Category Archives: Awards

Newbery Contender Update graphic

2020 Newbery Possibilities through March Stars

Here’s my very late March roundup of Newbery titles. Please keep in mind this isn’t taking into account April and May stars. I’ll be adding those to the spreadsheet soon (I hope). I will probably skip April Printz and Newbery updates and just do one for each of those that covers both April and May together.

For this blog’s purposes, contenders have three or more starred reviews and are broken down into these lists: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books, and Ineligibles.

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. For a more thorough breakdown of the criteria you can see my first Newbery post of the year or just go read the official word from ALSC.

As of the end of March there were 52 titles with three or more starred reviews which means there are 11 new books listed here. Lists are after the jump. Continue reading 2020 Newbery Possibilities through March Stars

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Printz Contender Update graphic

2020 Printz Possibilities through March Stars

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” I’m really feeling Carroll’s White Rabbit and this quote this Spring, but here’s the March update for Printz contenders based on starred reviews. For information about criteria please see my first Printz post for this year or check out the official Printz criteria page.

52 (11 new this month) books have three starred reviews or more as of the end of March 2019. 21 (5 new) 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. 14 (2 new) are young adult novels, 1 is a young adult comic; 4 (1 new) are young adult non-fiction; 9 (2 new) are younger novel outliers and 3 (1 new) are other outliers.

The organization paragraph that repeats each month: This year I’ve organized contenders 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) unless I’ve heard Printz buzz about them. To see why I stick with three starred reviews despite this year’s winners not justifying that, see this old Someday My Printz post. Continue reading 2020 Printz Possibilities through March Stars

Printz Contender Update graphic

2020 Printz Possibilities through February Stars

Time to update the list of Printz contenders for February starred reviews. For information about criteria please see my first Printz post for this year or check out the official Printz criteria page.

This year I’ve organized contenders 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) unless I’ve heard Printz buzz about them. To see why I stick with three starred reviews despite this year’s winners not justifying that, see this old Someday My Printz post.

41 books have three starred reviews or more as of the end of February 2019. 16 of those are picture books or novels with an audience that doesn’t fit the Printz age range so aren’t mentioned here at all. 12 are young adult novels, 1 is a young adult comic; 3 are young adult non-fiction; 7 are younger novel outliers and 2 are other outliers.
Continue reading 2020 Printz Possibilities through February Stars

Newbery Contender Update graphic

2020 Newbery Possibilities through February Stars

A nasty cold knocked me out for half of March so this post is much later than I had hoped. On the bright side – Heavy Medal has its first set of suggestions up ! Go see what their readers have recommended should be on your radar for the Newbery this year and watch for their next post soliciting suggestions – it should be up very soon .

For this blog’s purposes, contenders have three or more starred reviews and are broken down into these lists: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books, and Ineligibles.

Two titles have me in a bit of a quandary over eligibility – The Iliad adapted by Gareth Hinds and The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander. Neither is a super likely contender – The Iliad is a graphic adaptation and only barely hits the upper limit of the Newbery age range while The Undefeated is a picture book. My question on both rests on Newbery Definition #5 which regards “original work.” The Iliad might not be eligible depending on how much the text has been rewritten or adapted (From Newbery Definition #5: “Original work” means that the text was created by this writer and no one else. It may include original retellings of traditional literature, provided the words are the author’s own.). The Undefeated looks like it was originally presented as spoken word poetry in a video for ESPN’s The Undefeated website. Newbery Definition #5 continues: “Further, “original work” means that the text is presented here for the first time and has not been previously published elsewhere in this or any other form.  Text reprinted or compiled from other sources are not eligible. Abridgements are not eligible.” Where do video and performance fit in this criteria? The definition specifically says text – does that mean only the written word? Right now I lean toward The Iliad being ineligible and The Undefeated being eligible and they are noted as such below, but if anyone has any insight into whether they are eligible or not, please share in the comments!

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. For a more thorough breakdown of the criteria you can see my first Newbery post of the year or just go read the official word from ALSC.

