Mock Printz booktalk: American Street by Ibi Zoboi

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Ian Duncanson of Beaverton City Library.

Fabiola has just arrived in the US from Haiti to settle with her cousins in a rough Detroit neighborhood. Her mom is caught in immigration limbo, and Fabiola swears that she will do whatever is necessary to help spring her so that her family can be whole again.

The opportunity arises when she makes the acquaintance of a cop who wants to collar a violent neighborhood drug dealer — but that dealer also happens to be the abusive boyfriend of one of Fabiola’s cousins. Fabiola is now torn between wanting to free her mother and the fear of violent, possibly fatal reprisals for snitching. On top of that, she’s navigating the typical teenage pressures of a new school and a fresh romance with a boy from the neighborhood. She sees signs of her native Vodou in everyday people and occurrences and hopes that the spirits will protect her as she decides whether or not to help the police and her mother when doing so may very well mean her death.

Mock Printz booktalk: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Ian Duncanson of Beaverton City Library.

Griffin’s first love was a boy named Theo. Unfortunately, first loves have a tendency to end, and the two broke up. Theo headed to California for college, leaving Griffin back in New York City. Despite Theo meeting and starting to date Jackson, Griffin secretly harbored hope that the two would one day reconcile. Sadly, all of those hopes are dashed when he learns that Theo has died tragically in a swimming accident in his adopted state.

Griffin’s grief consumes him and begins to drag his entire life down. When Jackson arrives in New York City for the funeral, Griffin’s mental state continues to spiral down with his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder growing progressively worse. He replays his vanished relationship in his mind, the good times and bad, and ponders the “what might have been.” No matter how much he lives in the past, Griffin is ultimately stuck in the present where Theo is dead and he’s trying to hold it together. Secrets and revelations emerge during his recollections; it turns out that his relationship with Theo had more underlying complexities that he initially realized. Can Griffin ever come to terms with his grief and loneliness, or is he cursed to live in the past while throwing away his future?

OYAN Review: Awarding Mock Printz!

This post is an article from the Spring 2017 issue of the OYAN Review and has been edited slightly for publication on the blog. It was written by Ian Duncanson of the Beaverton City Library and Lisa Elliot of the Tigard Public Library.

The cover of the book The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeLisa: On January 21, 35 folks attended the 2017 Mock Printz work shop at the Central Branch of Multnomah Public Library. Meanwhile, 100,000 people descended on downtown Portland for the Women’s March. That’s right, 100,000 demonstrators, 35 workshop attendees, and I still got a parking spot. For next year, we’ll work a little harder to anticipate political upheaval, thus avoiding major advocacy schedule conflicts. For this year, however, I was happy to spend the afternoon in a warm, dry room with 35 librarians and teens in solidarity over our love of good books. Ian, how was your day?

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