On Saturday, January 14th, HVLA librarians came together for the 5th annual Mock Event, affectionately named The Printzbery after we decided to expand our discussion to include both the Printz and Newbery Awards. Karyn Silverman and Joy Piedmont from LREI -Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School organized and hosted the event.
After a delicious catered lunch and a quick readership poll, we decided to start discussing our shortlist, which included the following titles:
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Vietnam by Russell Freedman
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
The Best Man by Gregory Peck
Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes
The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
Makoons by Louise Erdrich
The young adult titles were being considered for a mock Printz award, the middle grade titles were under consideration for the mock Newbery, and the crossover titles were eligible for either or both awards. Though even during our conversation, we moved titles around, realizing that The Inquisitor’s Tale was more of a crossover title and we also allowed a few “write-in” nominations from librarians present including: Wild Robot by Peter Brown, Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart, Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner and Soar by Joan Bauer.
Each book had a nominator that spoke passionately about why that book should be considered for one of the awards and then the group discussed that title until the allotted time ran out. While deliberating, we kept in mind the criteria for both the Newbery and Printz awards which were written on the white boards. In voting, we stuck as closely to the spirit of the official award voting procedures as possible, but since we were a group of seven, the numbers had to be slightly adjusted.
On the first vote, there were clear winners: The Passion of Dolssa for the mock Printz and Ghost for the mock Newbery. When deciding how many honor books to include, the books with the second most votes were chosen, with The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Lucy and Linh, and The Lie Tree receiving mock Printz honors and The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Wild Robot, Inquisitor’s Tale, and Samurai Rising receiving mock Newbery Honors.
Historically, a crossover book has tended to win the Printzbery and this year was no exception. Since there are no official policies and procedures for the Printzbery, the librarians present decided to vote for our “heart” books that we each felt deserved recognition. (Maybe one day, we will actually come up with some official guidelines!) Not surprisingly since it picked up honors in both other categories, The Girl Who Drank the Moon became our Printzbery winner, with Ghost and The Passion of Dolssa, winners of the other two categories, as Printzbery honors.
So here’s a quick recap of the results:
Mock Printz: The Passion of Dolssa, The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Honor), Lucy and Linh (Honor), The Lie Tree (Honor)
Mock Newbery: Ghost, Wild Robot (Honor), The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Honor), The Inquisitor’s Tale (Honor), Samurai Rising (Honor)
Mock Printzbery: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Ghost (Honor), The Passion of Dolssa (Honor)
Of course, we weren’t perfect since we were only scratching the surface of the reading done by the real committees, but it was nice to see some overlap with the Real Awards, particularly in the Newbery Award. It was a great day of conversation and camaraderie among HVLA librarians and friends, full of insightful discussion. This has become a yearly HVLA event, so join us next year when we talk about 2017 titles!