Yeah, I know you don't really need another one of these, especially since the announcement is mere hours away, but I'm thinking about it, so I might as well think about it aloud. Besides, I did pretty good last year.
I think the front-runner in everyone's mind at the moment (well, except the committee themselves, as I do believe they've already made their decision) is MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD by Francisco X. Stork. It handily won my library's Mock Printz, but IF I STAY got an honor through us, so take that with a grain of salt (this is not to say I wasn't moved by IIS, but... I don't know if it's "Printz-worthy").
ASH by Malinda Lo is also a Morris Award contender. People have been fairly gobsmacked by this Cinderella retelling, so I think it's got an outside chance despite the potential of a double win.
GENTLEMEN by Michael Northrop. This one lingers, and it is in the aftertaste that you begin to truly appreciate all that went on here. Kyle has even picked GENTLEMEN up, read it, and loved it, and wrote a review for me that is forthcoming.
BLUE PLATE SPECIAL by Michelle D. Kwasney. I love this book. I don't think anyone's heard of it (unless they've been good little readers and paid attention to the Cybils), but I can't help but evangelize all over the place for it. So now I'm doing it here, too.
LIAR by Justine Larbalestier... I don't know what to say about this one. I certainly didn't like it. BUT. It is kinda remarkable that the reader can choose to read it as a psychological thriller (?) or a fantasy novel. Of course, if you read it as fantasy, you are totally wrong in my mind.
NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen. People love this book. Really, really love it. It's not without it's faults, but in a roomful of YA Lit people, this one will, no matter what, have ardent supporters. As an added, but completely irrelevant since it's not qualifying criteria, bonus: teens love it too.
LIPS TOUCH by Laini Taylor. Haven't read it. I'll be starting tonight, now that my hold has finally come in. From what I can tell, everyone who isn't a fantasy or short story hater seems to think it's brilliant. And even some of them confess love.
I think there might be librarians rioting in the streets if Rebecca Stead's lovely WHEN YOU REACH ME doesn't take home at least an honor.
I only read a handful of middle grade books, so my knowledge is limited but I'd love to see HEART OF A SHEPHERD by Rosanne Parry and THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly with shiny medals on their covers. Though I have not read it, I wouldn't be surprised to see 11 BIRTHDAYS by Wendy Mass on their list. Grace Lin's WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON seems to have everyone drooling of late, so keep that one on your radar, as well.
If MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD doesn't take home the Schneider, blood was probably spilled in that committee over it, so walk carefully if you know anyone of that group. They might still have their blades out.
Honor- and other level-wise, I have no idea. ALIBI JUNIOR HIGH was a pretty awesome depiction of both PTSD and amputation, while still being mad entertaining, so I wouldn't be completely surprised to see it, despite the slightly far-fetched premise. I also have a ginormous soft spot for HOW IT ENDS by Laura Wiess, and it's earth-shattering depiction of Parkinson's Disease. The ending might provide a bit of a problem for the committee, though. Chen's NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL, depending on how the committee decides to interpret disability, could also be a contender.
Coretta Scott King:
I gotta tell you that I'm pulling for THE ROCK AND THE RIVER by Kekla Magoon. Of course, I would be ecstatic to see the lovely Tanita Davis win for her wonderful MARE'S WAR, and quite happy to see Sherri L. Smith's FLYGIRL win as well. I'd be less happy if JUMPED by Rita Carlos Williams wins, but what with the "outstanding inspirational and educational" criteria, I'm not entirely sure JUMPED qualifies.
Actually, I say all this, but I'm sure CLAUDETTE COLVIN: TWICE TOWARD JUSTICE will be recognized. Pinkney's THE LION AND THE MOUSE is sure to be recognized for the illustrator award.
Yeah. I got nothin' here. Perhaps Scanlon's ALL THE WORLD and/or THE LION AND THE MOUSE.
This was fun. I should blog more often.
I love to see speculation on the "smaller" awards! Claudette Colvin isn't eligible for the CSK, though (author isn't African American) and Lion and the Mouse probably isn't, either (depending on how strict they are about requiring African / African American content).
Ach. I suppose you are right, Wendy. That must be why those two were an afterthought - I should have listened to why my subconscious was repressing them until the last moment. I'm always torn about that criteria. On one hand, I understand it. On the other, when something is awesome, it's awesome. *shrug*
as you know, I really liked Marcelo, and I liked Liar as well - though I definitely read it as the psychological thriller, and not the other...
I will be very interested to see what actually wins...
I hope you're right about Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me. Not many books have me reading them from cover to cover and then imediately starting back at page one.
Jackie, I think you will really like Lips Touch.
Well called, my friend, well called!
I enjoyed reading your lovely blog, have a great time!
I totally agree with you about "Jumped". That is on my list of least favorite books this year.
Also, another voice that loves "Marcello" and "Liar"!
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