Professional book publications give starred reviews for their favorite books. Each year I pay attention to these starred reviews to help me attempt to figure out which books will win an award at the ALA Midwinter meeting which just concluded last week. Looking at just six of those publications: Book List, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, books with the most starred reviews should technically win. Right? Well, let's check out if that is true.
(Young Adult books are the only ones I am considering here.)
There were two books which earned a starred review from each of the six publications: Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson and On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Neither of them won any awards last week. Hmm. Interesting. Seems to me that six starred reviews should equal winners.
1. Michael L. Printz Award (Best YA literature of the year)
3. Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature (LGBTQ+) :
4. William C. Morris Award (First YA novel by author)
5. YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
6. Coretta Scott King Book Award (African American Author)
- Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams---3 starred reviews
- Someday We Will Fly by Rachel deWosken - YA Award---2 starred reviews
- Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz- Honor-1 starred review
- Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz ---3 starred reviews
11. American Indian Youth Literature award
- Hearts Unbroken, written by Cynthia Leitich Smith - YA Award ---1 starred review
- Surviving the City by Tasha Spillett - Honor ---1 starred review
- Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing by Angela Hovak Johnston - Honor---0 starred reviews
- An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza -Honor---3 starred reviews
- Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley - Honor ---1 starred review
12. Asian/Pacific American Literature Award
- They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott - YA Award---2 starred reviews
- Frankly in Love by David Yoon- Honor---5 starred reviews
So. Hmm. Notice that the winner got no starred reviews, while one of the finalists got five. Interesting. Just interesting.