
Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
The Great White Shark Scientist by Sy Montgomery
Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
Half Lost by Sally Green
Hank’s Big Day: The Story of a Bug by Evan Kuhlman
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein
Little Chickies/Los Pollitos by Susie Jaramillo
Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
The Memory Book by Lara Avery
Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy
Moo by Sharon Creech
The Most Important Thing by Avi
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue by Suzanne Slade
My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
The Night Gardener by Terry and Eric Fan
Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom
Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin
Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff
The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
Prairie Dog Song by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Railhead by Philip Reeve
The Reader by Traci Chee
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Return by Aaron Becker
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
The Secret Subway by Shana Corey
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet
Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole
Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
The Storyteller by Aaron Starmer
Swap! by Steve Light
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Their Great Gift by John Coy
This Is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas
Waiting for High Tide by Nikki McClure
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
When We Was Fierce by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo
The Wolf’s Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn
You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! by Jonah Winter

For complete information on any of these titles check out the spreadsheet.

And in closing, I wanted to share some exciting and fun news: I am lucky enough to have the chance to work on the Nominations Committee for the Abraham Lincoln Award: Illinois’ Grades 9-12 Readers’ Choice Award beginning this Fall. Basically what this means is that for a couple weeks in September I will read reviews for all the nominated titles non-stop and try to pick the top 75 to send on to the Reader Committee who will choose the final 20 titles for the 2018 list. Which dovetails nicely with my work here – hopefully I’ll have been exposed to many of the reviews I will be reading ahead of time!

Happy reading!


2 thoughts on “July 2016 Stars Update

    1. I’m planning to keep the list up still – I work in a public library so I’m actually moving into a marginally less busy season thank goodness! And the committee I’m on for the Lincoln just reads reviews for the books, not necessarily the books themselves and it’s for a short period in September. So hopefully that’s not going to interfere any more than the rest of my life normally does. I did just take a step back from some church responsibilities so that should help too!


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