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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

A List of Cages

Before I dive into the first review of the year, a few housekeeping notes.

We are, as we have been doing, plan to review in roughly chronological order. So for the next month, we’ll focus on Q1 books, those published between January and March 2017. We’re not going to be super strict about this — sometimes we’ll bump a book up or hold it, for example if we think it goes well with something else, or if we have’t read it and end up circling back to it. But we’re hoping this will make it more likely that people who don’t have amazing ARC/galley access will have read books we discuss by the time we discuss them.

In the past, we’ve always shared a list — more recently, an abbreviated list of 25 titles. It’s always sort of arbitrary (although I could tell you already the 10 books I am pulling for hardest). We’re tempted to skip it this year — but we’ll defer to reader opinion. Let us know.

And of course, as always, we are reviewing specifically for Printz speculation, which means we’re mostly looking for what’s wrong with books — because in the end it’s an elimination game, and being a great book isn’t enough.

Now, on to the first review of the year.

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How ‘Bout that NBA Longlist?

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

CC-licensed image by The Meeting Place North, UK

So the NBA longlist came out the other day, and it is full of goodness. 80% YA! YA that skews up, even. And lots of #ownvoices. Basically, made of win, and made of adding books to our pile, because I confess that What Girls Are Made of was not on my radar.

Oh yeah, also — Someday is back, ready for another season of wild Printz speculation and opinionated chatter about YA literature, and we’re so happy you’re here with us. We’ll start our usual reviews on Monday, but in the meantime we’d love to know: what are you pulling for this year?

Looking Ahead to 2018

number 2 Calendar Wood Block number 0 number 1 Colour Bingo green number 8

letter P letter R letter I letter N letter T Scrabble white letter on pale green Z

Scrabble white letter on blue P letter O letter S Scrabble white letter on pale green S letter I Scrabble white letter on pale blue B letter L letter E shain letter S

(Image thanks to Spell with Flickr)

The YMA dust has settled (even if nothing else has, or seems likely to) and so we’re turning our attention to the bright spots of 2017: the books we can’t wait to get our hands on, with special attention for the ones that seem likely to be on the 2018 RealCommittee’s reading list.

I’ve got my to-read shelf already building up of books I’m anticipating, mostly new books by already beloved authors, some of which seem likely Printz potentials.  What’s on your radar? Comments are open: let’s start building our collective reading list.

In the Room Where the Livestream Happens

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 8.56.38 AMWhew! The MTA was determined to thwart me this morning, but I made it in just before Julie Todaro took the stage, and I’ve got my livestream running.

(I didn’t mind being #alaleftbehind until this morning, when I felt so frustrated that the world outside ALA doesn’t stop everything for the YMAs!)

Sarah and Joy are still en route to their workplaces, watching while commuting, but they’ll chime in if possible, and I’ll be writing while we watch. YAY YMAs!

(tl; dr: Comments are open so let’s debrief togther! The complete press release can be accessed here.)

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Pyrite Honor Votes: Results and Decisions

By Materialscientist at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

By Materialscientist at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

We voted, and we have some results to share!

(Insert boilerplate about how this will be the simple version of the results with analysis to follow when Joy finishes geeking out over the numbers.)

But first, a reminder about honor vote procedures:

Based on the results of this ballot, the committee will decide if it wishes to name honor books and, if so, how many.

We can name up to four Pyrite honor books, per RealCommittee rules, but we don’t have to — last year, the RealCommittee only named two, which was a bold move (usually all four get honored). In my own RealCommittee year, we debated long and hard over how many honor books to name because of the points gap; we’ve seen this in the Pyrite before as well, where there is a clear distinction between the most supported and the least supported of the top four books. We can suss this out in the comments, and decide what we, as a shadow committee, want to name, but to do that you’ll need some numbers. Here they are:

The Lie Tree was the clear frontrunner — no surprise — with 70 75* points (7/5/0/1).

There’s a huge gap before the next group of books, which are pretty tightly clustered, as follows:

We Are the Ants: 35 (2/3/2/0)

Still Life with Tornado: 34 (2/2/3/1)

Scythe: 32 (3/1/1/3)

The Female of the Species: 32 (2/3/1/0)

Just to give a fuller sense of the points spread, March Book 3 just missed the top 4, coming in with 30 points (2/1/3/2), and The Sun is Also a Star had 29 (2/1/3/1); after that there’s another drop down to 22 points.

