Category Archives: Awards

2019 Newbery Possibilities through February Stars

Another year, another crop of Newbery contenders to consider! 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 Newbery committee over the last few years has been making a lot of really exciting choices outside middle grade novels which for a long time were the typical Newbery fodder. The 2018 honors alone included a picture book (Crown) and two titles at the upper end of the age range (Long Way Down and Piecing Me Together). Every year I tweak how I put my lists of Newbery contenders together. Given the continued stretching of the Newbery boundaries, this year I considered just listing titles by the number of starred reviews and pulling out the ineligible titles, but in the end I decided to go with breaking things down by format. The lists will be (at least to start with – we’ll see how this works): Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels/Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), and Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books.

The final list will be 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.

Overall, I cast a pretty wide net here – I’m just looking at books with three or more starred reviews and whether they are eligible. For a more directed list of titles to consider, check in with Heavy Medal. They are running a new feature this year where readers can nominate titles to consider each month. You can see the March list and the April nominations opened up this week. You’ll note that there are several titles on the March list that don’t appear here – a good reminder that as wide a net as I cast? It’s likely the Newbery committee members themselves are looking even further afield and have probably read and put aside some of the titles I’m listing.

As of the end of February there were 44 titles with three or more starred reviews. Let’s take a look at how they break down after the jump. Continue reading 2019 Newbery Possibilities through February Stars

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2019 Printz Possibilities through February Stars

First, I have to lead with some sad news: Someday My Printz Will Come has had it’s last season. I’m enormously grateful for everything I have learned from all the Someday bloggers and their in-depth analysis of contenders. I will miss their commentary dearly and look forward to whatever their next projects will be!

Next – 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.

Last year, I broke my list into traditional contenders (novels in the upper part of the grade range) and outliers (younger titles, non-fiction, short stories, essays, etc. – basically everything else). Given that Vincent and Theo‘s honor means that non-fiction has been awarded two years in a row, I’m going to move non-fiction to that first list for this year. I’m also 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. I’m still sticking with three or more starred reviews; see this Someday My Printz post for why. Lists are after the break! Continue reading 2019 Printz Possibilities through February Stars

Printz Possibilities Wrap-Up

Now it’s time to talk Printz! Someday My Printz Will Come has crowned it’s Pyrite Winner and continues to vote for its Honor slate. My local Young Adult Librarian Discussion group (miss you all!) met earlier this month and named The Hate U Give as their Mock Printz winner with You Bring the Distant Near and Landscape with Invisible Hand as their Honors.

In general, The Hate U Give is cleaning up at Mock Awards – so if you are one of the few who haven’t read it yet? I suggest you get on that!

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 handful of picture books that have one review that hits age 12 with their ranges; I’ve excluded those because there’s plenty here to look at without them!

The Usual Disclaimers: The criteria for starred reviews varies significantly from the criteria for the Printz – this is just one way to identify titles to read if you enjoy following the awards like I do. Also, I am in no way affiliated with the official Printz committee.
Continue reading Printz Possibilities Wrap-Up

Newbery Possibilities Wrap-Up

Mock Award groups all over the country are reading their final books and preparing for their decisions; Heavy Medal is getting ready to vote online and the Oakland results are in! The actual ALA Youth Media Awards ceremony will be on Monday, February 12 beginning at 8 a.m. MT (woohoo! I can actually get up at a normal time this year!) and can be viewed here. Here’s my last round-up of titles that meet the Newbery criteria.

One note: some people clearly feel that One Last Word by Nikki Grimes could indeed be eligible. I still lean on the ineligible side due to the inclusion of previously published poems, but would be happy to be incorrect and wanted to recognize the varied opinions out there. Final decisions on eligibility are made by the Newbery Committee Chair and the Priority Group Consultant.

The usual disclaimer: I have no official connection to the Newbery Award or Committee – nothing I say here has any bearing on the Committee’s deliberations. I’m merely an avid fan and data nerd.

Brief reminder of the basic Newbery qualifications:

  • 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.

Here’s how the four lists break down:

  • List one: Novels solidly in the age range
  • List two: Everything else solidly in the age range: graphic novels, non-fiction, picture books, poetry collections, etc.
  • List three: YA titles that technically hit the age range, but are probably too old.
  • List four: What I think are ineligible titles – mostly due to nationality of the author, but there’s a few listed there for other reasons.

Of course, this list is just considering titles via the lens of starred reviews. There are many more ways to find worthy titles and I encourage you all to explore them as much as possible. Some years are like last year and The Girl Who Drank the Moon (5 starred reviews) takes home the medal, but you never know when it’s going to be a Moon Over Manifest year (2 starred reviews) or a Last Stop on Market Street (3 starred reviews and a picture book to boot) year!

