Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by

Book Four on my quest to read all the 2011 Alex Awards.

The premise sounds great and maybe I didn't give it a fair chance...but I barely got through 40 pages. And to be perfectly honest I'm not entirely sure if I even got that far. There was entirely too much geeking out over plans for a movie/comic book/franchising scheme for me to stay interested.

So maybe I'll try again later, because I like the idea that the boy who can never sleep and his friend are on the run from the government who may or may not be trying to tap into his brain.

Book Source = library copy

The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni

Book three on my quest to read the Alex awards.

This one was much more of a reach for me than the previous books, if only because the characters were so out there I found it hard to connect with them at first. It is basically a story of how two marginalized boys find punk rock and how it changes them forever.

Sebastian lives in a geodesic dome on the outskirts of town with his grandmother who probably at one point meant well, but has really (and this is me editorializing) lost it somewhere along the line. She is obsessed (obsessed!) with Buckminster Fuller and only teaches Sebastian things that go along with Buckminster's view of life - but not the naughty bits, she censors those out with black ink. There are some very funny things that come out of this, but I couldn't help but feel a bit horrified that Sebastian has pretty much spent his entire life without interacting with anyone else and certainly no one his own age.

Enter Jared, a foul-mouthed, skinny, heart-transplant recipient who inadvertantly, and much to his chagrin, become's Sebastian's first friend. Since Jared is the first teenager Sebastian has ever met, he becomes his friend pretty much by default. Sebastian sort of won't leave him alone. The thing is though that Jared is almost as isolated as Sebastian. After his heart transplant he's been alone in his bedroom, wallowing in punk music and hiding from the world. I really enjoyed Jared and how the rudest possible things poured out of his mouth, but at times it got to the point where he became a charicature. Luckily the author was witty enough to carry the storyline.
Here are a couple samples:
When Sebastian is attempting to learn bass and it is not going well:

I went to bed each night, trying not to think about how deficient I was at Punk Rocking. It was all I could do not to weep.

And the conclusion, where the boys show up to a church talent show and rock out was one of the best things I've read in a long time:

She peeked out the slit in the curtains.
"Is that you guys?" she said. "Are you...The Rash?"
"Yeah," said Jared. "That's our band name."
She looked at the crowd again and then back to us. "Well, you better go out and play, then," she said. "Or these assholes are going to tear down our church."

I think of all the Alex books I've read so far, this one may have the most limited readership, which I certainly don't mean as a criticism. I say that only because I feel like the reader has to have had an interest in punk at some point in order to get a lot of the humor. But if they get it they'll love it. I fully intend to buy this one for my brother.

Book Source = Library Copy

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell

Book Two on my quest to read all the 2011 Alex Awards. I requested these without even reading the summaries so my first thought upon starting Reapers was basically that I wasn't sure the world needed (or that I could handle reading) another zombie book.

Temple won me over.

Temple is 15, she's been born into a world where zombies exist and she is definitely a product of this new world. She accepts her world, at times revels in it, but carries its weight on her shoulders. She is my favorite type of female protagonist. She's strong, she's assertive, she's pragmatic, she's far from perfect.

She's also basically a drifter and a loner, but when one of the undead wash up on her island sanctuary she knows its time to move on. The novel follows her on her journey from place to place meeting different groups of survivors until the day she meets up with an unresponsive man and her fate becomes entwined with his.

I liked the setting. This is basically the wild west. There are vigilantes, there are the modern day equivalent of wagon trains, there are new "cities" where people are forging a new life for themselves. There are also grotesque things that will make your skin crawl (Spoiler --> like mainlining zombie brains holyeffincrap!!! <-- end spoiler) But, you know, there are ZOMBIES so there is bound to be some nastiness.

I'm a little torn on the ending, one the one hand the story was barreling to that conclusion and on the other hand it seemed a little over the top.

Book Source = Library Copy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Real Live Boyfriends* by e. lockhart

*yes, boyfriends, plural. if my life weren't complicated - I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver.

Ruby! Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby. One of my all-time favorite YA heroines by one of my all-time favorite authors. One of the many sad things about not being a librarian anymore is the absence of publishers sending me ARCs. Real Live Boyfriends was read by my former colleagues a couple months ago, but I had to wait until my local library acquired it like a normal person. Thankfully they had it right after it was released at the end of December. Good job, bibliographers!

