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It’s Pyrite Time!
It’s pretty simple: emulate the RealCommittee process as much as possible.
A large part of what we do is discuss books at a level we believe is similar to that of the RealCommittee — thoughtfully, seriously, with an insane attention to detail.
But the RealCommittee also nominates and votes on the books, which is the fun/pulse-pounding/exciting part, and so we have an annual Mock, or Pyrite, Printz here on the blog.
It starts NOW, so read on to nominate your top picks of the year, and may the best book win!
Note: our process here is an imperfect copy.
Here’s the RealCommittee version: nominations open early in the year — February 1st, I believe. Committee members, who have already begun communicating virtually about those simple (hah!) little questions like “what is literature?” and “what makes a great piece of YA literature?” and so on, begin nominating any time after the nominations open. By the time Annual rolls around, they are already deep into discussions of the nominated books, and then they keep nominating as the year rolls on until MidWinter, when they discuss in even more depth and finally vote.
We don’t even start our speculating until September, and we’re only now opening the polls for Pyrite nominations, and we’ll only have them open for a week. Our process is artificial and shorter than the real committee’s. It’s also open to anyone who wants to play along, which we hope makes up for all the ways we get it wrong.
Here’s our process:
- You may nominate up to three titles (RealCommittee members have no limit and might nominate from 0 to infinity. But they’re selective, so usually the numbers are WAY lower than infinity).
- All 2013 publications designated YA are eligible,* whether or not they made our initial longlist or not, and regardless of whether we’ve written about them on Someday.
- Nominations will be made via comments on this post.
- In your comment/nomination, you need to include title, author, and a brief statement which references or draws on the official criteria to explain why the book you are nominating deserves to win the Printz. (This is effectively the same as the process required to suggest a book for the RealPrintz for field nominators, which is pretty much the same as the formal nomination form committee members have filled out in the past, although we’ve cut out the brief annotation and the bibliographic data fields to make life easier.) For those of you who write your own blog or post extensive reviews on Goodreads or elsewhere online, please link to all of those in addition to or in lieu of the brief “why” statement.
Once nominations close (on 12/22), we’ll narrow the nominations down arbitrarily (10? 15? Let’s see how many discrete titles get a nomination) for discussion and a Pyrite vote, which will happen shortly before MidWinter and the actual Youth Media Awards.
REMEMBER: The Pyrite is a mock Printz, done in good fun and with an eye towards shadowing, in some small way, the kind of reading and discussion the RealCommittee participates in. We are not affiliated with the actual Printz, although we think it rocks, which is why we do this. The RealPrintz is formally YALSA‘s Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature and is sponsored annually by Booklist.
*Booklist listed Relish and March, Book 1 as adult titles with crossover appeal for teens. Booklist is the official ALA publication. This makes me go hmmm, but we’re still considering them both as YA for now. The RealCommittee would determine eligibility for these not specifically age-bracketed publications on a case by case basis, if they even come up for discussion; we already deemed Relish admissible by our reading (publisher listed it as 16 & up) and March is from a publisher that doesn’t do age groupings, but it seems to have been submitted to publications that are children’s and YA specific for review, which to me says it’s for our readers. However, see caveat below about how this is all speculation and I know nothing (Jon Snow).
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.
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