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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

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...]

Voting Time!

pyrite 300x279 Voting Time!

Time to decide which book we will adorn with a big ol’ hunk of Pyrite. It’s an honor, but it doesn’t work quite as well as a shiny sticker. CC-licensed image by Flickr user rcnevada, via Fotopedia

The time has come (as the Walrus said) to make some hard decisions.

We have 10 titles we’ve voted for already. These are the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the (drumroll) Pyrite* Shortlist!

But only one can wear the (fool’s) gold, and it’s time to decide which one.

[Read more...]

Pyrite Redux: Recently Reviewed Nominees

We’ve been bringing the Pyrite* books back up for a second round of discussion, but a number of them were discussed so recently — and with their Pyrite nominations in mind — that it seems silly to post again about each one.

However, we didn’t want anyone to forget what makes these books at the very top of the top of the year, so here are the remaining Pyrite candidates revisited.

When guest blogger Joy reviewed Bomb, she said “With descriptive language and clever plot juggling, Sheinkin creates the atmosphere of life as a wartime spy (or a bomb-building physicist); it’s dangerous and exciting. This effective world building and use of stylistic tools create a book that feels light.” She then went on to list some criticisms, and concluded by wondering if Bomb is more style than substance. However, this is the one nonfiction book that made the Pyrite shortlist and is dearly beloved by many. It’s also gotten a lot of love from the Newbery speculation crowd over at Heavy Medal. Printz pick or pan?

Ask the Passengers swept our live Mock Printz event, and seems to be the book everyone loves, although it lacks the splash of Code Name Verity. Sarah’s review praised almost every aspect of the book, especially the characterization. She also mostly predicted it will place in the RealPrintz when she said “I think this title could go far at the table.” Is she on to something? Is this the one that can win the consensus and take the Pyrite, and maybe even the gold?

Whether or not it gets pyrite, nickel (isn’t that the pyrite equivalent for silver?),  gold, or silver, The Brides of Rollrock Island wins the award for most hotly contested title of the year, at least around here. Karyn’s review was a great big waffle. She loved the language and the scope, but was left puzzled by the messages seemingly encoded in the themes and the plot. And the comments were almost equally divided, with no one seeming to be particularly swayed by anyone else’s observations and thoughts. Books we can talk about for hours are good, but when it comes to the Printz, consensus is key and a book this divisive often falls by the wayside. Will that be the fate of Brides?

The Raven Boys is a delicious fantasy and first in a series. And the same goes for The Diviners. Do either of them have what it takes to place despite the series issue? And the genre issue? Or are these heart books that will fall off the list as soon as the voting starts?

So that’s it, the last of the Pyrite Redux posts. Voting will begin today, so consider carefully your top three picks. And feel free to use the comments here as one last chance to sway the other voters. How persuasive can you be?

 

*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee. You probably figured that out on your own, but we like to make it clear!

Code Name Verity, Pyrite Redux

Karyn has been talking about Code Name Verity all year, starting with a teaser in her March 19th post (a post that wasn’t even about books we’d been reading, mind you).

And despite a few other top contenders, this is the one that seems to have all the love, pulling the most votes when we created the Pyrite* shortlist.

In her formal review, Karyn praised the craft of the novel: “The tightness of Wein’s grasp on her plot, her characters — all very impressive. That’s the piece most one-off readers will probably walk away in awe of, from a technical perspective, and it is awe-inspiring.” She also praised the wealth of literary references, which all speak to the plot and themes of CNV, and the thematic depths.

In fact, she concluded by saying “Simply put, best book this year.” Which is a pretty strong statement, especially given how often we tend to hedge our bets around here.

But even Karyn conceded that there are flaws here, and the comments discussion raised a number of them, most pressingly the question of plausibility.

Now that the year is drawing to a close, and the YMA’s are only days away, where do you stand? Is CNV still a serious contenda, for the Pyrite and for the RealPrintz? Or, having sat with the flaws raised by some close readers, has this slipped a bit in your estimation?

Discuss!

 

*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee. You probably figured that out on your own, but we like to make it clear!