So, have at it: 1 honor book? 2? 3? Or do we go for the full four? (And if so, how?) Some years this is one of the more difficult choices the RealCommittee makes; let’s do our best to be as thoughtful.

*An earlier version of this post stated that The Lie Tree had 70 points due to a spreadsheet error.

 

Scythe

scythe-9781442472426_hrSometimes the world really does save the best for last. Because people? Scythe is amazing. I keep thinking about it. I unabashedly loved reading it in that can’t put it down way, but I also absolutely love it as a contender. It jumped the queue right into my top 5, and as the second to last 2016 YA book I read, that means it jumped a whole lotta books.

Basically, Shusterman took his commercial chops and mashed that with the thoughtful, nuanced writing he displayed so wonderfully with Challenger Deep, and the result is a near perfect combo.

 

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Pyrite: A Seriously Decisive Win!

PyriteWell, we revoted, and boy-howdy do we have a decisive margin this time!

A few thoughts on the raw data: In the interest of time, I’m only going to share a few highlights here, but the deeper analysis is totally interesting and we wouldn’t want to deprive geeky like-minded souls, so later this week we’ll do a post, after the honor vote is done (see below for honor vote link), to share the full data and all sorts of thoughts on what it tells us.

Finally: since we’re online and virtual &etc., we didn’t have a perfect revote in terms of voters — approximately 24/30 people voted in the runoff, and we picked up about 10 new voters.

Anyway, enough introduction.

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Pyrite: Honor Voting!

Nickel section (from Wilipedia): because the silver equivalent to pyrite is nickel. (At least for our purposes.)

Nickel section (from Wilipedia): because the silver equivalent to pyrite is nickel. (At least for our purposes.)

Now that we have our winner, let’s see how we’re feeling about an Honor Book lineup.

From the P&P:

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.

In the interest of time, we’ll skip the straw ballot step and jump straight to the weighted vote.

All “nominated” (reviewed here this season) books are eligible, plus The Female of the Species, which has been receiving steady write-in support and which we clearly should have covered (I’m hoping to read it this week, given the groundswell of support) and When the Moon was Ours, again because of write-in support. Remember too that The Reader and Scythe are coming in the next few days, so they count as officially nominated for the Pyrite.

(Note that the whole nomination list being eligible is a major difference from Newbery procedure, which only allows books that received votes in the initial balloting for the winner to be considered for the honor.)

  • Voting will happen in the comments
  • Votes are weighted, so number them 1-4; pointing is 7/5/3/1
  • You can vote for up to 4 books but don’t need to vote all spots; however, you can’t skip spots (so if you only vote for two books, they get 7 and 5 points, respectively)
  • We recommend voting BEFORE looking at any other responses to avoid the temptation to do math and strategize — because the RealCommittee can’t, so it’s maybe a little bit like cheating?
  • Polls will stay open until Tues early evening, with the goal of posting results late Tuesday or even first thing Wednesday.

That’s it! Go vote!

Still Life With Tornado

still-life-with-tornadoOh, A.S. King! Every year, a new novel. Every year, a bold move to expand what we think of as a novel. I’m not sure if I’m a King fan, but I find myself drawn to her books year after year because I trust them to be engrossing reading experiences, even if I have an Alice-in-Wonderland feeling the entire time, unsure of what’s real and what’s hallucinatory, unsure where I stand or how to even approach thinking about what’s in front of me.

This year’s offering is pure King — but it’s also accessible in a way we haven’t seen since Ask the Passengers. And I’d argue it’s better than King’s Printz honor-winning Please Excuse Vera Dietz. In short, this one is a true contender.

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The Pyrite Results Are In… We Get to Vote AGAIN!

scales-310962_64030 of us voted, and the results definitely  indicate some clear trends, but by the Printz guidelines, we do NOT have a winner.

From the RealPrintz Policies and Procedures:

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.

For our purposes, we’ve adapted “five first place votes” to “at least one more first place vote than the next highest title,” since on a 9-person committee, 5 votes is 50% plus 1, a majority, and also at least one more vote than the next highest first place vote; with an open mock event and no telling how many voters, we stick with the simplest way to make this rule still applicable to our results.

We do have a book that both received the highest number of points AND has one more first place vote than the next highest pointing title — but the spread between them is only 3 points, so it looks like it’s time to vote again! Jump below the fold to see what’s still eligible and a few data points that might help you cast your vote strategically.

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