A VOYA Perfect Ten 2016: THIS IS THE STORY OF YOU (and kind reviews)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

I have become, like so many of you, a close watcher of the news. A woman waking up, panicked, in the middle of the night, wondering what will happen next to our communities, our environment, our economy, our trust in one another, our understanding of true versus false.

Returning from a birthday meal with my father, I checked in again, on the headlines. I didn't expect to find (within my email) news of the personal sort.

But, goodness, I am grateful for it. Thank you, VOYA, for the Perfect Ten 2016 citation. I quote here from the letter:

... This Is the Story of You—has been awarded the distinction of being a VOYA Perfect Ten 2016.  Each year, VOYA Magazine compiles reviews of titles that were awarded a 5Q and a 5P into our annual Perfect Tens list.  VOYA’s unique rating system is the only one that weighs both literary quality and teen appeal equally, a distinction that is of great interest and use to those charged with ordering and collecting reading materials for teens.

This list is relied upon by librarians and educators around the country (and the world) in their selection of titles to add to library and classroom collections.  It is an invaluable tool to our readership, and a lofty honor to those authors and publishers whose titles are selected.

The full reviews of all of the Perfect Ten honorees are included in ordering databases/systems of some of the largest book wholesalers and library jobbers in the country, for both public and school libraries.  The complete listing of this year’s Perfect Ten reviews will be available to all on our website (www.voyamagazine.com), including the full reviews and book cover graphics.  VOYA will be publicizing this year’s list via Facebook and Twitter. We are also publishing these reviews in our sister journal, Teacher Librarian.

As reviews editor, I understand how difficult it is for a title to receive a perfect 10 rating from one of our reviewers.  In fact, out of more than 1,100 titles reviewed last year, only 33 titles were awarded this honor.  That’s less than 3% of all titles reviewed.  Our reviewers are cautioned to consider and re-consider a number of issues before deciding on a 5Q 5P rating assignment for a book.  It is not a designation given lightly—nor is it given by novices.  Our reviewers are seasoned library and education professionals who work directly with young adult readers and have a broad base of understanding and appreciation for YA literature.

In sum, a VOYA Perfect Ten is a laudable accomplishment that very few titles can claim.  Congratulations again, and thank you for allowing VOYA to be part of celebrating your outstanding contribution to YA literature.

I would like to take this moment in time to thank as well Florinda and Sarah for their extremely kind reviews/citations of Story. The 3R's blog had this to say. Sarah Laurence, meanwhile, named Story one of the Best Contemporary YA novels of the year, here.

We live in bracing times. These acts of kindness, toward a story I wrote, are welcome glimmers of light.


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