|YALSA/ALA: Actual 2013 Printz Award list here.|
Prior to the event: purchase the treats, send workshop invitations/reminders to students, run copies of the voting ballots, set up the tables and chairs in a conversational style.
2:00: Students start arriving in the library after the last bell of the day.
2:10: Welcome and explain the voting process.
2:15: Read information from the ALA webpage about why they selected the past Printz Award books. Direct attention to the voting criteria that the committee uses for excellence in literature (not popularity.)
2:20: Take straw poll.
2:25-3:00: Discuss all the books. Bring discussion back to excellence and criteria.
3:00: First vote. While votes are being tabulated, have students break for snacks.
3:10: Vote results. In this case, one book was the clear winner so we decided to choose this book as our winner.
3:15-4:00: Discussion to select Honor Books.
4:00: Vote. While votes are tabulated students selected a Advanced Reader book that I lugged home from the ALA conference yesterday.
4:10-4:15: We had to continue balloting to narrow down the list to select our Honor books.
Here is their Mock Printz award list:
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green...students felt like this book was very authentic and got the teen voice just right. They really liked the whole story and felt that the plot twists kept it fresh and interesting throughout.
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers...I confess that a group of the students were clearly in love with this book and couldn't be dissuaded by others to consider that it wasn't as strong on the voting criteria.
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater...I was surprised that this book was one of our Honor books, even though I am a huge fan of both the book and the author. It just seemed like this book didn't get much attention during our discussions. But apparently it had many fans in the group of students.
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman...the setting and the characters got a lot of attention when we discussed this book.
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews...the group felt that the various writing styles and authentic male teenage voice made this book worthy of an honor.
The older students tried unsuccessfully to pull for these two books: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Code Name Verity. Unfortunately fewer kids read these two books than the books listed above otherwise I think we would have had more fans. The students who made it all the way through Code Name Verity spoke passionately about it but several other students, who couldn't finished it, also spoke up which probably had a negative impact on the vote. The Aristotle and Dante fans will be exonerated when they see the actual Printz award list here.
It was a fun and exhilarating workshop. But I confess that I am tired. Time for bed.