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Yes yes, the real deal was announced this morning, but that doesn’t make Mock Printz results any less interesting, does it?  Here is what we read:

I ended up reading All the Broken Pieces the day before the workshop, and most of The Eternal Smile the morning of – and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish the latter.

Going in, there were some titles that I knew I wouldn’t vote for – The Eternal Smile, The Miles Between, Crazy Beautiful, and If I Stay.  Some of those I definitely enjoyed reading and would recommend, but they just didn’t strike me examples of excellence.  But among the rest of the titles, I felt like I could be swayed by discussion.  This is where the mock award workshops get interesting, because so much depends on your small group discussion – who’s in the group and what you end up focusing on in the ten minutes allotted to each title.

My group had three other youth librarians, a library page, and two teens.  There was some real support from the teen boy for Marcelo and Heroes of the Valley, and the Heroes discussion in particular got me thinking.  A few people had minor issues with the ending, but the discussion brought out a lot of the strengths of the book that I’d just jumbled into “liking the book.”  We were mixed on Tales of the Madman Underground – a bunch of people had given up on it, but those that finished it thought it was a strong contender.  No one had any significant criticisms of Marcelo or Wintergirls – not enough to talk us out of them.  We thought All the Broken Pieces was strong but no one really lobbied for it as the best.  North of Beautiful got some love, but those of us in that camp admitted it was more of a “recommend to lots of people” book than a literary success.  We were mixed on If I Stay – one person loved it, but thought it would’ve been better if she hadn’t stayed.  The other three we pretty much dismissed.

Did I mention we were a rowdy group?  We broke almost all the discussion rules (discuss positive first, no personal anecdotes, no comparing to books outside the discussion list) but still had what felt to me like a useful discussion.  In short, a lot of fun was had.  I forgot to write down the point spread, but I think my small group voted Marcelo as the winner with Wintergirls and Heroes as our honors.

Then, the five small groups reconvened, revealed our winners, and large group discussion commenced.  I’m not sure why, but at the Mock Newbery, all of the discussions were fairly sedate.  Maybe it’s the teens that get us more riled up at the Mock Printz, or maybe YA librarians are more argumentative than the rest?  Either way, there was some heated debate, particularly about Tales of the Madman Underground.

Finally, we voted again as a large group.  I switched around my personal votes a lot, mostly because I felt like there were five or so equally deserving books – Marcelo, Wintergirls, North of Beautiful, Heroes of the Valley, and Tales of the Madman UndergroundMarcelo was the only one I voted for both times.  What can I say, I was feeling fickle.  The final results were:

Winner – Marcelo in the Real World (87 points)

Honors – Wintergirls (71) and Tales of the Madman Underground (51)

Interestingly, Marcelo and Wintergirls had a variety of votes – first, second, third – to add up to their higher numbers, while Madman got almost exclusively first place votes.  And, Madman is the only title from our discussion list to be recognized by the real Printz committee (same thing happened last year – The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks got both real and fake honors).  This year’s Printz titles can be found here.

Yes, it’s 6 am and I’m posting, because I actually managed to wake myself up by 4:45 to watch the Youth Media Awards webcast AND get an order in before the library catalog went down!  I feel so accomplished…and tired.  It looks like all the results are up on the individual award pages already – nice and quick.

It seems like ALA finally managed to get a large enough webcast – or whatever you call it when you can let enough people watch it at once.  I got kicked out during the Batchelder announcements and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back in, but no problems.  Two years ago, the last time I tried to watch it live, there was no room at the inn.  My only moment of panic was when I went to the bookmarked page and was told that I needed Windows Media Player to watch it – which I didn’t have installed.  A little advance warning would be nice for that sort of thing, especially since the placeholder website had been up for quite a while.  Fortunately I only missed a couple minutes waiting for the download, and got on just in time for the Schneider.

Nothing shocking this year for the Newbery or Caldecott – the only thing I had to order for my library was a second copy of When You Reach Me. We even already had a second copy of The Lion and the Mouse – it was an accidental duplicate, since one librarian ordered it for picture books and another for the folk tale collection, and I remember saying, “hey, maybe it’ll win the Caldecott and we’ll already have our second copy!”  But I’m happy for more than budgetary reasons – it’s a stunner.  And I certainly can’t argue with WYRM, although The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate getting an honor seemed more iffy and was therefore more exciting.

And non-fiction seemed nicely represented across the board.  Claudette Colvin kind of cleaned up, with a Sibert honor and Newbery honor on top of that National Book Award.  The Coretta Scott King author award went to Bad News for Outlaws, the Edwards went to Jim Murphy (I had a little fan girl moment there), Charles and Emma got a Printz honor, We Are the Ship got an Odyssey honor, there were a few bios on the Belpre list…

And YA!  I’ve always said that the Printz is unpredictable – or at least it always surprises me.  Last year – well, 2009 was a golden year for the Printz.  I knew and loved every title on that list.  This year, the only two I’ve read are Charles and Emma and Tales of the Madman Underground, and I’m pleased to see both of them on the list.  I suppose now I’ll have to grit my teeth and read The Monstrumologist (it sounds good, but not my thing – look at that cover!)  And Punkzilla hadn’t been on my radar at all (side note – two YA books mentioning Portland and meth in the awards this year – Flash Burnout is the other.  We’re going to get a great image this way).  Going Bovine – interesting choice!  I’ve heard lots of love for it, but also some meh.

I was pleasantly surprised that my library owns all but 9 of the juvenile titles that got awards or honors (there was a lot of the YA that we didn’t own, but that’s not my department, and I didn’t order the audio books because we do that separately).  I can’t take credit for many of them, since I came in halfway through the year, but I was quite pleased when I recognized all of the Batchelder titles.  Big Wolf and Little Wolf was one of my favorite quirky picture books of the year, and I can take credit for ordering the three fiction titles on the list – Eidi, Moribito II, and A Faraway Island (the winner).  Now I just need to actually read them.

Now, breakfast and coffee or a nap?

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