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Pyrite 2018: It’s Official!


Pyrite/Fool’s Gold from Wikipedia

Last week, we opened the polls for one of our favorite things to do around here: vote for the Pyrite Winner! (Get it? Pyrite? Like not-quite-gold? Because while we read, discuss, and overall mimic RealCommittee’s work, we aren’t RealCommittee? So our medal is sort of an imitation gold sticker? That is in no way a sticker?) And now, a week later, we have a winner!

And, with great relief, I want to tell you that it went differently from last year; we have a clear-cut, easy to call winner (last year we had to go through…how many rounds of voting because things were so close? Two rounds? There was a lot of voting last year, is what I’m saying.)

But we made it through, and after the jump, we’ll get to, you know, THE TITLE THAT WON, and all the delicious numbers and charts and behind-the-scenes breakdown that (some of us) live for.

*drum roll drum roll/intense close up on me as I prepare to hand out our Pyrite Rose.* 

Our 2018 Pyrite winner is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas!!

This debut title was our clear winner with the most first place votes — 48 points in total. Want to see what that looks like? (If you want to drink in the details, click to embiggen!)


Long Way Down came in as a strong second; it actually garnered more votes, but fewer first place votes, and its total stands at 40. Check it out, below:


We had a lot of other titles with love, but those two were the clear cut leaders. For a sense of the field overall, here’s yet another lovely graph. Again, feel free to click on the chart to get the details. I’m curious what this will mean for our honor vote — once we get Long Way Down on the slate, the other three spots could go to anyone! Surely you don’t think one wrenching decision is all we’ll ask of you? We have more roses to hand out, people! More roses!

chart (1)

What do you think of our vote? Comments are open, below. And of course, you can keep this Pyrite process going with an honor vote; we’ll get that vote rolling in the next day or so, so you have a little time to really examine these results and think about how to strategically vote for up to four honor books.

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.

About Sarah Couri

Sarah Couri is a librarian at Grace Church School's High School Division, and has served on a number of YALSA committees, including Quick Picks, Great Graphic Novels, and (most pertinently!) the 2011 Printz Committee. Her opinions do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of SLJ, GCS, YALSA, or any other institutions with which she is affiliated. Find her on Twitter @scouri or e-mail her at scouri35 at gmail dot com.


  1. I actually think the committee will have a hard time this year. I don’t feel like there is one, clear-cut winner this year, though our top two are certainly up there.

    • Joy Piedmont says

      I agree, Anne. The vote spread was wide this year and I think it’s because it’s a very strong year with books that have a lot of different strengths.

  2. This is great and The Hate U Give is certainly a worthy winner but there are a lot of amazing books on this list. The post made me appreciate what a rich year in teen lit. it was and made me want to try a few books I haven’t yet. I also want to include books that I don’t see here but loved as much as the ones I do. All the things a good award list should do.

    Thanks for sharing your love of books and creating this fun alternate award. It keeps me thinking of the great possibilities and drives up my anticipation for the Printz announcement. Cheers!

  3. I liked The Hate U Give but I wouldn’t consider it a Printz winner because it lacks an original voice and beautiful prose. I did put it in the #1 spot in this pyrite vote because of peer pressure (LOL) but in my opinion, I think Landscape and Midnight/Electric had characters with a more unique voice and I thought it was metaphorical and beautifully written much like many of the past Printz winners-Midwinterblood, Bone Gap, I’ll Give You the Sun. I think our political climate will play a large role in the selection of this book and there’s nothing wrong with that but I do think there were several other Printz winner type books that were better than THUG.

    I hosted the Goodreads mock Printz group because the normal host is on the RC this year and we chose THUG overwhelmingly followed by Long Way Down, Midnight at the Electric, Strange the Dreamer, and List of Cages.

    • Sarah Couri says

      I would say that The Hate U Give absolutely has an original voice — in fact that’s what I raved about most in our review, and is what I think about, still, after the fact. Star’s voice gives us such a glimpse into her interior, which helps us understand what she sees around her. She does all this while sounding like a real teen I might meet and talk to — and while moving the story along, and while offering us understanding of other characters; this is real authorial control. As we point out a lot, Printz (and all committee work, really) comes down to consensus. We’ve had a rich year of reading, and the award winners are going to be the ones that the committee members can all agree on. Certainly our mock vote, and your GR experience shows that people are finding much to love — a lot to agree on — in The Hate U Give.

      You’re not the first to note the way that The Hate U Give resonates with ‘our current political climate.’ I’m still trying to pick my way through that thought and decide if I agree or not (I sort of do? Kind of? A little? But not entirely?). None of that resonance changes my read of The Hate U Give, though — the voice is rich; Star’s journey is emotionally compelling; her friends neighbors and family became people I care about.

      (But of course, I showed my hand on this title, giving it my #1 vote in the Pyrite!)

      • Karyn Silverman says

        I think I mostly agree with Dawn here, actually — I thoroughly enjoyed The Hate U Give. And I think it’s super important. And I like Starr’s voice, which sounded totally genuine to me — but I don’t think it’s particularly original, except in as much as genuine black teens are too scarce in YA lit. And I don’t think this is the best piece of writing we’ve seen this year. But it probably is the single most consensus building title. It will be interesting to see where the RC lands — and I don’t think this will be their winner, although it’s likely to sweep every mock award out there — the RC reads wider AND deeper than the rest of us, and I think with that kind of scrutiny The Hate U Give falls down a little, even if it’s still in the top 20 of the year.

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