As of the end of February there were 41 titles with three or more starred reviews which means there are 19 new books listed here. Lists are after the jump. Continue reading 2020 Newbery Possibilities through February Stars

Printz Contender Update graphic

2020 Printz Possibilities through January Stars

Time for a new crop of Printz contenders! Here’s your annual reminder of the Printz 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.

I’m taking a page from how I’ve been organizing my Newbery posts and breaking contenders down by format: Novels, Comics, Non-Fiction. Now 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 going to include titles that end at age 12 for their review ranges (i.e ages 8-12) unless I’ve heard Printz buzz about them. To see why I stick with three starred reviews despite this year’s winners not justifying that, see this old Someday My Printz post. Maybe I’ll have a chance sometime this year to revisit that data, but in the meantime lists are after the break!

22 books have three starred reviews or more as of the end of January 2019. 9 of those are picture books or novels with an audience that doesn’t fit the Printz age range so aren’t mentioned here at all. 7 are young adult novels, no young adult comics; 3 young adult non-fiction; 1 outlier of a younger novel and 2 other outliers.
Continue reading 2020 Printz Possibilities through January Stars

Newbery Contender Update graphic

2020 Newbery Possibilities through January Stars

The dust may have barely settled from this year’s American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards, but I’m already looking towards next year. With January reviews in the books, we have several contenders so let’s review the criteria. 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

That’s a pretty broad charge for the committee, so here’s a few more details:

  • 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.

The 2019 Newbery committee named three middle grade novels – a much more traditional slate than has appeared in awhile. It will be interesting to see what the 2020 committee feels is distinguished. I liked breaking the contenders down by format, so I’m keeping that this year. However, I’m adding the publication date to entries this year to make it easy to see what’s accessible to the general public when. The lists will be pretty much the same as last year: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), and Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books.

The final list is books that I think are ineligible – usually it’s because the author isn’t a U.S. citizen or resident, but wordless picture books and titles with previously published content could appear here as well. 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.

The 2019 winner and honors did all have three or more stars (you can see more about that on my YMA Results post). For those who follow the Newbery Award and enjoy trying to guess contenders, starred reviews are just one way to identify possible contenders. Each journal has a different criteria for what becomes a starred review and none of those criteria match the criteria for the Newbery Award. Heavy Medal’s feature where readers can nominate titles will be returning in March. Their blog is a great place to see more in depth discussion of how titles meet or don’t meet the Newbery criteria. As always remember that however many books we on the sidelines read, it’s a rare mock participant who will have read as widely as the actual committee members.

As of the end of January there were 22 titles with three or more starred reviews. Lists are after the jump. Continue reading 2020 Newbery Possibilities through January Stars

2019 ALA Youth Media Award Results

On Monday, January 28 various sections and affiliates of the American Library Association gave out some of the biggest awards for children’s and young adult books from the previous year at the Youth Media Awards. Due to some unfortunate weather here in the Midwest, my program that was originally scheduled during the Youth Media Awards presentation was rescheduled and I got to watch live after all!

Some new awards were added this year – the American Indian Youth Literature Award (awarded only in even years so no new announcement this year); the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award, and the Sydney Taylor Book Award. When this was announced last year, I started adding these awards to my Award Winners spreadsheet so I knew they traditionally had named honor books. To my surprise, during the ceremony only winners were named and when I went to the links mentioned in the live webcast, I found the Sydney Taylor Awards had indeed named honors and notables as usual. I couldn’t locate the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award information for this year (it’s up now), but eventually found the honors via Twitter later in the day. I was disappointed to not see the honors included in the ceremony. An ALA representative has since responded to the criticism citing time constraints as the issue and noting the involvement of representatives from the affiliate organizations in the choice to only recognize the winners in the ceremony, but I still think it was the wrong decision. These awards deserve equal recognition – if they’re including honors for other awards, include the honors for these and trim time from the opening remarks or call for shorter blurbs or make the ceremony longer and adjust the conference schedule accordingly. I understand that some of these aren’t easy changes to make, but doing the right thing here is worth the effort.

