"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Mock Printz Award Update

And the 2011 MOCK PRINTZ AWARDS go to....
After school today I met with 20 high school students for the GKHS 2nd Annual Mock Printz Workshop. After two hours of a stimulating debate, the group selected the following as their award and honor books:

Mock Printz Award Winner:
#1 The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
      After much spirited discussion, this wonderful novel emerged as a group favorite for several reasons--most of the students admired Sachar's writing and how it got us interested in bridge, a game we had no interest in before we read the book; they felt that the main character, Alton, showed growth as a character; and they enjoyed the original whale symbol that indicates it is OK to skip some of the more detailed information about bridge without missing out on the story.

Mock Honor Books
#2 Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
     After our first ballot Finnikin and Cardturner were tied.  Several students spoke passionately of how much they like the originality of this imaginative fantasy novel.  Others felt that the novel got off to such a slow start that it shouldn't be our top book. Either way they all agreed it was our top Honor book and certainly worthy of praise.

#3 Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
     The talk about this book centered around how this book informed us about animal rights/experimentation and how much we cared about the main characters, especially Zan, as the story progressed.

#4 (Tie) The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
     Growth and development of characters, wonderful writing, and plenty of literary allusions. Some kids chuckled when they learned that the story is loosely based on Don Quixote, a book few teenagers have read but all have heard about.

#4 (Tie) Nothing by Janne Teller
     Several students chafed at our inclusion of this disturbing story on our list but many others felt that the writing was so good especially how Teller evoked such strong emotions in us, even if the emotion was revulsion.

Three other books received a lot of attention but ultimately didn't rise to the top:
a. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- students REALLY liked this book but felt it wouldn't be selected because it is predominantly a "girl" book.
b. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi- students liked this book and were impressed that this was the National Book Award winner but weren't as impressed with the symbolism within the story as I was.
c.  Incarceron by Catherine Fisher-came to our attention late so only three kids had a chance to read it but one gal, Rebecca, is convinced that this book will be the winner.  She says she's never read a better, more exciting book.

Now we wait.  
The actual Printz Award will be announced Monday, January 10th.    Stay tuned.


  1. Wow... That is actually a pretty shocking list to me! I'm not sure why... maybe just because I'm more accustomed to the picks of middle school students? Out of your top 5, I've read exactly ZERO. I need to catch up :)

  2. Katie, I know this is isn't completely accurate but I think of the Printz Award as the high school book prize! I think aims for 14 to 18-year-olds. Often the Printz books aren't even selected for purchase by our Junior High librarians. Of the books listed above I think the most "high school" of them is The Last Summer of the Death Warriors. It will be interesting to see what the actual winners are.

  3. I loved The Cardturner. If it does win, it deserves it.


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