I very much enjoyed reading Real Live Boyfriends, the end of our Ruby journey. We have the great footnotes, Ruby/e's sharp sense of humor, and all our return favorite characters. (Hutch! Meghan! Robespierre!) Of course it is complicated. She has very odd parents who both have mental breakdowns this time, she has Rabbit Fever, and she has panic attack-inducing anxiety. Egads. But Ruby grows up and ends the half-joking/half-terrified self-loathing. She isn't a mental patient. She makes the world shiny and sunlit. She's a-ok. And that is saying a lot.

A satisfying ending to a great series. Viva Ruby!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

I picked this title up because after watching the ALA awards I realized I had read exactly one (or to be more exact 3/4s) of the books that won an Alex Award. I hadn't even heard of most of the books that won either. How disgraceful I thought! Plus, you know, this one had a giant piece of yummy looking cake on the cover so it was only natural that I gravitated toward it.

The story is told by Rose, a girl, who on her 9th birthday begins to have problems with food. But not in any ordinary way. Rose can taste people's feelings in food. She can taste her mother's hollowness, another's anger, her brother's blankness. By the time she graduates high school she can pinpoint food to their state of origin, she can taste the tiredness of the fruit pickers, she knows which factories produced what. It is overwhelming.

I have to say, I was swept away by this book. There is an element of magical realism that I found very appealing. I enjoyed how Rose makes a plea to her scientific brother (this plea falls on deaf ears) and his equally science-focused best friend (who is really the only normal character in the book) who agrees to conduct an experiment which ultimately validates Rose's abilities. The mixture of science to prove a "magical" gift was a lovely touch.

Rose's family is very different, offbeat without really being quirky, although I take that back about her father. His extreme avoidance of hospitals is probably the definition of quirky. The mother is loving and yet somewhat unreliable, the father present in body if absent in spirit, and the brother almost catatonic. I found myself most interested by her brother Joseph. I spent the first half of the book convinced he was severely autistic and the last part thinking he was wildly depressed. The thing is, that like Rose, Joseph has a gift. Unlike Rose, however, we are never privy to what this gift actually is. Although I understand the limitations of the narrative (this book is told solidly from Rose's perspective and she would have no realistic way to discover what her brother was actually experiencing) I still found it a little unsatisfying.

Spoilers --> I mean the dude was turning himself into furniture. What the eff was that about? The author state's Joseph's emptiness from the beginning. When Rose takes a bite of his toast she tastes, " a blankness and graininess, something folding in on itself." so yeah, the fact that his favorite piece of furniture to turn into is their grandmother's folding chair has a nice symmetry. But why was he wanting to disappear? I felt as though Joseph's gift/curse was so unbearable that he couldn't deal with it, he needed to retreat at all costs, but I also felt as though his gift/curse was not turning himself into furniture per se (because wtf kind of of "gift" is that?). I felt as though he used science and reason to learn how to transform his "gift" into that. But a little clarity on this end would have been nice.

Also was he smothered by his mother's love? There has to be something about his mother making furniture and him choosing to become furniture.
<-- end of spoilers.

Anyhow, a great book deserving of the attention the Alex award will undoubtedly bring.

Book Source = Library Copy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Joanna and Patti Discuss....The ALA YOUTH MEDIA AWARDS 2011!

After a false start where I watched last year’s awards for several minutes until a severe sense of déjà vu prompted me to realize, I had, indeed, seen all this before…Joanna and I got down to business.

Full list of winners posted at ALA.

Patti: so are you listening to the pretty music? Pre-Announcements are on! (and it is the right year this time I promise…however, we got a new keyboard and it is not all that was promised)

Joanna: LOL - I just got a text from Alison. She was making sure we were watching.

Patti: Excellent! I support our nation's libraries by going to work each day. Way to go me!

Joanna: Got James hooked up with a Thomas the Tank video - it's the Christmas one, but he doesn't care. Go Patti! I support by going to my library and having to buy comic books when Sam spills hot chocolate on them.

Patti: Hah! Alex awards...

Joanna: Always a good list. Top 10

Patti: I have never heard of the boy who couldn't sleep…or breaking night. Where have I been? Hmmm, I have not heard of that one either...Good Gravy! Color me LAME. I vow to read every single one.

