The Printz is the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

It's the latest of the BIG THREE awards -- Caldecott, Newberry, and Printz. But it's only been around since 2000 and is making great strides with awesome Mock Printz clubs around the country. Of course, our local Mock Printz Club, the Eva Perry Mock Printz Club, has been honored as one of the most awesome, winning ALA's Margaret A. Edwards Award for Best Teen Literature Program in the Country in 2009.

For ten years now, the Eva Perry Club has read over 450 YA novels each year in their quest to name the book they believe is most distinguished in literary quality, and they have shared their short list with our class. Then in the February soon after the "official" ALA Printz Committee winner and honor books are announced, the Eva Perry Club and our class get together to tell the world which books have won our top honors. It's a huge, Oscars-themed event and we dress to the nines because we're streamed to the world via UStream. Please do join us actually or virtually for the 2013 edition of the Melinda Awards for Young Adult Literature.

The Eva Perry teens will take an early straw vote on August 11th and you will have a chance to choose two of those books to read and blog about.

The other Printz book should come from the official 2011 ALA Printz award winner and honor books. That's five books to choose from: Where Things Come Back, the winner, and Why We Broke Up, The Returning, Jasper Jones, and The Scorpio Races, the honor books.

You will choose one of these three books to bookcast and will complete this Collaborative Critical Inquiry into YA literary quality by reflecting on your reading and examining how your assumptions may have changed.

From the Eva Perry's Short List for 2013

On average, the Eva Perry Mock Printz Club reads around 450 books each year and selects their short list of ten so many can read the same books. Then in January 2013, just before ALA's Winter Conference and the announcement of the official Printz Award and Honor Books, the teens meet in a lock-in to debate the merits of the most distinguished books of the year and vote on their winner and honor books.

Dateline: September 8, 2012
Adding two new books after they were booktalked at the Eva Perry Club meeting last night.

Rachel Hartman's Seraphina -- a fantasy about dragons. That's all you may need to know . . .

Vivian Valde Veld's Deadly Pink -- a book about girls and virtual reality video games . . . seriously

Update August 13, 2012
I'm adding four additional books so there's a grand total now of nine to choose two from. None of these four have "caught fire" the way the first five have but as more teens read them some real contenders could appear.

(Just added) Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone -- Fascinating to read of the world-building that Bardugo did to create this fantasy world highly reminiscent of Tsarist Russia.

China Mieville's RailSea – Known for his “weird fiction,” Mieville has created a mythical story with strong references to Melville’s Moby Dick.

Jacqeline Woodson's Beneath the Meth Moon – Acclaimed YA author Woodson was haunted by Katrina’s lasting impact and wrote this story about some of the untold victims.

Erin Sadlin's The Girls of No Return – A much-praised debut novel about girls sent to a wilderness camp “to escape their histories and themselves.”

Dateline: August 2, 2012
The top five books so far are . . .

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars – contemporary problem novel. Big problem: the protagonist and her boyfriend both are teens suffering from cancer. Only John Green could handle such a tough topic with this kind of style and grace.

Paolo Bacigalupi’s Drowned Cities – an environmental apocalypse scifi (biopunk) novel set in a future time when cities are ravaged by severe weather and rising ocean waters. Bacigalupi’s first novel with this same setting won the Printz Award in 2010. You will never forget the character, Tool.

Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity – This is the fairly rare historical novel that seems to be grabbing teens’ attention. Set in World War II, “Verity” is a British (really Scottish) spy captured and tortured by the Gestapo. I just began this one so I don’t know much more.

Siobhan Vivian’s The List -- Teens relate in a big way to this story of high school angst made more so by “The List” of prettiest and ugliest girls. I can’t get my hands on this one to read!

Children of the Wolves by Adam Rapp – severe, raw writing about a trio of inner city teens who will scare you. Not an easy read but one well worth the emotional effort. This will be a contender for the Printz. s

2012 Vote: At last, the vote is over! Winner was Jenny Hubbard's Paper Covers Rock with almost-too-close to call competition from Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls inspired by Siobhan Dowd.