Here’s a link to the press release with winners for all of the many awards named and the honors for most. My spreadsheet has been updated with this year’s information. Much gratitude goes towards the many, many committee members for each of these awards who serve without compensation and dedicate uncounted hours to reading and evaluating and discussing the books.

I’ve also added a link on the right to my spreadsheet of the 2018 Best Books lists from the six journals I track. Some year, I’ll finish that in time to help predict award chances, but this was not that year. Since I track Newbery and Printz contenders based on starred reviews, let’s see how the 2019 winners and honors fared with stars and best book lists.

Newbery Award:

Merci Suárez Changes Gears book cover

Winner: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 4: Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ

Honors:
book of boy book coverThe Night Diary book cover
The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Starred reviews – 3: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus
Best lists – 4: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Starred reviews – 3: Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 2: Kirkus, SLJ

Printz Award

the poet x book cover

Winner: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Starred reviews – 4: Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 4: Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ

Honors:
Damsel book covera heart in a body in the world book coverI, Claudia book cover

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
Starred reviews – 2: Booklist, SLJ
Best lists – 1: Booklist

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
Starred reviews – 4: Booklist, Bulletin, Kirkus, PW
Best lists – none

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy
Starred reviews – 2: Booklist, Kirkus
Best lists – 2: Booklist, Kirkus

Some notes of interest:

  • I feel like I heard a fair amount of surprise online for Merci winning, but with 5 starred reviews, 4 best lists and being named a Kirkus Prize Finalist, this shouldn’t have been that big of a shock.
  • No one was surprised when The Poet X was announced – it’s been rolling through awards season picking up more and more acclaim. It was already the Teen Walter Award Winner, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Winner, the National Book Award Winner, and a Kirkus Prize Finalist. On Monday it not only picked up the Printz medal, but was also named an Odyssey Honor and the Pura Belpré Author Winner. That book is going to be covered in award stickers!
  • For only the second time, the Printz committee didn’t pick a full slate of honor books (they’re allowed up to 4) and what they did pick were some under the radar titles that hadn’t been getting tons of chatter. Booklist was the only journal to give stars to all three honors, but interestingly they didn’t star The Poet X!
  • As of the end of December there were 196 books with 3 starred reviews  or more. Not all of those 196 were eligible for either award, but even reducing that number based on eligiblity, I would never be able to read all of those in year and keep up with other pleasure reading. So, assuming you’re choosing from those 196 books to try and predict awards, combined with buzz, chances are that you would have read the Newbery books. For the Printz though, you would only be at half of the books named. I’m in awe of the number of books committee members must read (and re-read for the final discussions!) to come to these decisions.

I haven’t read any of the 2019 Newbery and Printz books yet although The Poet X is currently on my bedside table and Merci Suárez Changes Gears will be my next audiobook listen. I have read a smattering of the books honored by other committees. The award I was most delighted with was Sadie winning the Odyssey. That audiobook was amazing and destroyed me in the best possible way. When they had named the Odyssey honors, I sat at my desk quietly chanting “Sadie, Sadie, come on, be Sadie” and actually cheered when it was announced.

So that’s a wrap on this year’s awards. Stay tuned, 2020 contender talk will be coming soon!

Newbery Contender Update graphic

2019 Newbery Possibilities through December Stars

The 2019 Newbery Award season is racing to its close. Over at Heavy Medal, there’s intense discussion happening around their shortlist. Their mock committee will be wrapping things up this week and voting on Thursday and Friday. Other Mock results have been rolling in – to see a roundup check out the ALSC blog.

To see what the Newbery committee itself picks, tune in live  on Monday, January 28 at 8am PST. I can only imagine how excited the committee members must be as they prep this one last week for their official deliberations and decision!

With December stars entered, there were 196 titles with three or more starred reviews which means there’s 57 new titles. I’ve noted the number of starred reviews each title received and those  which have been named to the following Award lists: the Walter Award from We Need Diverse Books; the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction; the Gryphon Award; the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award; the Kirkus Prize; the National Book Award, the Morris Award shortlist and the YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction shortlist. Criteria for these awards are really all over the place, so while being named by another award means another committee found a book excellent there’s no guarantee the Newbery committee will find it equally distinguished.

