Last month I had the most fun, doing the nerdiest thing since becoming a librarian: I participated in my first Mock Printz discussion. Fourteen YA librarians met for a morning of great books, amazing discussion and criminal amounts of fun. Afterward I realized how easy organizing a Mock Printz discussion would be. All you need is group that loves YA literature, librarians, teens, or your monthly book club and these easy steps.
Step #1: Make a Reading List
This is a daunting task, even for someone like me who reads many books through out the year. Luckily, besides pulling on your memory, there are other places to find books that got starred reviews or landed on the various best of lists. The Hub, of course, is a great stop for finding well reviewed titles and also analysis and interesting break downs of the “best of” lists. Largehearted Boy amazingly collected just about every best of list that exists. School Library Journal‘s Someday My Printz Will Come blog (great name!) has been collecting possible Printz contenders all year. Asking your favorite group of teens is one more way of crafting a well-round list.
Select about five to six titles and share them in advance with your group. It’s important to do this well ahead of time so everyone has a chance to acquire the titles and time to read them.
Step #2: Host a Discussion
This is where a group “passionate about YA literature” comes into play. They can easily talk about what makes a great YA novel worthy of the Printz. But it’s also helpful to remind the group of the eligibility requirements and criteria. YALSA suggests these criteria which are not exhaustive, but are a great place to start the discussion of what constitutes the best in terms of literary merit.
- Design (including format, organization, etc.)