"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=========

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Mock Printz...the results are here

Today was the Mock Printz Workshop at GKHS!

Before I give you the results of our votes, let me tell you a little about the event.

Around 25 students joined me after school for two and a half hours of bookish fun. I started with an introduction to the Printz Award and talked about literary excellence. Next I asked seniors to read a portion of what the Printz committee said about some of the winning books in the past. I reminded them, with the exception of Looking for Alaska, most Printz winners aren't the most popular books of the year. I wanted them to hold this in their minds as we started to talk about the books. Next we voted without any discussion. Students were asked to only vote for their favorite book that they read. We were working off a reading list of 17 books. Most kids only read five of the books. I wanted them to identify what they liked in their favorite before they were swayed by talk from louder voices in the room.

At this point only three books were kicked off the list because no one voted for them. Now the book discussions began and kids were very articulate and passionate. After our second round of voting our winner was very clear. We continued our discussion to select three honor books. Two books that didn't end up with enough votes to make our list were valiantly fought for by several students, In the Shadow of the Blackbird by Winter, and The Summer Prince by Johnson. At this point a school administrator walked through the library. I was so proud of the passion this group of students showed toward books and reading and how well they articulated their arguments for their choices.

After the event was over and students were packing up to head home, two students stopped off the ask me how one becomes a high school librarians because THEY WANT TO BE ONE.  How fun! After a super fun bookish event to have a student recognize what a cool job I have.

Now for the results:

Winner of the GKHS Mock Printz Award:

Winger by Andrew Smith--- students just gushed their praise of this book. One student spoke for the group when he said that the author got teenagers just right. It was spot on.  They could imagine having the conversations, or being in the exact situations that were part of the story. The language, the drinking, the peer pressure, all of it was perfect,  just right.

Honor Books:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell--- students actually didn't talk about this book as much as I expected but they sure voted for it. One girl said that this was by far the most touching book of the year. Another commented about the wonderful use of two narrators. Some students were unsure what they thought of the ambiguous ending. Others felt that it wasn't ambiguous at all.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal--- three of the five senior boys on the team argued passionately for this book. They were very convincing and it ended up tying E & P as our second choice. They felt the development of the plot was so clever. McNeal obviously understands fairy tales.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick--- students felt that this was such an important story and the characters were well developed.

My one disappointment of the day was that Boxers/Saints had only one advocate. It was a late addition to the reading list so only a hand full of kids read the set. Unfortunately only one of these students was able to attend the event today. She just couldn't sway votes her way.

Now we wait for the actual Printz Award announcement on January 27th. I sure hope that we picked a few of the winners!


  1. Thanks for the reminder about Winger. I need it add it to my list.

  2. My votes are for Far Far Away. How cool to have kids looking at you as a model job they want to have and be!

    1. Far Far Away didn't win anything. Boo-hoo. But one of the Printz Honor books is a fairy tale. So you will need to check it out

  3. Well, your kids got one book from their list onto the "real" list. I also really enjoyed Forgive Me.... I am excited that Eleanor and Park won. And now I've added Winger to my TBR list!

    1. And, better yet, Midwinterblood, the winner, was one of our Mock Printz books this year, as was Maggot Moon. So lots of kids read the winners. That makes me very happy.

  4. It all sounds like so much fun! I am impressed by YOUR passion and dedication. I so enjoy getting young people interested and excited about books. I love to talk to my two teen cousins about books and had a blast picking out books for their birthdays this year. And I am so disappointed that my sweet little soon-to-be 12 year old niece suddenly says she doesn;t like to read anymore! I hope it;s just a phase.

    Anyway, looks like your students made some great choices - several of these are on my TBR list (I am always behind on the new stuff).


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