Joanna: I heard of the Lemon Cake one. And the Harvard memoir. AND Room. Have I read? No.

Patti: EH. Except maybe Room. That one sounds scary.

Joanna: Yes.

Patti: I did try to read The Vanishing and didn't finish.

Joanna: Well, that is a start.

Patti: an inauspicious one.

Joanna: Oh good, I love when they show people.

Patti: Me too, much better

Joanna: Long speeches also give me the opportunity to finish my coffee and biscotti.

Patti: I like her hat. She looks sharp (and yes it is great for that! Did you make your biscotti?)

Joanna: (No - My friend Natasha who lives in Chicago makes them. She does it as a hobby and brought some to my parents' for Christmas. I think the one I just had was peanut butter and chocolate.)

Patti: (Goodness. YUM!)

Joanna: ALA President. It's also a good time to check on the toddler. He's content.

Patti: Excellent.

Joanna: It's a gray and rainy day here, but it isn't cold yet.

Patti: Didn't we have a dean named Roberta? But she had dark hair. Cold here too. Clap clap clap. Let's get on with it people!

Joanna: We did! She was great. Hello? Uh oh.

Patti: why uh oh?

Joanna: Google's back. It went offline for me.

Patti: Google! Crew up!

Joanna: Yes yes. Move along move along. Crew up!!!

Patti: Schneider!

Joanna: Schneider Family Book Awards - embodies the artistic expression of the disability experience. AWESOME!

Patti: The Pirate of Kindergarten. That is a cute one. (my keyboard is killing me)

Joanna: The Pirate of Kindergarten! Lynne Avril illustrated my cousin's fabulous Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse.

Patti: Nice!

Joanna: Boo keyboard! Middle School. Aw, Jordan Sonnenblick is cute.

Patti: (just means more editing before we post i suppose)

Joanna: After Ever After by Sonnenblick. Teen...

Patti: That's nice. Interesting that it is like a sequel/companion. Don't see too many of those get honored.

Joanna: 5 Flavors of Dumb

Patti: that is a terrible title.

Joanna: Don't know it.

Patti: I think it made tayshas - don't quote me on that though. God, I have the worst memory.

Joanna: New Stonewall Children's and YA Lit Award. Will Grayson?

Patti: good guess.

Joanna: Ha!! Will Grayson it is!

Patti: Honor for Will Grayson! Love Drugged - never heard of it.

Joanna: I really like covers with collages - it looks like a rip on Margo's book.

Patti: it does. Freaks and Revelations and The Boy in the Dress makes up the last 2 honors.

Joanna: Oh - Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher for the wind.

Patti: ALMOST PERFECT! Great book.

Joanna: I have heard of that one.

Patti: Very good story. Very well written. Logan was a superb character

Joanna: I remember you talking about it.

Patti: I don't remember this award being on here last year. Was it?

Joanna: No, it was new this year. I'm fairly certain.

Patti: (my feet are soooo cold)

Joanna: (Crew up!)

Patti: (LOL ok.)

Joanna: Coretta Scott King Book Awards - African American authors and illustrators that promote the understanding of all people.

Patti: Will Williams-Garcia sweep the awards?

Joanna: I wouldn't mind.

Patti: I really hope it does.

Joanna: So this year is a Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement...Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith. Aw, a library school professor.

Patti: Congrats! That's exciting. And cool. 1948! That is when she started her career. Dang! John Steptoe for new talent: Zora and Me. Sonia Lynn Sadler - Seeds of Change. Looks beautiful. Illustrator: Jimi Sounds like a rainbow - Javaka Steptoe

Joanna: I'd like to point out that TWO Florida connections have won: Dr. Mays and Zora & Me. Last year was a Texas Sweep. Maybe Florida will take some home this year.

Patti: Dave the Potter wins. (the other was an honor)

Joanna: I love Dave the Potter! Author Honors: WDM - Lockdown

Patti: Interesting. Good for him, he’s lovely

Joanna: Ninth Ward! (I've been meaning to read that.)

Patti: Yummy - I was a little cold on that one.

Joanna: Drum roll

Patti: YAY!!!! One Crazy Summer!!!!!! Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!

Joanna: Score one for ONE CRAZY SUMMER.

Patti: Love that book - I hope it wins Newbery. I've got my fingers crossed.

