Printz Possibilities Updated for October Stars

See the Early Printz Possibilities post for information on criteria and how I’m dividing the lists. Titles new to the list since the last Printz post are marked in bold. There’s a lot of them because it’s been so long since I had time to put this list together!

I do want to remind everyone that the criteria for starred reviews varies significantly from the criteria for the Printz – there are plenty of books out there that the real committee members will be looking at that aren’t on this list and some that are on both of these lists that they’ve probably already judged unworthy of serious consideration.

Traditional Printz Contenders – 54 books:


All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry (3 stars)
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (4 stars)
American Street
by Ibi Zoboi (5 stars)
The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller (3 stars)
Bang by Barry Lyga (3 stars)
by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff (3 stars)
The Black Witch by Laurie Forest (3 stars)
Bull by David Elliott (5 stars)
City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson (4 stars)
Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden (4 stars)
Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork (4 stars)
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (3 stars)
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens (3 stars)
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (4 stars)
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee (3 stars)
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (5 stars)
The Fashion Committee: A Novel of Art, Crime, and Applied Design by Susan Juby (3 stars)
Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (3 stars)
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (5 stars)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (4 stars)
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (3 stars)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (6 stars)
Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman (3 stars)
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (4 stars)
Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg (3 stars)
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (3 stars)
Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson (5 stars)
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (4 stars)

A List of Cages by Robin Roe (4 stars)
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (4 stars)
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (6 stars)
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (5 stars)
The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius (3 stars)
The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed (3 stars)
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen (3 stars)
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein (5 stars)
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (4 stars)
Release by Patrick Ness (4 stars)
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (3 stars)
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older (3 stars)
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge (3 stars)
Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton (3 stars)

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (4 stars)
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee (3 stars)
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston (3 stars)

They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera (4 stars)
Thick As Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (4 stars)
Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister (3 stars)
Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi (3 stars)
An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder (3 stars)
Warcross by Marie Lu (3 stars)

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (4 stars)
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (3 stars)
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (3 stars)
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins (4 stars)

Outliers – 67 books:


The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater (3 stars) – non-fiction
Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights
by Deborah Kops (3 stars) – non-fiction
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (3 stars) – graphic novel; young
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (3 stars) – young
Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley (3 stars) – young
Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiambo (3 stars) – young
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk (5 stars) – young
Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan (3 stars) – young
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (5 stars) – young
A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human by Kay Frydenborg (3 stars) – non-fiction
Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller, illus. by Yelena Bryksenkova (3 stars) – young

The End of the Wild
by Nicole Helget (3 stars) – young
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya (3 stars) – young
Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos (3 stars) – non-fiction

Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson (4 stars) – non-fiction
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez (3 stars) – young

Flying Lessons and Other Stories
edited by Ellen Oh (5 stars) – young; short stories
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter (3 stars) – young
Garbage Night by Jen Lee (3 stars) – graphic novel
The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente, illus. by Rebecca Green (3 stars) – young

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (5 stars) – young; non-fiction
Harry Miller’s Run by David Almond, illus. by Salvatore Rubbino (3 stars) – young
Hello Universe
 by Erin Entrada Kelly (4 stars) – young
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, illus. by Shawn Harris (5 stars) – young; non-fiction
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen (4 stars) – anthology; non-fiction
I’m Just No Good At Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, illus. by Lane Smith (4 stars) – poetry; young

Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure (3 stars) – non-fiction
It All Comes Down to This by Karen English (4 stars) – young
Joplin, Wishing by Diane Stanley (3 stars) – young
Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt, illus. by Isabelle Arsenault (3 stars) – graphic novel
The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power
by Ann Bausum (3 stars) – non-fiction
Me and Marvin Gardens
by Amy Sarig King (3 stars) – young
Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon by Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan (4 stars) – non-fiction
by Lorena Alvarez (3 stars) – young; graphic novel
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
by Nikki Grimes (4 stars) – young; poetry
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, illus. by Ekua Holmes (5 stars) – young; poetry
Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls
by Tonya Bolden (3 stars) – non-fiction
Patina by Jason Reynolds (3 stars) – young
Posted by John David Anderson (3 stars) – young
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin Stead (4 stars) – young
The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by Susan Goldman Rubin (3 stars) – non-fiction

Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illus. by LeUyen Pham (3 stars) – young; graphic memoir
The Real McCoys by Matthew Swanson, illus. by Robbi Behr (3 stars) – young
Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by Ben Costa and James Parks (3 stars) – young; graphic novel
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Eric Velasquez (4 stars) – young; picture book
The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange (3 stars) – young
Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say (4 stars) – non-fiction; young
Slider by Pete Hautman (3 stars) – young
The Song From Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illus. by Levi Pinfold (3 stars) – young
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith (3 stars) – non-fiction
Speed of Life by Carol Weston (4 stars) – young
Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, illus. by Alex Puvilland (3 stars) – graphic novel
Spinning by Tillie Walden (3 stars) – graphic memoir

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce (3 stars) – young
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore (4 stars) – young
Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale, illus. by Eleanor Shakespeare (3 stars) – non-fiction
Thornhill by Pam Smy (3 stars) – young
Threads of Blue by Suzanne LaFleur (3 stars) – young

Train I Ride by Paul Mosier (3 stars) – young
Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley (4 stars) – young
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
by Steve Sheinkin (4 stars) – non-fiction
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts: Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate by Avi (3 stars) – young
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman (6 stars) – non-fiction
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (4 stars) – young
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, illus. by Charles Santoso (4 stars) – young
The Wonderling by Mira Bartók (3 stars) – young
Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories by Jack Gantos (3 stars) – young; non-fiction
York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby (4 stars) – young

Happy reading!


4 thoughts on “Printz Possibilities Updated for October Stars

    1. That is an impressive percentage read! I went back and forth on the non-fiction when I made my post in the Spring – Vincent and Theo has received such wide acclaim it feels like a contender, but if you look at the record? Non-fiction just doesn’t win or honor nearly as much since the YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction Award was added.

      The Non-Fiction award’s first year was 2010. Since then the only non-fiction books to be recognized by the Printz are March, Book Three – which won everything last year (or it at least felt that way!) and Charles and Emma in 2010. Everything else is fiction.

      To me, that makes even Vincent and Theo an outlier just based on the stats. Although – who knows? Maybe this year it will follow in the footsteps of March, Book Three and clean up several awards at once!


  1. Ugh, your data is killing me. MORE BOOKS. Always more! It’s such a strong year that I am having trouble keeping up! I’ve read or started 24 of the books in the first crop, and 5 of the outliers, which seems impressive except that there are 6 books on the traditional contenders list that are new to me! So clearly I am not doing so well on the read everything front.
    All of which is to say THANK YOU as always for doing this!


    1. You’re way ahead of where I am! I never even made it through the first 12 I intended to read this year. Oh well….there’s always next year right? And you’re welcome! As always, I’m so glad there are others who find it useful!


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