For a reminder of the criteria please visit the official Newbery page or you can get a brief overview at my previous Newbery post.

This year my Newbery contender lists are broken down by format: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels/Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), and Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books.

I have also included a list of books that I think are ineligible with a brief note of why, but here’s your regular reminder that I am not a member of the Newbery committee and have no information on official committee rulings. For anthologies I’m currently only looking up editors. If the editors meet the nationality/residence requirements I’m putting them on the contender lists; if they don’t I’m putting them on the ineligible list. If anyone has additional info on eligibility for any of the titles I’ve got on the ineligible list, please let me know in the comments!

Young Reader Adapted versions are an interesting question for the non-fiction. Are they original? Or because it’s adapted from a version previously published are they not? Looking at Just Mercy this month, I’m fairly certain it would be ineligible because the original was published several years ago so it clearly was adapted. Proud looks like it may have been published simultaneously with the adult version? So I lean on the side of that being eligible? But I really don’t know. Neither seems like a particularly likely contender given other non-fiction titles in the field, but the committee may feel differently.

Contender lists are after the jump! Continue reading 2019 Newbery Possibilities through December Stars

Printz Contender Update graphic

2019 Printz Possibilities through December Stars

The American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards are happening Monday, January 28 at 8am PST. For the first time in several years I am scheduled to work during the announcements (I’ll be hosting an outside presenter at the library whose program will start right when the awards do – what was I thinking???), but those who have managed their schedules better can watch live.

This will be my last Printz roundup for this award year. We have 19 new traditional contenders to make 68 overall and 11 new outliers to make 40 overall. That means there are 108 books with 3 or more stars that are eligible for the Printz award. There are undoubtedly many many more books that the committee has looked at – props to all those who take the time to serve on the committee and read widely and carefully to identify the best.

I’ve noted the number of starred reviews each title received and those  which have been named to the following Award lists: the Walter Award from We Need Diverse Books; the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award; the Kirkus Prize; the National Book Award, the Morris Award shortlist and the YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction shortlist. Please do keep in mind the criteria for each of these awards varies – sometimes there’s overlap with the Printz; other times, not so much.

For a reminder of the official criteria of the Printz and what I consider traditional contenders vs. outliers, please see my previous 2019 Printz post. You can always find the full policies and procedures here. Continue reading 2019 Printz Possibilities through December Stars

2019 Newbery Possibilities through August Stars

There’s a ton of new titles to check into with this update because it’s covering three moths of added reviews: June, July and August. Heavy Medal is back in full swing and they actually do some in-depth analysis to identify contenders, so I encourage everyone to check in on the discussions over there – especially if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of titles listed here and want to narrow your reading focus.

For a reminder of the criteria please visit the official Newbery page or you can get a brief overview at my previous Newbery post.

This year my Newbery contender lists are broken down by format: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels/Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), and Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books.

I have also included a list of books that I think are ineligible with a brief note of why, but here’s your regular reminder that I am not a member of the Newbery committee and have no information on official committee rulings. A few notes on titles that were added this month: I think  Check, Please!: # Hockey is ineligible because it was originally published as a webcomic, but I’m not at all sure of that. Also, for anthologies I’m currently only looking up editors. If the editors meet the nationality/residence requirements I’m putting them on the contender lists; if they don’t (with some basic searching, I think Elsie Chapman is neither a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. resident sadly knocking out A Thousand Beginnings and Endings) I’m putting them on the ineligible list. If anyone has additional info on eligibility for any of the titles I’ve got on the ineligible list, please let me know in the comments!

With August stars entered, there were 139 titles with three or more starred reviews which means there’s 47 new titles . I’ve noted next to titles if they made the National Book Longlist or were named Kirkus Prize Finalists since that adds a little extra weight to their chances. See where everything ends up after the jump! Continue reading 2019 Newbery Possibilities through August Stars