Such is the case this year with Printz Honor Medalist BLACK JUICE, a story collection by Margo Lanagan. As is the case with most story collections, I found this one to be uneven. While many of the stories are absolutely brilliant in their conception and in the delivery, a few fell flat for me. While I applaud the committee's decision to recognize an often overlooked genre, I would have preferred to see a story collection that was an anthology of the work of many authors be recognized. Don Gallo, Michael Cart, and a handful of others have excellent anthologies that often languish. A nod from Printz or Newbery could do much to increase the visibility of these books.
I will be interested in hearing responses from teens about BLACK JUICE. So far, I have had no takers. I do think teachers could easily use several of the stories in class as models of taut writing.