Thursday, August 25, 2011

Early Prtintz Contenders??

Jonathan Hunt August 24, 2011
In any given year there are a dozen titles that could win the Printz Award, given by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
But this year there is only one title that should win, one title that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) by Laini Taylor. It is a masterful fantasy with unique world-building, unforgettable characters, and an exquisitely crafted plot layered with suspense and surprise. The book ends with a cliffhanger, but answers most of our questions, just not the most compelling one: what happens next!
Anya's Ghost (First Second) by Vera Brosgol is an exceptionally strong graphic novel, and in any other year it might be my top pick. It's the story of a teenage girl, ashamed of her Russian heritage, who is haunted by a ghost that subtly changes over the course of the story from meek to manipulative to malevolent, bringing a sense of genuine horror to this ghost story. First Second struck gold several years ago with American Born Chinese. Can it happen again? I think so.

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