As of the end of December there were 214 titles with three or more starred reviews. New titles are marked in bold.
Continue reading Newbery Possibilities Wrap-Up

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.
Continue reading Printz Possibilities Updated for October Stars

Newbery Possibilities Updated for August Stars

I’m back! It’s been awhile – between family things and preparing for and attending the Illinois Library Association’s annual conference (where I was on a panel discussion for the first time – slightly terrifying, but mostly fun!), my nerdy book stat stuff had to take a back seat.

I didn’t have a chance to update my list of possible Newbery contenders over the summer at all which means this is four months of added titles. Unfortunately, since that meant adding over 70 books it took me so long that the data is immediately out of date because it does not account for any September or October starred reviews (entering September reviews is next on my blog/spreadsheet list of to-dos). I will try to post another update once the September data is in since hopefully that will be a smaller task.

Please note that I have no official connection to the Newbery Award or Committee – nothing I say here has any bearing on the Committee’s deliberations. I’m merely an avid fan and data nerd. For people with far more experience who have actually served on the Newbery Committee I encourage you to check out SLJ’s Heavy Medal blog.

Also, welcome to my new readers; I’ve been seeing a significant increase in views this fall which is great! I would encourage you to read the Starred Reviews page for a list of which journals I track (there are many entities that give starred reviews out and I do not follow all of them) and an explanation of my notation system.

Brief reminder of the basic Newbery qualifications:

  • 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.

Here’s how the four lists break down:

  • List one: Novels solidly in the age range
  • List two: Everything else solidly in the age range: graphic novels, non-fiction, picture books, poetry collections, etc.
  • List three: YA titles that technically hit the age range, but are probably too old.
  • List four: What I think are ineligible titles – mostly due to nationality of the author, but there’s a few listed there for other reasons.

DIsclaimer: My eligibility rulings are far from final – I’m making my best guesses based on the terms and criteria and internet searches regarding citizenship/residency.

Also – please remember starred reviews do not have the same criteria as the Newbery. There are plenty of titles not on this list that the committee will likely be looking at for a variety of reasons.  This list is just one way to focus your reading, I encourage you to seek out excellent children’s literature in other places as well!

As of the end of August there were 161 titles with three or more starred reviews. New titles are marked in bold.
Continue reading Newbery Possibilities Updated for August Stars

Newbery Possibilities Updated for April Stars

Brief reminder of the basic Newbery qualifications:

  • 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.

Here’s how the four lists break down:

  • List one: Novels solidly in the age range
  • List two: Everything else solidly in the age range: graphic novels, non-fiction, picture books, poetry collections, etc.
  • List three: YA titles that technically hit the age range, but are probably too old.
  • List four: What I think are ineligible titles – mostly due to nationality of the author, but there’s a few listed there for other reasons.

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.

Also – please remember starred reviews do not have the same criteria as the Newbery. There are plenty of titles not on this list that the committee will likely be looking at for a variety of reasons. This is just one way to focus your reading.

As of the end of April there were 87 titles with three or more starred reviews.
Continue reading Newbery Possibilities Updated for April Stars

Printz Possibilities Updated for April 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 April stars have been entered are marked in bold. We have five new traditional contenders with three or more stars and six more outliers.

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.
Continue reading Printz Possibilities Updated for April Stars

Early Newbery Possibilities

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

Additional criteria notes:

  • 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 Newbery committees as of late have been delightfully wide-ranging in their choices including everything from picture books to graphic novels to poetry to memoirs to non-fiction. So this year, I’m breaking up my lists a little differently. Looking at everything with three or more starred reviews from the six journals I track, I’m dividing titles into four lists. The first list is novels since even with the titles noted above, this is what makes up the majority of past Newbery winners and honors. The second list is everything else solidly in the age range: graphic novels, non-fiction, picture books, poetry collections, etc. The third list is YA titles that technically hit the age range, but are probably too old. The fourth list is books that I think are ineligible – mostly due to nationality of the author, but there’s a few listed there for other reasons. To be clear: 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.

As of the end of March there were 71 titles with three or more starred reviews.

ETA 5/10/17: Please see the note towards the bottom of this post for some additional links and commentary on The Secret Project and Undefeated.
Continue reading Early Newbery Possibilities

Early Printz Possibilities

Now that the first quarter of starred reviews have all been entered let’s start breaking it down by award. First up, the Printz.

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.

Given these criteria, when I make my Printz list, I include anything that hits the 12-18 year age range in at least one review and has three or more starred reviews. For why I stick with three or more stars, see How Many Stars Does It Take to Catch a Printz? over on Someday My Printz Will Come However, given what historically is honored most of the time (novels in the upper part of the age range), I divide the list into two parts. The first part is “traditional” contenders and the second part is outliers with reasons why noted. Ignore the outliers at your own risk *cough*NavigatingEarly*cough*. Read on to see this year’s first list. Continue reading Early Printz Possibilities