Printz-Who I Think Will Win:
Chime has been my front runner since I read it back in March (I still need to review it, I know!) Fantastic world building and rich characters and an original story that's a bit historical, a bit magical, and all around amazing. I think it's the book to beat.
Printz Dark Horse:
I have three dark horse books that I suspect we may hear announced on Monday:
Both Scorpio Races and Daughter of Smoke and Bone have lush, descriptive writing that I think will carry them far during the award discussions. This could be a great year for fantasy when it comes to award!
My other dark horse?
Newbery-Who I Think Will Win
Newbery Dark Horse:
Wonderstruck is a dark horse mainly because there's been lots of discussion as to where exactly it fits into the award criteria. Will the committee deem it worthy or will they dismiss the art/text format?
With a Name Like Love is my big dark horse pick. It's a wonderful debut and feels similar to other classic Newbery winners (it reminded me a lot of Jennifer Holm or Kate DiCamillo) It's a family story as well as a mystery and the characters and storyline is all nicely developed without being campy. I'd love to see some award love for this one!
Caldecott-Who I Think Will Win
Brother Sun, Sister Moon has some impressive artwork. Each page features watercolor paper-cuts that have so much detail it's easy to pour over each page and get lost in the illustrations. It hasn't gotten much buzz, but I think it's one of the most impressive and stunning books of the year and I'm hoping the committee gives it a nod.
Caldecott Dark Horse:
OK, so maybe it's unfair to call Blackout a dark horse, because it has been getting lots of Mock Caldecott love. I loved this book though, and I think the illustrations are fantastic, especially how John Rocco makes use of the shadows during the blackout to really show how dark it is outside. There are tiny bits of light that shine through on the pages, just like the flashlights and stars and it's a book I want to look at over and over again.