Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 19 through April 25, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2014 candidates for YALSA Award Committees.
This week we are focusing on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee, which honors the best book and up to four honor books written for teens, based entirely on literary merit, each year.
Candidates, who will be presented in alphabetical order, were asked to craft “Twitter-length” responses (i.e. around 140 characters). Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.
Today we have an interview with Catherine Andronik.
Name and current position: Catherine M. Andronik, Teacher Librarian, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, CT
Why did you decide to run for a YALSA selection committee?
It’s been a career goal to serve on a YALSA selection committee- especially the Printz. I’m finishing my doctoral dissertation in 2014 (thesis involves Printz winners!); the timing is propitious.
In a nutshell, what will you bring to the committee?
Years of experience serving on a variety of book and audiobook selection committees. Also, my doctoral dissertation work involved reading all Printz winners and honor titles since the award’s inception.
What experience do you have with materials selection and evaluation?
I’ve served on state book award selection committees, three Odyssey Award and two Amazing Audiobooks committees. I’ve also reviewed for Linworth Publishing since the 1990s, and reviewed for Booklist.
What makes you a good fit for this committee in particular?
My dissertation (focusing on Australian authors who have achieved Printz notice) has expanded my knowledge of YA lit from outside the US while honing my skills at determining qualities of award-winning books.
How do you plan to manage the reading load required by selection committee participation?
After years of reading 80-120 novels and listening to 100-200 others for award committees, the reading required for the Printz may seem leisurely! I’m a speedy reader and may seek audio formats to complement print.
What have been some of your favorite past winners of this particular award?
Because of my dissertation topic, I may have been more excited than Melina Marchetta when Jellicoe Road won the award! Looking for Alaska and Going Bovine are also wonderful.
What books should have won the award, but didn’t?
While I’m glad The Book Thief was an honor title, I believe it should have won the Printz that year; it has that special combination of reader appeal and high literary quality.
What else do voters need to know about you?
*I’ve written nonfiction for kids & teens
*I started horseback riding lessons as an adult and now show in Western Pleasure & Western Dressage
*I love visiting bookstores in other countries to see the YA offerings
**All award committee candidate interviews are crossposted to both the YALSAblog and The Hub.