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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Predictions, or, Time to Vote!

CC-licensed image by secretlondon123

Ok, here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

(Well, we hope you’ve been waiting for it. Possibly with bated breath, or maybe on tenterhooks?)

Below you will find Someday’s short list. We looked at our own reading, other Mock Printz lists, reviews, and more to determine this final list of ten titles that we really think have what it takes to receive a shiny sticker on Monday.

A note on procedure: Voting is weighted, and the first round of voting is for the winner only; Honor books are selected in a separate vote. We’ll use this same list of ten, once it becomes nine, to choose our Mock honors. You will get to vote for your top three choices for the winner.

More voting details from the Policies and Procedures:

Voting Procedures

Members must be present to vote. Proxies will not be accepted. Following discussion, balloting will begin. Paper ballots will be used and tallied either by the chair or her/his designee(s). On each ballot each member will vote for her/his top three choices. First choice receives five points; second choice receives three points, and third choice receives one point. Members are reminded that, at this point, they are voting for the winner, NOT for honor titles. A separate ballot will be conducted for honor titles. To win, a title must receive five first-place votes and must also receive at least five more points than the second-place title. If no title meets these criteria on the first ballot, any title receiving no votes is removed from consideration and a period of discussion of remaining titles follows. A second ballot is then conducted. Balloting continues in this fashion until a winner is declared.

Honor Books

All nominated titles are eligible for honor book consideration. Following the selection of a winner, a straw vote is conducted. Any title receiving no votes is removed from consideration. A formal, weighted ballot will follow. Based on the results of this ballot, the committee will decide if it wishes to name honor books and, if so, how many.

Since we expect more than five readers will vote, we need to shift the numbers. 5 out of 9 voters is 55% and we’ll use that as our number, and then if the gap is close we’ll adjust the 5 point margin as well.

The finalists:

Between Shades of Gray: While we wonder if this is getting more love for it’s importance than its writing and think there are some flaws, this is clearly one of the big books of the year.

Paper Covers Rock: Well, you know what Karyn said. But this has references to great literature, a definite precision of writing, and lots of traction–and in the end, it’s about quality, and there is a lot here that could be seen as serious literary quality.

Chime: 6 stars, 4 best lists, and we think this one has winner written all over it, but what do you think?

A Monster Calls: Rich writing, beautiful illustrations, but maybe you think it’s too young or too message-driven? Sarah says it isn’t, and she’s not shy about sticking the too young tag on a book.

Life: An Interrupted Exploded Diagram: The writing is stunning, but the construct of the novel raises questions.

The Returning: It’s a dark horse, but oh so fantastic.

Imaginary Girls: We’re still on the fence about this one, but somehow we can’t quite let it go…so we’ll let you decide!

Beauty Queens: New book by a former winner. Is it too uneven? (Karyn has read it twice and STILL can’t decide if everything works, so now you get to decide, although she’ll blather about it tomorrow.)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: Rich and unusual, full of literary charms, but does it work?

Scorpio Races: It’s getting a lot of popular love, and Sarah says it has the literary chops to back that up. Do you agree?

To vote, go to our fancy little poll. We’ll post results as soon as the poll closes, at noon (Eastern time) on Wednesday 1/18.

Postscript, added 5 hours after initial posting: We’ve added a second question about how many of the ten you’ve read: please be honest, but if you started something and gave it up because you thought it was a piece of crap–and believe you can support that with textual evidence!–we’ll consider that book read. If you think your vote would have been different if you’d just gotten to book X and want to share, please do so in the comments over here, as we think that’s interesting data to collect.

About Karyn Silverman

Karyn Silverman is the High School Librarian and Educational Technology Department Chair at LREI, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (say that ten times fast!). Karyn has served on YALSA’s Quick Picks and Best Books committees and was a member of the 2009 Printz committee. She has reviewed for Kirkus and School Library Journal. She has a lot of opinions about almost everything, as long as all the things are books. Said opinions do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of SLJ, LREI, YALSA or any other institutions with which she is affiliated. Find her on Twitter @InfoWitch or e-mail her at karynsilverman at gmail dot com.


  1. Did you want online voters to have read all the books, the way the Heavy Medal folks requested?

    Also, you must have GIRL, INTERRUPTED on the brain, because that diagram is definitely EXPLODED.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Hah, and also whoops. Now corrected.

      I think we would prefer folks to have read everything, but since we didn’t provide a reading list in advance, we can’t fairly require it. I was just thinking about this as I perused the results thus far and saw that there are a great many of third place votes for Scorpio Races. I’m wondering if it’s getting extra nods because of higher readership? Or it might just be that it’s good but not quite it, and that’s what those numbers reflect.

      I think I’m going to add a second, optional question asking for how many of the ten people have read; those who already voted can click through and add that data (note: you can also go back and edit your results if you vote and change you r mind, but you can’t vote twice) or we’ll just collect it for everyone going forward.

  2. I just voted and chose Scorpio Races as my 3rd place book, although it could easily have been 2nd if I were in a different mood! I think I chose it because I loved it, but haven’t looked at it critically enough to decide if I love it because it’s excellent/distinguished or because it just hit a sweet spot of what I like in a book.

  3. I thought we’d see “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” on here, but maybe next year?

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Much as I loved reading Daughter, I think it’s fairly flawed from a Printz perspective, but we’ll need to see on Monday if the committee felt the same! The Printz eligibility period is strictly year-of-publication, so this is its only chance. Unless you meant maybe next year when the sequel comes out? Perhaps it will pull a Dreamquake.

  4. Alison Follos says:

    What about Tim Wynne-Jones’ Blink & Caution??? If there’s a book that pushes the edge to adulthood while maintaining young innocence, it’s this one. A suspenseful balance of terror and humanistic conflict/resolution. Love Chime, but definitely female oriented. Sorry, but it’s true. Dead End in Norvelt? Smart and well-woven. Finally, Okay for Now? A read that kids love. Tough stuff laced with hope and possibility.

  5. Must have missed the part where it said the Printz shouldn’t go to a “female oriented” book.

  6. Karyn Silverman says:

    Here’s the problem: every book we’ve talked about could have made our finalist list. Some of them we can really truly defend leaving off; we or others saw flaws that no one is strongly arguing against. Others, like Blink & Caution, fall into a more subjective space. We debated quite a bit over what to put on the list of 10, and I started to second guess myself pretty much the moment we pushed “publish”.

    On the other hand– I agree that Chime is “female oriented” and believe that Okay for Now is “a read that kids love” (although not my 9th-12th grade kids, who are too old for it!) but those are not the criteria! Audience and appeal don’t get weighed at the table, only literary quality. Some of my favorite books aren’t getting my vote for precisely that reason–but I’m displaying them and booktalking them and doing all those other things that are focused on things like appeal and audience. This, in a nutshell, is the challenge committee members face, and one of the hardest things for me when I was on the RealPrintz was having to bite my tongue every time I wanted to say “but I/my kids love it!” — because if I said that out loud, someone at the table was going to say “that doesn’t matter!” And they would have been right.

    It’s so much nicer having the conversation here, where we can say it– and it does matter, because we are reader and book lovers and we care, even if it’s not pertinent to the voting piece.

  7. Well said. On the mattering thing.

    I’d only read 6 of those titles so didn’t vote. But wondering about A Monster Calls – since you don’t think 9-12 would be interested in Okay for Now – wouldn’t that be the same case for A Monster Calls? Or do students pick it because it’s Patrick Ness of Chaos fame?


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