Joanna: YALSA is UP

Joanna: Odyssey Award - ALISON!

Patti: Woot! Alison!
4 honors: Alchemy and Meggy Swan. Knife of never letting go (woot woot woot)
Revolution (I've been meaning to read this one). Will Grayson, Will Grayson (i'm not sure i could take the audio. lol). The True Meaning of Smekday for the win. Didn't Michelle love this book?

Joanna: I think so.

Patti: Alison Ann!

Joanna: I love Adam Rex, but I never read this one. Sam loves his poetry/picture books.
Patti: Margaret A. Edwards...

Joanna: LOL - I giggled, too. Alison, I'm now calling you Alison Ann. Any guesses?
John Green - LOL

Patti: heh.


Patti: Excellent choice. Terry Pratchett. It really is a perfect choice.

Joanna: Seriously.

Patti: I haven't read his latest. Really we should pick a series of his and tag-team blog it
So much to do for 2011. William C Morris...DEBUT!

Joanna: Yes - that might be better than trying to keep up with 2011 - we go back and read standards.

Patti: I want Hold Me Closer, Necromancer to win. Go go go!

Joanna: Hush, Guardian of the Dead - don't know.

Patti: Heard of, haven't read. Good for Carolrhoda to get on an awards list.
I think it was their first year publishing YA.

Joanna: And a win for them!

Patti: Freak Observer for the win.

Joanna: Good heavens, YALSA has a gazillion awards. Excellence Nonfiction

Patti: KKK for the Non Fiction?

Joanna: Maybe - I honestly couldn't finish that one.

Patti: People seem apeshit for that one. I haven't read it.

Joanna: It has one of the best covers ever. Alright Janis Joplin for the win.

Patti: Janis Joplin! Dang! Surprise to me. Probably a very good biography.

Joanna: She's a new author?

Patti: (and many awards)

Joanna: Oh hey, hi Jeanette!

Patti: PRINTZ!!! Let's see how we do.

Joanna: Honors -4

Patti: Stolen – haven’t read

Joanna: Please Ignore Vera Dietz / A.S. King

Patti: Please Ignore Vera Dietz - couldn't get my hands on

Joanna: HA! Revolver!

Patti: Interesting!

Joanna: Never read it, but I have it in my bag. NOTHING!

Patti: NOTHING!! It needed an honor. Ahhhhhhh dying to know.
YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ship Breaker totally deserved this. Nothing else compared this year. Can't wait to hear his speech. The author seems so interesting.

Joanna: He'll be at TLA. We get him first! Or you. You get him first.

Patti: So awesome. We do. TLA rocks. Aren't you coming?

Joanna: Yes, but not for the whole conference. I need to email you all about days. I know you all are busy workin'.

Patti: We were under the impression you'd be visiting us...ahem.

Joanna: Oh, I'm coming.

Patti: ok, good.

Joanna: (Baby check time. Ah, PBS. Thank you.)

Patti: Pura Belpre....


Patti: 15 years! Quince!

Joanna: Pam Munoz Ryan AGAIN? Let's see.

Patti: Red Umbrella?

Joanna: That would be a Florida connection book.

Patti: heh.

Joanna: Francisco X Stork? ILLUSTRATION

Patti: that one is soooo cute!

Joanna: Fiesta Babies! James LOVES LOVES LOVES this book. He likes it when they eat salsa and chips. Me Frida. Dear Primo. Award for Illustration

Patti: I think Stork has a great chance for the author.

Joanna: Grandma's Gift by Eric Velasquez

Patti: (I hope I'm not late for work this is longer than I remember)

Joanna: (How much time do you have?)

Patti: (45 mins. I should be fine.)

Joanna: (Yep.)

Patti: (But I won't be early, which is stressful lol) OK…TEXT:

Joanna: Honor Text: Ole Flamenco. Of course, Margarita Engle - The Firefly Letters
90 Miles to Havana (ahem, Florida connection)

Patti: And the winner is...The Dreamer!

Joanna: Can't deny PMR. What about her for the Newbery?

Patti: I was not a huge fan, sadly

Joanna: Pablo Neruda is not a subject I would have picked up for a young kid.

