I’m in! I did Heavy Medal’s mock Newbery over in Oakland last year and I going to this year’s on Sunday, and they are very exciting. Since I’m a YA librarian, a Mock Printz should be even more fun. I think the process you described sounds great, though we will, of course, reserve the right to make changes on the fly if we realize something isn’t working.
Like you, I’m a bit hamstrung right now by my writing for VOYA and AB4T, but I’ve already mentioned a couple 2013 titles that you should be on the lookout for (once more with feeling: Suma’s 17 & Gone and Lanagan’s Yellowcake) and I’ll mention another one I just wrote up for VOYA: Pieces by Chris Lynch.
Despite his huge accolades (National Book Award, Printz Honor), I’ve not been a huge fan of Lynch, but I really really liked Pieces. It’s a sequel of sorts to Iceman (which I didn’t read). Eric’s older brother Duane breaks his neck in a swimming accident and is declared brain dead. Their parents decide to pull the plug and donate Duane’s organs. The novel follows Eric, about a year later, tracking down some of the recipients of Duane’s organs, trying to make some sort of peace with what’s happened. Eric is an incredible character, with huge wells of anger and confusion that he has no real control over. And Lynch’s sort-of elliptical style of story-telling works perfectly to convey this story. Though of course if this makes it to our new Mock Printz we won’t be able to make this comparison, it does make a great companion to some of the books we discussed last year about dead siblings, particularly Personal Effects.
So, we won’t start officially nominating anything till mid-year, but this is definitely an early one to keep an eye out for.