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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

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:

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.

Sorry about the teeny-tiny font; we used SurveyMonkey, which I love for data collection, but the output options are limited. I find myself wondering about readership on the bottom end titles in particular; the two lowest placed titles are the nominations that were never on our Contenda list, and were relatively unbuzzed and low-starred; would they have fared differently here if folks had been talking about them as award contenders earlier?

29 of the 135 poll responders also submitted a write-in vote. Three books received 3 votes each — Endangered, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and The Wicked and the Just — and 4 books received 2 votes each — My Book of Life by Angel, For Darkness Shows the Stars, In Darkness (Nick Lake), and No Crystal Stair.

In addition to In Darkness, the following three books were mentioned that have not been discussed here and that were not on any of our lists: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen; Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan; and Small Damages by Beth Kephart. These, along with formal Pyrite nominations Various Positions and Monument 14 and two books that have been mentioned to us in person (Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst and Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott) comprise the pile of books we hope to get to. We’re still catching up on the original list of books we’d compiled, but we’re going to do our best to get everything, including all these dark horses and write-ins, read them before January 28, and we’ll keep an eye on the various year-end lists for other potentials that might have slipped under the radar.

Whew! That’s a lot of books, as I might have mentioned once or twice already.

*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.

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. Alas for Monument 14! I too wonder about readership; I finished Various Positions the night before voting opened, and suspect many just never had a chance. I was hoping you’d poll readership at the same time as getting shortlist votes; alas for not having said anything!

    What were the total number voting, and what were the rest of the write-ins?

    And now Every Day REALLY needs to come in… I’ve had a copy on hold at the library for a month solid. I’m glad people are reading it, but dude, my turn already!

  2. This seems like a great list! Looking forward to finishing all my reading/rereading and voting.

  3. This is a beautiful thing!

  4. I count three former Printz winners (Green, Bray, Bacigalupi), and three Honor winners (Lanagan, King, Stiefvater). Of the remaining four, SERAPHINA, BOMB, and CNV were automatic based on starred reviews. Karyn – I think you said something here or on twitter about consensus being the name of the game this year. Our results certainly seem to back that up. Fascinating.

  5. Something I love about this list is how flipping hard it is going to be to compare these books, because of how varied they are in genre and approach.

    We have pure SF (DROWNED CITIES), high fantasy (SERAPHINA), Historical Fiction (CNV), Nonfiction (BOMB), two contemporaries, but one of them with bits of magic realism (TFiOS, ASK THE PASSENGERS), realistic fantasy (BRIDES), and whatever the heck EVERYDAY is. The closest two are RAVEN BOYS and THE DIVINERS–both fantasies about psychic abilities, but even these are pretty far apart. Let the fun begin.

  6. Sophie Brookover says

    I think there’s variety in terms of approach & genre every year — it was certainly the case last year, at least! I don’t think it matters, because — and here, I’m gonna get all procedural & process-obsessed on you — we don’t compare the books directly. We evaluate them based on the criteria in the P&P, and based on that, as well as the evaluations, comments, and debate points made by our colleagues, we’ll each choose individual top three titles (for winner), then top 5 (for honor titles). As a matter of fact, it might be useful for us all to formally revisit the P&P as we head into the Pyrite Printz extravaganza times that lie ahead.

  7. YES! My library FINALLY has a copy of Every Day in transit to me!

    …because you all care so much. =)

  8. Hope Baugh says

    Well, drat. I got busy and forgot to vote here. Ah, well. ‘Looking forward to finally reading Code Name Verity! (and others)

  9. Hello, I truly enjoy this blog (though I don’t usually comment) and appreciate the depth of the discussions. I am in the midst of reading The Brides of Rollrock Island because of its nomination here, and I was wondering if you would include the “Why is this YA” question when you blog about the book (as you did with Dying to Know You by Chambers). I know Brides was published as YA, and I’m not arguing the point, I am just hoping someone can clarify to me what makes it YA, either in the blog or the comments. Thank you!

  10. @Kendall – I guess I’m confused as how it *isn’t* YA. Probably the majority of the novel is narrated by young adults (the two Daniel sections, Bet Winch, and most of Misskaella’s section, plus maybe Dominic. I don’t remember how old Lory and the second witch-blanking on her name-are, but they’re pretty young too). Lanagan is an established young adult author. It’s written at a high level of comprehension, but still easily within reach of older teens. And it is published as YA.

  11. I thought that for Printz purposes “published as YA” was all we needed?

  12. That’s all that’s needed for the book to be eligible, but I think Kendall’s question is more regarding how successful a book is at being a work for young adults (regardless of its publication status), which is certainly a valid point of judgment for the award.

    I’m hoping we’ll discuss this book at length soon, but yes, agreed with Mark that most of the central characters are young adults–Lory and the second witch, too. And a lot of it is about, like… sexual awakening, I guess you’d call it. I remember being a little startled in the section narrated by the mother where it turns out the father is up to the same tricks as his son, mostly because it seemed like such adolescent behavior.

  13. What’s interesting is that Lanagan doesn’t specifically write for YA, rather, her publishers (mainly US) choose to publish her works as YA. If this classification is to Lanagan’s advantage is unclear.

  14. I regret to say that I probably won’t have all these titles read to participate as fully in discussions as I’d like — I’ll do my best!

  15. I know we’ll address this more when we get to the Brides blog post, but I just wanted to say how interesting it is to me when I read a book so differently from other people. I completely see where you all are coming from, that the book was narrated by several young adults, and the idea of sexual awakening. Now that I have finished the book, however, and before coming to these comments, I walked away from the book as insight into parenthood. Miskaella’s story was strongest for me when dealing with the Ean situation (don’t want to give spoilers), Bet just the eyes telling of the event with her mother/father and not as a part of the story herself, Dominic was thinking of adult topics of marriage and settling down and was influenced strongly by the idea of having a son and a family more than just sex, Lory coming back was an adult, and Trudle was a mother of many, viewing evidence of M’s other children. Daniel’s chapter was the strongest to me, and while he was definitely a child and YA, the insight into parenthood of both his mother and father was so powerful. in my interpretation, this would make a more moving story to adults than teens (even mature ones). I’m sorry this is so long, I just want to clarify why I asked the question 🙂

  16. I have done a lot of catch up reading on this blog. Karyn, loved your review of Code Name Verity. I did not have a problem at all with the double tap. I also did not have a problem with the pen. If this were to win, it will not be a universal teen favorite, but it will be a book that AP English classes should adopt. This one will have a lot of cross over appeal for adults. For me the Printz winner comes down to the locked cage death match between this title, Lanagan’s Brides, and Bomb (wouldn’t it be great to have a nonfiction Printz winner?). I picked Lanagan to win before I read Code Name Verity or Bomb. All three are excellent and all are very worthy. I am glad to see your love for Seraphina, which is my pick to win the Morris (but I am happy to say that the Morris Committee has a couple of books that I have not read yet). I also think Seraphina is good enough on its own to attract Printz attention, so if it does not win the Morris, I am hoping that the winner is better (which could mean that two debut books crack the Printz award again this year). It will be very interesting to see what happens in Seattle. Nice job on the blog Karyn, Sarah, and Sophie!

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