Patti: I hope not for Newbery, only because I didn't like it. I didn't even like Sis' illustrations. (may lightening not strike me down)

Joanna: Ha! Holy Moly - I had no idea that Sally was on the committee!

Patti: Me neither! Go Sally!

Joanna: Secrets!

Patti: What is this award? My Hill Arbuthnot lecture award...Peter Sis (and I just dissed you....egad! sorry!) I am a fan, I promise!

Joanna: It's pretty funny.

Patti: Mildred L. Batchelder...translation award..Nothing! (guessing here)

Joanna: Oh good.

Patti: honor: Departure Time

Joanna: Nothing for the 2nd honor

Patti: Go Nothing! Take that! Have not heard of: A Time of Miracles for the win
But it is a sweeping novel so that's got to be good. heh.

Joanna: Oh the Sibert Medal. Forgot what with the YALSA NF Award
Documentable Factual Information for Children. 2 Honors: Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring. Layfayette and the American Revolution.
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

Patti: What a funny title! Kakapo! makes me giggle.

Joanna: sure does!

Patti: (Sounds like something that would come out of Charlie’s mouth. He's very into baby talk. It is sweeping his daycare.) Laura Ingalls Wilder Award:

Joanna: Aw, Tomi dePaola

Patti: Ahhhhh, that is nice. Well deserved.

Joanna: (baby talk? like what?)

Patti: (goo gah balalala - instead of words he knows. And saying things like, "that's a bloopie bum" just random syllables)

Joanna: (that's funny)

Patti: Andrew Carnegie Medal:

Joanna: Andrew Carnegie Medal - video production

Patti: Curious Garden. That just sounds like it would be good. I'll have to see if we have it at the library.

Joanna: It was a great book. And this video looks awesome!

Patti: It really does. I love the art.

Joanna: And a British voice over is always a winner. Classy and all that.

Patti: Definitely. (Hey, they opened up a breakfast restaurant on Manchaca called "Full English" YUM.)

Joanna: (Have you been? Mmm. Breakfast.)

Patti: (You get an English breakfast. It was pricey, but good)

Joanna: (What's an English breakfast?)

Patti: (Grilled Tomato and mushrooms with your back bacon, egg, and Fried Toast.

Joanna: (Yeah!)

Patti: (Fried toast!!! Who knew.)

Joanna: (drool..)


Joanna: Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for early readers

Patti: NOT Mo Willems for the win. please.


Patti: That cat the cat is lame

Joanna: AH! But it should win! Mo for the honor - We Are in a Book

Patti: Ok, that one was great, but still. a little diversity please.

Joanna: OH BINK AND GOLLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of my favorites

Patti: Awwwww, good choice.

Joanna: Sam loved it, too.

Patti: Solid choice.

Joanna: Okay, I loved Ling and Ting, but this is a good winner. Mmm. Speaking of breakfast. They eat lots of pancakes.

Patti: mmmmmmm

Joanna: Toddler is quiet... KRISTEN! I totally forgot!

Patti: Kristen - intern Kristen? (sorry - texting work.) CALDECOTT!

Joanna: tingles...

Patti: 2 honors

Joanna: WOW! Dave the Potter for win #2

Patti: nice! Interrupting Chicken!

Joanna: Shocker! David Ezra Stein

Patti: I really like it. Charlie did too.

Joanna: Interesting choices. Medal Winner Is My favorite!

Patti: OH YEAH!!!! Sick Day for Amos McGee

Joanna: A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Delightful

Patti: That was a winner in every way. LOVED THAT BOOK!

Joanna: "gentle and satisfying" = for sure. What a huge committee

Patti: Good for them. How cute a husband and wife team won. love it.

Joanna: Yep.

Patti: Finally is right…NEWBERY

Joanna: (and they did Wink: the Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed - right?)
(or he did?) NEWBERY FINALLY

Patti: (i can't remember...did they?)


Patti: 4 honors


Patti: nice. haven't heard of it, but nice.

Joanna: HEART OF A SAMURAI (another dark horse)

Patti: haven't read this.

Joanna: ROBBED ROBBED ROBBED One Crazy Summer

Patti: ROBBED. One Crazy Summer for honor.

Joanna: Sweetness - Turtle in Paradise

Patti: Ha!

Joanna: Ha!

Patti: Conspiracy!

Joanna: CONSPIRACY. Um, what is this book? With an awful cover?

