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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Best of…

We’re at the time of year when every day seems to bring us a new list — the past 24 hours alone saw Horn Book’s Fanfare, NPR’s (new! fun!) Book Concierge, and the Morris Award shortlist.

And while I’m not a data junkie, I like lists. I like cross-referencing, comparing, seeing how the end-of-year lists stack up against our longlist and my own personal favorites, and looking for weird correlations, like the way Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly are often on the same page.

So read on for what my quick and dirty look through a pile of lists tells me about the books of 2013, as always through our narrow lens of Printz speculation.

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The Votes Are In!

pyrite chart blank1 500x414 The Votes Are In!

Look! The results! Only… we stripped out the titles from this version. So now you HAVE to read on.

Before we say anything else, or share shiny data, and definitely before we name the book that gets the Pyrite* medal (which, really, would be more of a paperweight), we want to say thank you.

Thank you, of course, for reading the blog. But mostly, and most importantly, thank you for caring about YA literature. Thank you for sharing your passion, for having opinions, for thinking about books, and for making this all worthwhile. We have such a lovely little corner of the internet — our community is so thoughtful, passionate, and kind; it’s a joy to be a part of it.

Ok, enough sentimentality. We’ll save the rest of the emotions for Monday’s tears (for joy or sorrow, but Karyn at least almost always cries a little during the YMAs).

So, you wanna know what won? [Read more...]

Data: Readership Poll Results

With 120 results, here are the results!

(If you haven’t taken the poll, you can still access it here. If the responses increase significantly, I’ll post updated data, of course.)

Google Forms plays badly with anything, and Excel hates me, so this is just the straightup data for now. I’ll try to play with the Excel files until we have actual usable data (at least sorted by most read to least), but that could take me ages so I thought I should post what I could. With apologies.

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More Numbers from Our Guest Gurus

Before we return to our regularly scheduled abstract theorizing about literature (with Sarah and I weighing in on that standalone thing, as we keep promising to do), we’ve got an addendum to the numbers-loaded guest post from two weeks back.

In the comments on that post, which was full of fascinating data, the question was raised about correlations between stars and wins/honors. And so our valiant number crunchers tackled the question, as follows. (Have I mentioned how happy I am that we found some readers who can actually deal with data? You don’t want to know how many hours Sarah and I spent on last year’s Mock poll data, and I suspect we still made some data errors. Numbers are so very much not my strong point.)

And so, with no further ado, Predicting the Printz, Part 2: Another guest post by Elizabeth Fama (YA author) and John Cochrane (Professor of Economics), with heroic data collection by Jen Baker (Librarian). [Read more...]

How Many Stars Does it Take to Catch a Printz?

A guest post by Elizabeth Fama (YA author) and John Cochrane (Professor of Economics), with heroic data collection by Jen Baker (Librarian).

[Note from Karyn: Usually when someone is kind enough to write a guest post, I labor over a worthy introduction. But true to her detail-oriented self—see post, below—Elizabeth wrote her own introduction. So I'll just say that we apologize for the delay between posts, but there was this thing known as ALA. We'll be back on track in the upcoming weeks with a writeup of the RealCommittee celebrations from Sophie, and then more on that pesky series issue. For now, please enjoy the amazing statistical guest post below. I love empirical data!]

Back in her April “Reading, Reading, Reading!” post, Karyn said, “Remember that any book with three or more stars [from the six major review journals] is automatically a contenda,” leading me to ask in the comments, “Is there an empirical rationale for considering 3-star books auto-contenders? Has the Printz (including honor books) statistically gone to books with multiple stars, or is this just a handy way of forming our reading list?” Anecdotally it didn’t seem true. Last year, for example, Chime by Franny Billingsley earned six stars but no major awards, and Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley earned only one star, but took home both the Printz and the Morris.

In the comment section of that post and others, we all offered our views of why stars and Printz awards might not match up, but I wanted to see exactly how much they didn’t match up. And so the lovely Jen Baker, who is equally fascinated by quantifying children’s literature, compiled a spreadsheet with the starred reviews that all twelve years of Printz Winners and Honors earned (or didn’t) from the six journals. I enlisted the help of my economist husband to crunch the numbers and create the charts.

If you’re a numbers nerd, stick around for some fun statistics. If you’re not, skip straight to the conclusion at the bottom.

[Read more...]