Category Archives: Starred Reviews

May 2019 Starred Reviews

May 2019 stars tally:

  • 606 books published in 2019 have been awarded 962 starred reviews as of the end of March. 2 books have 6 starred reviews, 5 books have 5 starred reviews, 30 books have 4 starred reviews, 53 books have 3 starred reviews, 130 books have 2 starred reviews, 386 books have 1 starred review.
  • No new books with 6 starred reviews; 1 book moves up to 5 starred reviews from  4 starred reviews; 3 books with 4 starred reviews are new and 8 books move up to 4 starred reviews from 3 starred reviews; 22 books have been added with 3 starred reviews

Continue reading May 2019 Starred Reviews

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April 2019 Starred Reviews

Yes, you’re reading that right – this is just the April starred reviews list. I’ll be skipping the April Newbery and Printz updates in favor of moving right into entering May starred reviews in the spreadsheet.

April 2019 stars tally:

  • 511 books published in 2019 have been awarded 794 starred reviews as of the end of March. 2 books have 6 starred reviews, 4 books have 5 starred reviews, 20 books have 4 starred reviews, 39 books have 3 starred reviews, 119 books have 2 starred reviews, 327 books have 1 starred review.
  • No new books with 6 starred reviews; 1 book moves up to 5 starred reviews from  4 starred reviews, 4 titles with 4 starred reviews are new; 9 titles have been added with 3 starred reviews

Continue reading April 2019 Starred Reviews

March 2019 Starred Reviews

March 2019 stars tally:

  • 421 books published in 2019 have been awarded 649 starred reviews as of the end of March. 2 books have 6 starred reviews, 3 books have 5 starred reviews, 17 books have 4 starred reviews, 30 books have 3 starred reviews, 95 books have 2 starred reviews, 274 books have 1 starred review.
  • On the Come Up and Shout both move up to 6 starred reviews; 1 book is new with 5 starred reviews and 1 book moves up to 5 starred reviews from 3 starred reviews, 2 titles with 4 starred reviews are new with 5 titles moving up from 3 stars; 8 titles have been added with 3 starred reviews

Continue reading March 2019 Starred Reviews

February 2019 Starred Reviews

I always feel a tension this time of year between reading last year’s titles that I’ve missed and wanting to get on top of this year’s releases. I’m almost done with Pay Attention, Carter Jones and am listening to On the Come Up in the car. I’ve also got New Kid at home because several people have recommended that as one to watch. From the recent awards, I listened to Merci Suárez Changes Gears and found it be excellent and am enjoying The Parker Inheritance which I’m listening to at home via hoopla. For the last several years I’ve participated in YALSA’s Hub Challenge and despite only actually finishing once, I’m going to give it a go again this year hoping that will help me catch up on award winners I’ve missed. I’ll be tracking on Goodreads and on Litsy (@Bkwrm7) What are you reading? Anyone else have a reading challenge they’re hoping to try?

February 2019 stars tally:

  • 317 books published in 2019 have been awarded 483 starred reviews as of the end of February. 2 books have 5 starred reviews, 11 books have 4 starred reviews, 28 books have 3 starred reviews, 69 books have 2 starred reviews, 207 books have 1 starred review.
  • On the Come Up is new with 5 starred reviews (and spoiler alert – Horn Book has starred it in their March/April issue so it will move up to 6 starred reviews next month), 2 titles with 4 starred reviews are new with 1 title moving up from 3 stars; 16 titles have been added with 3 starred reviews

Continue reading February 2019 Starred Reviews

January 2019 Starred Reviews

New year, new books! Last year’s awards have been named – time to turn our focus to to what’s being published in 2019. So far I’ve read Dragon Pearl and started SlayerWhat are the rest of the you reading?

January 2019 stars tally:

  • 218 books published in 2019 have been awarded 332 starred reviews as of the end of January. 1 book has 5 starred reviews, 8 books have 4 starred reviews, 13 books have 3 starred reviews, 60 books have 2 starred reviews, 136 books have 1 starred review.
  • 2 titles with 4 starred reviews are new; 4 titles have been added with 3 stars

Continue reading January 2019 Starred Reviews

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!

December 2018 Starred Reviews

UPDATE 1/7/19: Thanks to an anonymous comment that pointed out I was missing the Kirkus star for Darius the Great Is Not Okay bumping it up to 3 stars, I’ve updated the lists to add it. In the process of correcting that, I realized that I had Toil & Trouble noted both that way and as Toil and Trouble so it also has 3 stars and I’ve added it as well. The numbers for 2018 titles have been updated to reflect those changes. Many thanks to Anonymous – I always appreciate the extra sets of eyes checking for things I have missed!

Happy New Year! Only 2 new books with 3 starred reviews for the 2018 lists. This is probably the last time I’ll include the 2018 lists since things have slowed down so much on that front. My goal is to post one more each of the Newbery and Printz roundups before the Youth Media Awards are announced on Monday, January 28.

December 2018 stars tally:

  • 1170 books published in 2018 have been awarded 1901 starred reviews as of the end of December.  6 books have 6 starred reviews; 21 books have 5 starred reviews, 44 books have 4 starred reviews, 125 books have 3 starred reviews, 235 books have 2 starred reviews, 739 books have 1 starred review.
  • For 2018 titles: 2 books have been added with 3 stars (ETA: plus the 2 I’ve missed previously)
  • 151 books published in 2019 have been awarded 215 starred reviews as of the end of December. 5 books have 4 starred reviews, 8 books have 3 starred reviews, 33 books have 2 starred reviews, 105 books have 1 starred review.
  • For 2019 titles: 2 titles with 4 starred reviews are new; 4 titles have been added with 3 stars

Continue reading December 2018 Starred Reviews

November 2018 Starred Reviews

The switch to reviewing 2019 titles has really picked up, but we’re still seeing some new 2018 titles and three books move up to having received six starred reviews. We’ve also reached the point where I can’t believe some of the titles from the first quarter of 2018 were actually published this year because that seems so long ago!

November 2018 stars tally:

  • 1157 books published in 2018 have been awarded 1876 starred reviews as of the end of November.  6 books have 6 starred reviews; 21 books have 5 starred reviews, 44 books have 4 starred reviews, 121 books have 3 starred reviews, 231 books have 2 starred reviews, 734 books have 1 starred review.
  • For 2018 titles: 3 book moved up to 6 stars from 5; 3 books moved up to the 5 stars list from the 4 star list; 1 book has been added with 4 stars with 6 books moving up from 3 stars; and 12 books have been added with 3 stars
  • 81 books published in 2019 have been awarded 110 starred reviews as of the end of November. 3 books have 4 starred reviews, 4 books have 3 starred reviews, 12 books have 2 starred reviews, 62 books have 1 starred review.
  • For 2019 titles: 1 title moves up from 3 starred reviews to 4 while 2 titles with 4 starred reviews were completely new; 3 titles have been added with 3 stars

Continue reading November 2018 Starred Reviews

October 2018 Starred Reviews

As of October there’s still a good chunk of 2018 titles coming in with three starred reviews or more. We’ve also got our first 2019 titles with three starred reviews which are listed down at the bottom below the 2018 information.

October 2018 stars tally:

  • 1135 books published in 2018 have been awarded 1812 starred reviews as of the end of October.  3 books have 6 starred reviews; 21 books have 5 starred reviews, 40 books have 4 starred reviews, 115 books have 3 starred reviews, 228 books have 2 starred reviews, 728 books have 1 starred review.
  • 31 books published in 2019 have been awarded 40 starred reviews as of the end of October. 2 books have 3 starred reviews, 5 books have 2 starred reviews, 24 books have 1 starred review.
  • For 2018 titles: 1 book moved up to 6 stars from 5; 2 books moved up to the 5 stars list from the 4 star lists with 1 book added to the 5 stars list; 1 book has been added with 4 stars with 3 books moving up from 3 stars; and 13 books have been added with 3 stars

Continue reading October 2018 Starred Reviews

September 2018 Starred Reviews

Sorry for the hiatus – I had a big project at work leading the team coordinating my library’s first STEAM Fair which led right into a vacation! I’m back though with the report of September starred reviews. Hopefully October won’t be too far behind.

September 2018 stars tally:

  • 1069 books published in 2018 have been awarded 1691 starred reviews as of the end of September.  2 books have 6 starred reviews; 19 books have 5 starred reviews, 38 books have 4 starred reviews, 105 books have 3 starred reviews, 212 books have 2 starred reviews, 693 books have 1 starred review.
  • 4 books moved up to the 5 stars list from the 3 and 4 star lists; 6 books have been added with 4 stars with 9 moving up from 3 stars; and 19 books have been added with 3 stars

If, unlike me, you’re super caught up or ahead on your reading, you may be interested to see our first starred reviews for a 2019 title. 2 stars (from Kirkus and SLJ) for Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee. If you’re still looking at 2018 titles, check out the lists of three starred reviews or more after the jump! Continue reading September 2018 Starred Reviews