Patti: Moon Over Manifest. And what is this?

Joanna: Huh?

Patti: Kansas. Not Florida. lol

Joanna: Ah, plucky historical fiction heroine! LOL

Patti: Plucky...barf

Joanna: eclectic historical folk people

Patti: lol. Well, shucks Joanna, I plum figured One Crazy summer for the win.

Joanna: Me too. I wonder if those historical blips held it back. Or maybe because it has talk of abortion.

Patti: or the mother. but the abortion talk maybe. Didn't Roger from Horn Book say that was the last taboo? Well, on a whole I'm very satisfied. You?

Joanna: yep. Another great year. Another great broadcast. Another great chat with my favorite chat partner. cue groovy new jazz on the ala site

Patti: Thumbs up! I'll edit and post. And we should discuss a new review strategy like doing a series. Hey! Rachel just logged on. Chatting with her. She's excited about Amos too!

Joanna: Yes. Let's have a business meeting. Thanks for editing the post - as you always do. Oh Rachel! I was texting Alison.

Patti: Cool deal! Talk to you soon.

Joanna: Okay, bye. Have a good day at work!

Patti: Have a good day with James! Lucky dog you!

Joanna: Rainy day and a toddler. Good times!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 Favorites

Here is my list. I sadly read little youth nonfiction. You can also see Patti's and Jenn's.

The Night Fairy / Laura Amy Schlitz

The Red Blazer Girls : The Vanishing Violin / Michael Beil
Touch Blue / Cynthia Lord
One Crazy Summer / Rita Williams-Garcia
Smile / Raina Telgemeier
Turtle in Paradise / Jennifer L. Holm
Bink and Gollie / DiCamillo & McGhee & Fucile
Ling & Ting / Grace Lin

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place : The Mysterious Howling / Maryrose Wood
Keeper / Kathi Appelt

Alchemy and Meggy Swann / Karen Cushman

Clementine, Friend of the Week / Sara Pennypacker

House of Dolls / Francesca Lia Block
Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down / Andrea Davis Pinkey
Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse / Rebecca Janni*


A Conspiracy of Kings / Megan Whelan Turner

The Green Witch / Alice Hoffman
Northward to the Moon / Polly Horvath
Fever Crumb / Philip Reeve
You / Charles Benoit

Mockingjay / Collins
Mercury / Hope Larson
Countdown / Deborah Wiles
Ship Breaker / Paolo Bacigalupi

Finnikin of the Rock /Melina Marchetta

The Hole We're In / Gabrielle Zevin

And the Pursuit of Happiness / Maira Kalman

Exiles in Eden : Life Among the Ruins of Florida's Great Recession / Paul Reyes

*okay, she's a relative, but c'mon - that book is adorable!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mock Printz Results

11 people met today for our second Mock Printz. We discussed each book for 10 minutes each and at the end of the discussion we took a vote for the winner.

For those who just want the results:


Bacigalupi, Paolo – Ship Breaker

Honor Titles:

Marchetta, Melina – Finnikin of the Rock
Nelson, Jandy – The Sky is Everywhere
Teller, Janne - Nothing


For those who want to know all the nitty gritty details:

1st Vote for the Winner:

Our first vote did not meet the criteria. We did not have one book that had at least 5 first place votes, nor did any title lead the others by at least 5 points. Here is how it scored out:

As Easy as Falling... = 0 first place votes (4 total points)
Fever Crumb = 0 first place votes (0 total points)
Finnikin of the Rock = 3 first place votes (19 total points)
Last Summer of the Death Warriors = 0 first place votes (0 total points)
= 0 first place votes (0 points)
Nothing = 1 first place vote (15 total points)
Revolver = 0 fist place votes (3 total points)
Ship Breaker = 4 first place votes (26 total points)
The Sky is Everywhere = 3 first place votes (22 total points)
You = 0 first place votes (10 total points)

Crazy right? Here's what killed the books that did not move on to the second vote:

As Easy As Falling = Although I was fully charmed, it seemed most others were not. They found it to be too implausible (which frankly I thought was part of its charm...) So they liked it, but didn't find it to be as well written. I totally disagree and after my second read loved it even more than I had on the first read (hence the 4 points it got), but one lone voice is a lonely voice in a mock discussion.