Seraphina, Pyrite Redux

In November, Karyn found a lot to say about Seraphina. In addition to being like tasty, delicious soup (that made sense in Karyn’s post, really), Hartman’s debut novel improves on reread. After her third go around with the text, Karyn raved about the complicated mystery that pulls the reader along (first read’s joy); the impeccable, detailed world building that serves to better illuminate the characters (second read’s joy); the nuance in the writing that brings unexpected layers and levels to the characters (third read’s joy). With six starred reviews and more love in the comments, Karyn was clearly not alone.

There were a few minor flaws pointed out. Per the comments, a few people mentioned a couple of awkward moments in the writing, a weak dream world, and an unnecessary love interest.

It’s on our Pyrite* list, it’s a Morris finalist, and now we have a chance to re-discuss. What do you guys think?

*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee. You probably figured that out on your own, but we like to make it clear!

Drowned Cities, Pyrite Redux

drowned Drowned Cities, Pyrite ReduxIn November, Sarah reviewed Drowned Cities, from her admittedly biased perspective.

At the time, she praised the thematic depth: “It … explores what it means to be human, our inescapable need to create packs — and why we have to leave them. Bacigalupi scrutinizes humanity’s tendency to act monstrously, our insistence that we are civilized even when the evidence shows otherwise… Our identities are stories we tell ourselves to explain the situations we find ourselves in.”

She also praised the characterization and world building — although at least one comment raised the question of whether the world building here stands up without prior knowledge of the world (which Sarah’s repeated reads of Ship Breaker would have provided) — the powerful metaphors that work themselves into the narrative, and the careful pacing.

She mentioned a few issues with the book: some less than perfect characterization/weak dialog and weak moments in the plot. And, per the comments, an ending that is too hopeful.

A couple months have passed (and the book has been out since May), so we’ve all had a little time to sit with it. Since it’s a title on our Pyrite* short list, we need to consider: do these flaws knock Drowned Cities out of contention? Or will its strengths carry it through? Questions, questions. Let’s start answering them in the comments!

*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee.

The Fault in Our Stars, Pyrite Redux

Back in September, Sarah reviewed The Fault in Our Stars.

At the time, she said, “When you add the serious subject matter, the thoughtful treatment of said subject matter, the memorable characters, and the five-hanky tear-jerker of a plot, you know there’s a lot to talk about in terms of Printz-worthiness.”

She went on to say, “But the decision to bring Van Hauten back makes this book suddenly feel like A Cancer Book — full of lessons and realizations and Important Character Growth. It’s cliche and I believe it severely weakens the integrity of the book.”

Four months have passed (and 12 since the book came out). It’s on the Pyrite* list, and came in second in the poll that determined the Pyrite shortlist. Was this just because it’s the one book everyone has read? Has it stood the test of time? Does it have what it takes to go the distance? Discuss!

 

[Read more...]

Get Ready, Get Set, READ!

Well, folks, the results are in! We voted down the Pyrite Nominations to create a shortlist, and here it is:

columnChartExport Get Ready, Get Set, READ!I don’t think there are any real surprises here, except maybe the margin; Code Name Verity pretty much swept it.

Your task now, should you choose to join the fun (and regardless of whether you voted on the shortlist) is to read and/or reread these 10 books between now and mid-January; in the last week or two before the RealCommittee announces their Printz winner and honor titles, we will discuss each of these and put them all to a vote to determine the Pyrite Printz* winner. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially as I suspect the readership on some of the middle block of titles is still relatively low.

In the meantime, we’ll continue working our way through our still fairly large queue of books from the September contender list.

For those who want to see the full voting results, click through.

[Read more...]

Pyrite Poll!

polling station 300x225 Pyrite Poll!

The poll is up! I realized, belatedly, that actually it should probably have been that everyone votes for 5, and the top ten most selected titles are the Pyrite* shortlist. Next year, hopefully we’ll get the math bits figured out. Data nerds, feel free to give statistical collection tips if you have any.

But hey! Now you can vote for ten! And write-in an extra book (it needs to be one that didn’t make the nomination pile, obviously).

So go! Vote! Come back tomorrow for a return to our more regularly scheduled content, and Sunday to see the shortlist for the Pyrite.

**The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee.