Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 Printz Project

I feel it is my obligation as a high school librarian to read the Printz Award and Honor books each year. The Printz award is the equivalent of the Newberry for YA (young adult) books. I know, it is a tough job to feel such obligation to read them, but someone has to do it. As soon as the Printz books were announced I jumped on my computer and headed to my local library site. I requested the books and have been patiently awaiting for them to come in. Obviously I wasn't the only one to be requesting these books. I have yet to receive the award winner, Ship Breaker by Bacigalupi, but I get to pick it up at the library tomorrow. The award winner has perfect timing since I just finished one of the honor books tonight.

Tonight, I finished Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick. It had a pretty neat cover, but the cover is very boyish. With a title like Revolver I was feeling that this was going to be a boy book. The narrator and main character, Sig, is a boy and therefore boys will enjoy this book. However, girls will read boy books, but rarely do you see a boy picking up a Meg Cabot or Kate Jacobs book. Such it is, I read this "boy book" and I liked it!
Though the topic wasn't interesting to me the writing was very good. I didn't feel this was a page turner of a book, but it was a quick read and an easy and enjoyable one. Unlike the majority of last years Printz books, this one was completely clean. The setting probably helped with that. Revolver starts the reader off in 1910 in a very, very, very cold location during a gold rush.
Sig tells the present story and then goes back in time to fill in the reader on his family and various events that uncover quite a surprise. I found myself quite invested with the characters, and when the antagonist came into the story I immediately did not like him. I felt pain for Sig and his family. I truly just wanted them to be happy, but to be honest, I didn't know how they would. Marcus Segdgwick did a fabulous job of helping you feel throughout the story. The reader truly feels the cold of the winter location and the pain the character feels. I think an author that can cause so much feeling as well as emotion for the characters deserves a Printz Honor.
The ending was enjoyable and it didn't leave me wanting more. I was thoroughly pleased with it. I didn't feel it was too quick or rushed now was I left hanging; I was completely satisfied with the story as a whole. You, when you read it, will find yourself happy that you picked it up. Now on that note, it isn't one of those absolute must reads. It is a very good read, but not everyone will read it. I don't imagine Revolver being the next cool/must book to read like The Hunger Games. However, if you like YA lit this one is worth your time.
There was one saying near the end that I thoroughly enjoyed. "There's always a third choice in life. Even if you think you're stuck between two impossible choices, there's always a third way. You just have to look for it." I find that to be a good life lesson.
All in all, Revolver is a great book. I'm not sure you will need to go out and buy it right away, but definitely go and request it from your library.
Tomorrow, I will get to start the award winner. Be excited!

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