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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Mock Printzing the Night Away

Collecting data requires fancy equipment and complex mathematics.

Well, results are in for the Pyrite and for our local mock roster, and it’s interesting.

Also, we have a winner!

It will be interesting see if discussion knocks this one down in either final vote, but right now Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is the runaway winner.

The breakdown: Locally, our group of 9 voted a unanimous 9 “yes, let’s discuss this” votes (note that we had an actual poll for the local Mock, although write-ins are encouraged). Here on the blog, with 27 voters, it received 13 nominations, the highest number.

Popularity or prediction? Only time will tell…

(Insert portentous dun-dun-dun music here.)

Let’s see what other data can be gleaned from the compare and contrast and data gathered.

Interestingly, we have a clear top 5 among the blog voters (for the sake of full data disclosure, there is at least one overlapping voter who is not a blogger for Someday, but her votes aren’t identical because of the closed poll v. open nominations).

I’ll Give You the Sun, as I already noted, is the clear top pick, but This One Summer trails behind by only two nominations. Grasshopper Jungle trails just behind that, with 10 nominations, and then in the last two spots we have We Were Liars and The Family Romanov, with 8 each.

It will be interesting to see if this how the votes go or if some of this is down to love. When we get critical will something else rise to the top?

Either way, this list contrasts interestingly with the local data, for which we also have readership data (respondents were able to say yes, no, or didn’t read). Although contrasts is a strong word. The differences are actually pretty subtle for the most part, which shows that this is a big consensus year. (Which probably means that the RealCommittee will choose 5 books none of us have read.)

Locally, This One Summer had 6/7 yes votes (again, these are votes for discussion, not for the mock gold, out of the total number of readers), as did Grasshopper Jungle; We Were Liars received 8/9 yes votes, and The Family Romanov had 8/8. So far so good — all the books did well on both polls. However, we had 2 books that did just as well as This One Summer and Grasshopper JungleHow I Discovered Poetry and The Port Chicago 50 (0 nominations here, making this the most notable discrepancy between the two pools). And 100 Sideways Miles, with 7/7 yes votes, actually beat all four of those (only 5 nominations here, making this the other somewhat notable discrepancy; Joy will be posting a review of this one this week).

(And as long as we’re talking percentages, The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean had only 3 readers but all three said it was worth discussing — here, it had 0 nominations. I still say you all need to go out and read this one.)

Moving past the top books here, there was a cluster of books that were less acclaimed but clearly in the running —100 Sideways Miles and How I Discovered Poetry, which also had local love, and (yes!) Love Is the Drug (5 nominations each), followed closely by Gabi: A Girl in Pieces, Egg & Spoon, and Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, with 4 each.

(In the local discussion vote, titles of note past the clear frontrunners were Egg & Spoon (5/5), Afterworlds (5/6), Beyond Magenta (5/7), and The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy (5/6); Love Is the Drug had 3/4, which is good in terms of percentages but low in terms of votes; similarly, Gabi received 4/5 yes votes, and none of the others nominated here rated.)

(The high readership/no or low vote list is a whole other data goldmine, in case you wondered.)

Moving on to practical matters, we’re going to try to revisit the top 11* nominations here: I’ll Give You the Sun; This One Summer; Grasshopper Jungle; We Were Liars; The Family Romanov; How I Discovered Poetry; Gabi: A Girl in Pieces (which I just finished and will write up as soon as I finish The Carnival at Bray); Egg & Spoon; Love Is the Drug; 100 Sideways Miles; and Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future.

Whew! I know I have a lot of reading to do; my readership of titles people are actually interested in is much lower than usual although my overall reading was slightly higher this year. We’ll run those revisit posts starting late this week, probably, after pushing out the last few books we want to cover.

*We were aiming for 10, but the votes are so even that unless we get a late voter we’d be making an arbitrary call.

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!

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. I’m intrigued by this result! I thought I’ll Give You The Sun was clearly very strong in terms of prose, though perhaps a little overwritten — all those metaphors exploding off the page! — and I loved reading it, all the way through, but I felt that it had flaws that knocked it out of the running — mostly, that the ways people can be terrible to each other and the ways people can be good to each other are both turned up to 11 in ways that sometimes felt more melodramatic than realistic. I was both surprised and not surprised to see it get so many votes in the Pyrite; I will be curious to see how the real committee feels about it.

    • Karyn Silverman says

      Emily, your reading and mine are very well aligned. I also thought the ending was — well. We will revisit shortly so perhaps I should save all my trash talk. But I had issues.

    • Brenda Martin says

      Emily, I think we are also well aligned – just last Friday I was talking with a friend who was gushing about it, and she saw in my face that I had some issues with it. I can’t recall if I used the word “overwritten” (it may have been “overcrafted”) but I know I said one of them! I do like that book, and will recommend it to teens widely, for many reasons. I’m just not sure about it being Printz.

  2. Anne Bennett says

    Every year people criticize books because they are not perfect and then the committee picks books less perfect. (Think: White Bicycle) I’ll Give You the Sun is the best book of the year, hands down, warts and all. With The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender coming in a close second. I like The Family Romanov but it really isn’t that well written. It deserves to win the YALSA nonfiction award but not the Printz. I haven’t read Love it the Drug or How I Discovered Poetry, however. So unless they are PERFECT, my vote (if I had one) goes to I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. i was glad to see that your team of readers agreed with me.

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