"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 30, 2015

BSD 2015 Mock Printz Workshops results

GKHS Mock Printz team members showing off their favorite books
We had a shockingly long list of Mock Printz books for our readers to plow through this year: 23. Undaunted our readers gladly and voraciously made their way through the list. This week all three high schools in the Bethel School District held their Mock Printz Workshops giving the students an opportunity to at last discuss the books with other readers and to make a case for their favorites.
Grasshopper Jungle became an instant favorite.

The results varied from school to school but it was generally acknowledged that everyone enjoyed the experience and it didn't really matter if we did a good job picking the real Printz winner, it was reading good books that mattered most of all.
There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the group. It is fun to be around students who love books.

I just got home from the workshop at my school. In fact, I am soaking my feet in epsom salts as I type away on this blog. It was a long but rewarding experience since it is so fun to be around students who genuinely enjoy reading.
Some how Ender's Game made it into a photo. Sly little book. What a sneaker.

Our final came after two hours of discussion and debates, some intense others humorous, all thoughtful.

Award book:
 Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Students loved this graphic novel of seven interconnected, horror stories. they talked about how the graphics were  able to tell the story with very few words.

Honor books:
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Students felt the author did a great job leading the reader through the mystery. Most of them were shocked by the ending. The stories within the story were also appreciated.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
This book wasn't officially on our Mock Printz list but so many students liked it and talked about it,  others requested it. This book had the most passionate advocates at the workshop.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Students had a hard time articulating why they loved this book but it was apparent they recognized exquisite writing. The magical realism and symbolism were also discussion points.

Making friends because of a common love of books.

Honorable Mention:
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This book wasn't added to our reading list until the last minute so fewer students had a chance to read it. This book had some very passionate advocates, however.

The Story of Owen by E.K.Johnston
All readers of this book enjoyed it but no strong advocate spoke passionately for it to be our winner. Because it is a first book in a series also served as a point of contention.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Few kids read this but those that did had strong opinions on the book. Our discussion on this book bordered on hilarious. As you see, Grasshopper Jungle became an instant hit and made it into almost all the photos.
All I said was grab your favorite and the mugging began!

Results from the other high schools;

Bethel High School:
Award: Say What You Will by McGovern
Honor books: Half Bad by Green; We Were Liars by Lockhart

Spanaway Lake High School:
Award: Say What You Will by McGovern
Honor books: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll; Otherbound by Duyvis ; Half Bad by Green; 100 Sideways Miles by Smith.

My students weren't really interested in discussing Say What You Will or Half Bad. It is interesting how one or two strong fans can sway a whole group to vote for their favorites. (I wonder if that is what happened with the actual committee when they selected Punkzilla a few years back, Ha!)
Our award title choice: Through the Woods.
This book might not be THE winner, but we had more fun discussing it than any of the other books.

All the photos were taken at the GKHS event. Permission was granted to publish photos of students.

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