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Betting on the Books

I do not consider myself a gambler.  I do not buy lottery tickets, I have never been inside a casino, and I have never visited a race track or betting parlor.  However, there is one bet I will place this Friday when I meet with other librarians who select books for teens.  We bet on which book will be the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.  The actual selection committee is made up of members of the American Library Association who manage a herculean task of reading and evaluating books published in 2014 for teens.  These books can include nonfiction and graphic novels, as well as fiction books.  Our small committee in the Ramapo Library System  endeavors to read and select the best teen books of the year and present them at our annual meeting in January.  We invite other librarians and educators to read the eight selected books, and we discuss their literary merits at this event.  Attendees are invited to bet on one of the eight books or select an entirely different book.  We rarely predict the winner.  There are so many wonderful books published for young adults, we often completely miss selecting the winner for that award.  This year our local librarians have selected the following titles:

                The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

                Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

                The Story of Owen Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston

                The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesly Walton

                We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

                Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Last year’s winner was Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick, and I won the bet.  Which book will I select this Friday?   I haven’t made up my mind.  I have been  wrong so many times,  last year must have been a fluke.  Since the announcement for the winner will come at the end of this month, I will have to be patient and wait to see if I have predicted another winner.

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