Fever Crumb = People felt like you had to read the others to fully get the book. I disagree, but then I've read all the other books more than once so I'm probably not the best judge of that. And if everyone who hadn't read the other books said it, well, I'm inclined to take their opinion. It seems to me that this one failed to move up because it wasn't independent enough from the other books.

Last Summer of the Death Warriors = People did not believe in D.Q. They thought he was a bit of a cliche.

Mercury = The feeling I got was that people genuinely enjoyed this, but didn't think it was as strong a story as the other titles.

Revolver = That damn epilogue killed it. I think this one could have won if it wasn't for that epilogue.

2nd Vote for the Winner:

Finniking of the Rock =
3 first place votes (23 total points)
Nothing = 0 first place votes (15 total points)
Ship Breaker = 5 first place votes (33 total points)
The Sky is Everywhere = 3 first place votes (24 total points)
You = 0 first place votes (4 total points)

So Ship Breaker is our Mock Printz winner!

We decided to knock You off the list. What killed it: Zach. Was. Over. The. Top.

Honor Titles:

We had 4 titles left. What happened was a lengthy discussion about whether we should make all the remaining non winning titles honors, or if we should knock off Nothing, or if we should just go ahead and revote.

We decided to keep Sky is Everywhere and Finnikin as honors. Proabably not perfect Printz procedure, but we felt comfortable with it.

As you could imagine Nothing was a divisive title. I don't think anyone loved it, some questioned it being a teen title, no one was terribly comfortable with it. We looked at the Printz criteria again and the majority thought it fit. Still, there was division. We decided to do a straight up and down vote as to keep or ditch it as an honor. Only one vote said to leave it off.

Mock Printz Today!

Wahoo! Today is the day for the Mock Printz. Shall I make my predictions?* I think books about boys will sweep it, unless a sentimental vote is given for Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere. I gave too many eye rolls when super-perfect Joe was around that I just can't cast a vote for that one.

Bacigalupi, Paolo – Ship Breaker
Benoit, Charles – You
Larson, Hope – Mercury
Marchetta, Melina – Finnikin of the Rock
Nelson, Jandy – The Sky is Everywhere
Perkins, Lynne Rae – As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth
Reeves, Philip – Fever Crumb
Sedgwick, Marcus – Revolver
Stork, Francisco X – The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
Teller, Janne - Nothing

I did love Fever Crumb, but I am concerned that its connection to the trilogy may dismiss it for some. Maybe the sweetness of The Last Summer of the Death Warriors will push it past its too sweet ending. Nothing sure has the buzz, but at the end of the book I was frustrated, exhausted, and thinking it wasn't as good as it started off to be. A best book for 2010? Oh, yes. But compare it to You by Charles Benoit and I have to pull for You each time.

Printz loves Marchetta, so that could play to her doom. Finnikin is a chore to read. It's gruesome and glorious but the reader has to work for it. I think in the end it will nab some votes. But what about Hope Larson's Mercury? The graphic novel always throwing a wrench into the plans. As much as I liked it, I think it is overwhelmed in a category of excellent novels.

So that brings Ship Breaker. Distinguished on every level. I think when the votes are cast, this is the one that will rise up. Crew up!

*Okay, I didn't read Revolver. I totally missed it on my list before I left town for the holidays. I had thought the Perkins book was my last one. Shame!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year End Favorites

Read a lot of books this year, so picking favorites was difficult. But here's what I came up with in no particular order...

Picture Books

Henry in Love by Peter McCarty
Heart in a Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
Dogs by Emily Gravett
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Socksquatch by Frank W. Dormer

School-Age Fiction

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

Teen Fiction

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whelan Turner
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Zombies vs. Unicorns
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Matched by Ally Condie
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
The Enemy by Charlie Higson
Heist Society by Ally Carter
You by Charles Benoit
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Adult Fiction

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

Graphic Novels (all levels)

Tsubasa by CLAMP
xxxHolic by CLAMP
Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama
Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires
Black Butler by Yana Toboso
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Twin Spica by Kou Yaginuma
Hellsing by Kohta Hirano
Chi's Sweet Home by Konami Konata

And I still need to do this part...


Case Closed/Detective Conan
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Books to Movies

True Grit
Kick Ass
Scott Pilgrim
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1

Well, that was my year. How was yours?