January 2023 Recap

Monthly Reading Recap graphic

Blog Posts:


  1. Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist by Terry Catasús Jennings and Rosita Stevens-Holsey
  2. Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin (audio)
  3. Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet by Diana Kapp and Ana Jaren
  4. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (audio)
  5. Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron
  6. Black Heart by Holly Black (audio)
  7. PAWS: Mindy Makes Some Space by Nathan Fairbairn , Michele Assarasakorn
  8. My Aunt is a Monster by Reimena Yee
  9. Hollow by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White, Berenice Nelle, Kaitlyn Musto
  10. Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman
  11. Last Chance Dance by Lakita Wilson
  12. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (audio)
  13. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (audio)

Final breakdown: 8 read, 5 audio, 9 owned books read and unhauled

How My Month Went:

New year, new recap format. (These actually started in February but since it’s only one month, I figured I might as well create one for January and backdate it.) 2023 started off hard with some health scares for my mom and a trip to the ER. She’s doing better now, thankfully, but it was touch and go for a while and threw most of the rest of the month off kilter. Aside from my birthday, most of the month was a wash and I’m glad to see the other side of it. Here’s to calmer waters moving forward.

Considering everything that was going on (and going wrong), I was happy to read as much as I did. Audiobooks continue to be a gift.

January 2023 Reading Recap

Miss Print's Reading Recap


  1. Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist by Terry Catasús Jennings and Rosita Stevens-Holsey
  2. Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
  3. Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet by Diana Kapp and Ana Jaren
  4. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  5. Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron
  6. Black Heart by Holly Black
  7. PAWS: Mindy Makes Some Space by Nathan Fairbairn , Michele Assarasakorn
  8. My Aunt is a Monster by Reimena Yee
  9. Hollow by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White, Berenice Nelle, Kaitlyn Musto
  10. Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman
  11. Cruel Illusions by Margie Fuston
  12. Last Chance Dance by Lakita Wilson
  13. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  14. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

You can also see what I read last month.

Organizing a Mock Printz Program at Your Library

You can find a version of this post in Challenging Traditional Classroom Spaces with Young Adult Literature: Students in Community as Course Co-Designers by Ricki Ginsberg:

My library system hosts a yearly Mock Printz book discussion as a professional development opportunity to help staff build their readers’ advisory frameworks and introduce them to recently published titles. At the program, library staff discuss a pre-selected shortlist and vote for a winner and two honor titles. Although my experience is with a professional development program, you can easily host a Mock Printz for your library’s patrons instead.


In my system, the Mock Printz is organized by the YA Book Showcase committee which consists of approximately twelve YA librarians. Responsibilities include reading and evaluating newly released books for possible presentation and Mock Printz contention, as well as presenting at and participating in committee-run programs including new book presentations and book discussions. A Teen Advisory Board, English class, or library book club could also handle Mock Printz prep and shortlist selection.

Printz results are announced at ALA’s LibLearnX conference which is usually held in January. Your Mock Printz should be at least one to two weeks before the conference to have your Mock Printz results before the actual Printz. Plan to announce your shortlist in November to give participants and presenters plenty of time to read and prepare.

Choose Your Longlist:

  1. Ask for Suggestions: While I was the committee chair, I asked YA Book Showcase members around September to share any books they’ve read that seem Printz-worthy based on the official Printz criteria which I compiled in a spreadsheet.
  2. Look for Stars: Since the official Printz criteria emphasizes demonstrated literary merit, keep an eye on starred reviews from professional journals. You can find all of these online through online retailers like Barnes and Noble and also through the Novelist Plus database if your library has access to it. Jen J’s Booksheets is an invaluable resource outlining where titles have been reviewed and stars received (as of this posting Jen is currently a year behind on compiling booksheets, so it won’t help while looking up new titles).
  3. Best of Lists: Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and numerous other publications release yearly best book lists. The finalists for the National Book Award, Kirkus Prize, and YALSA’s Morris Award and Nonfiction Award are also helpful if they are announced early enough.

Finalize Your Shortlist:

Depending on the length of your discussion, and the length of the books, your shortlist should be between four and six books. If you plan to select your shortlist with a smaller group discussion, budget at least two hours for the process.

Your shortlist should feature a mix of genres and formats including contemporary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, non-fiction, graphic novel, historical fiction, etc. You may also want to look for debuts and books from smaller publishers. The actual Printz is not always this well-rounded but variety means something will appeal to everyone and introduce participants to examples of genres they may not normally read.

Your final shortlist should be an inclusive, balanced list of authors and protagonists in terms of gender identity, life experience, and cultural background as varied as your vibrant library community. Try to make sure some of your titles are available as ebooks and/or audiobooks so that the shortlist is as accessible as possible to all participants.

Organize Your Mock Printz:

Start your Mock Printz by explaining the official Printz criteria and the evening’s agenda. At my system’s Mock Printz, committee members then share five-minute presentations on how each book fulfills that criteria and relevant details such as starred reviews or award nominations. After each five-minute presentation allot ten minutes of discussion with an additional ten minutes for final thoughts before voting.

Voting is modeled on the actual Printz’s weighted voting with first, second, and third place choices on the ballot. First place gets 3 points, second place gets 2 points, third place gets 1 point. If a title receives 5 votes for first place that would be multiplied by 3 for a total of 15 points and so on. The book with the highest total score is the winner with the next lowest being an honor title. The actual Printz would also need a specific majority of votes to declare a winner but time limitations may prevent runoff votes at your Mock Printz.

And the Winner Is …

After votes are tallied, announce your Mock Printz winner and honor titles at your program. You can share the results with the rest of your library community via a display or social media too. Then wait to see how your choices compare to the actual Printz results!

Week in Review: January 28

Blog Posts:

My Week:

I’ve been playing catch up on reviews after a chaotic start in January ate up my entire buffer of scheduled posts. Right now I have 62 to write after separating out any HarperCollins titles which I won’t be covering until after the HC union is able to end their strike. I also did some soul searching and decided perhaps it was not worth the time investment to write lengthy reviews of books in series that came out 2+ years ago. Tough decisions have to be made.

Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #Metoo Movement: A Non-Fiction Review

Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #Metoo Movement by Toufah Jallow with Kim PittawayIn 2015 nineteen-year-old Toufah Jallow dreamt of winning a prestigious scholarship from a presidential competition (similar to a pageant) that drew competitors throughout The Gambia. Growing up in her father’s polygamous household with her mother, his second wife, Toufah knew that the scholarship–and the promise of attending any university of her choice anywhere in the world–could be life changing.

When Toufah wins with her focus on touring a play about how to eradicate poverty in the country, she expects it to be the beginning of everything she dreamt of.

Instead Toufah is drugged and raped by Yahya Jammeh–the so-called president and dictator of The Gambia behind the competition.

Terrified that speaking out will put her family in danger, Toufah knows she can’t stay in her home or even her country. She needs to escape before she can share her story.

After a harrowing escape to Senegal, Toufah connects with international humanitarian organizations that help her get to Canada. After years of acclimating to a new culture and climate while processing her trauma, Jammeh is deposed and eighteen months in July 2019 Toufah becomes the first woman in The Gambia to publicly accuse Jammeh of rape.

Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #Metoo Movement (2021) by Toufah Jallow with Kim Pittaway is the story of Toufah’s testimony and how it sparked marches, protests, and with #IAmToufah led Toufah down a path of advocacy for sexual violence survivors around the world.

Find it on Bookshop.

If you have any inclination toward audiobooks I highly recommend checking out the audiobook of this memoir which Toufah reads herself.

Although Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #Metoo Movement includes hard material, it is all handled with care and intention. Toufah’s time in Canada particularly adds much needed levity to this timely story. Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #Metoo Movement is a timely story that situates the #MeToo movement in an international context and demonstrates the lasting impact of standing up and speaking out.

Possible Pairings: Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke, Everything I Never Dreamed: My Life Surviving and Standing Up to Domestic Violence by Ruth M. Glenn, You Too?: 25 Voices Share Their #MeToo Stories edited by Janet Gurtler, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Ignited a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey, Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Murder For the Modern Girl: A Review

Murder for the Modern Girl by Kendall KulperChicago, 1927 is a positutely marvelous place to find parties if you’re a flapper like Ruby. It’s also a city rampant with crime, corruption, and murder.

But Ruby can explain every single one of her murders. Honest.

In a time and place where women are always vulnerable, Ruby has found an unlikely niche for herself doling out vigilante justice between parties with a variety of poisons that have left a trail of unsolved crimes in her wake. She isn’t particularly worried about being caught. Not when her father, the state’s attorney, is the only one with a good head on his shoulders in Chicago’s law enforcement.

Which is why it’s not entirely surprising when someone targets Ruby and her father.

Luckily, Ruby isn’t just a pretty face or a vigilante. She’s her father’s protege as much as anything with her own keen eye for the law. One she’s ready to use to find whoever hurt her father. Unluckily, Ruby realizes that her brand of justice isn’t quite as anonymous as she thought after an encounter with a bland morgue technician in an alley.

Guy hasn’t used his real name–or his real face–for a long time. How can he when he’s working so hard to hide from his shameful past? Working in the morgue might be the break Guy needs to understand his strange shapeshifting ability. Until an exuberant flapper upends his careful plans.

Together this unlikely duo will have their hands full trying to fight corruption, find the would-be assassin, and keep themselves out of prison in Murder for the Modern Girl (2022) by Kendall Kulper.

Find it on Bookshop.

Murder for the Modern Girl alternates between Ruby and Guy’s first person narrations. All characters are assumed white.

Kulper delivers jazz age vibes and surprising fantasy elements in this story where Ruby uses her ability as a mind reader to deliver justice while Guy struggles to understand his own strange power–elements that are never fully explained or integrated into the story although they are key to the plot. Readers dive right into the fast-paced story with minimal backstory for either protagonist as the action keeps coming. Readers questioning Ruby’s motives may have a hard time getting on board with her status as a vigilante and, essentially, a serial killer but it is an arc that’s fully explored throughout the novel and does end with Ruby turning her back on her life of crime to fight for justice through more conventional means.

Filled with slang, speakeasies, and fabulous dresses, Murder for the Modern Girl is an inventive mystery filled feminist justice and more adventure than you can shake a stick at.

Possible Pairings: Blood and Moonlight by Erin Beaty, Born of Illusions by Teri A, Brown, A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson, Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz, Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Week in Review: January 21

Blog Posts:

My Week:

The big news in this recap is to check out the 2023 Rise Feminst Book Project list now that it’s live!

Book List: 2023 Rise: A Feminist Book Project

In 2022 I applied and joined Rise: A Feminist Book Project. Rise creates an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18. Rise is part of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.

After receiving hundreds of books in the mail, reading hundreds of stories, nominating dozens, and four days of deliberations, I’m thrilled to share the 2023 RIse Feminist Book Project List and this year’s Top Ten.

Head to RiseFeministBooks.wordpress.com to read the full list and this year’s statement.

Rise: A Feminist Book Project stands in solidarity with the HarperCollins Union Local 2110 UAW in their fight for a fair contract. Publishing has historically relied on low and unpaid labor. The right to a fair and equitable contract is a feminist value. HarperCollins must meet the union’s demands in full.

Visit the HCP union’s linktree to read more about the strike, donate, and advocate for their demands to be met. You can also support the union through Bookshop.

For anyone curious about the numbers, the list started with 174 titles to discuss and was narrowed down to 125. Of those I nominated 38 titles (17 of which made it onto the list–8 unanimously!–and 2 of which were in the top ten).

Remember Me: A Review

Remember Me by Estelle LaureSomething is not right on Blue Owens’ seventeenth birthday. Her art teacher seems mad at her. Her grandmother and best friends are oddly gentle, timid. Her backpack is filled with orange juice which everyone keeps reminding her to drink.

Then there’s the note to meet someone on a little shuttle bus outside of her small ski town Owl Nook, New Mexico.

When a stranger named Adam gets on the bus, Blue starts to put the pieces together. The boyfriend–Adam Mendoza–she doesn’t remember, the painful loss she’s desperate to forget.

Following the clues brings Blue to a doctor to who can help her get back the memories she asked to have removed. But Blue will have to move through the memories herself–process the joys and the sorrows that have been erased–if she wants to get back to herself in Remember Me (2022) by Estelle Laure.

Find it on Bookshop.

Blue and her family are white. Adam’s family is Latinx and one of Blue’s best friends, Jack, is nonbinary. The linear story includes a larger story within the story as Blue rediscovers her lost memories making for an interesting structure and unique reading experience.

Laure’s prose is imbued with a deep and abiding love for Blue’s New Mexico landscape and its natural wonders. The speculative fiction framework is used well to tell Blue’s story although the greater ramifications of memory erasures are not fully explored in the story outside of Blue’s immediate circle.

Blue moves inexorably toward the memories she’s tried to forget as she and readers put together the pieces of Blue’s past. Moments of sweetness with Adam and her friends contrast against the sharper loss–and grief–as Blue understands everything that has been lost.

Set in 2031 Remember Me is an eerie and powerful story about moving through grief and making it to the other side.

Possible Pairings: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando, No One Here is Lonely by Sarah Everett, Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin, Edited by Barry Lyga, The Program by Suzanne Young, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Week in Review: January 14

Blog Posts:

My Week:

Starting the year off with a round up of posts from the end of last year and this week.