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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Pyrite Slate, 2018

Red rose on a white background, Wikipedia

Red rose on a white background, Wikipedia

It’s official! We have done it! We named our winner last week, and now we’ve got our honor books. Votes came in, spreadsheets were made, and many other things happened — and it was all done in the passive voice, I guess.

But who can think about grammar, really, when we have a completely fictional award to give out!? Once again, you’ll have to imagine me with Bachelor-ish roses, and an intense close up on my face — and I guess all the authors’ faces, because OF COURSE they would join a reality TV version of the Pyrite, right? — with striking music playing to really heighten the tension. Click through for our slate!

So, as usual, things are quite interesting in the data-strewn background of the Pyrite. Things start out pretty clear-cut: Long Way Down got 56 total points, and also received the majority of the first place votes. The chart below gives you an idea of the first point vote distribution (click to enlarge):

First Place Votes

But here is where things get interesting, and in order to show you, I’m going to give you a graph with the point spread overall. Check it out:

Point Distribution

This means that Thick as Thieves, with 23 points total, would be the next title on the slate. (Thick as Thieves also got the second-most second place votes — because LWD got a slight majority there, too). The chart below gives you an idea of what the second place votes look like:

Second Place Votes

So things get a little more interesting (read: “clumped together”) after that.

Strange the Dreamer came in with 19 points total, while 57 Bus is just behind with 18 points. Landscape with Invisible Hand has 15 points, and this is where RealCommittee would cut everything off.

We could do that, too — simply keep it to our top four titles. That’s simple, neat, and does the job. But if you look at the points, In Other Lands and Midnight at the Electric each have 14 points, which is soveryclose to Landscape. Maybe too close? And really, with such a wide margin between LWD and Thick as Thieves, I’m almost inclined to cut it off at one honor book.

That would give our Pyrite slate two titles, and would look like this: The Hate U Give (winner) and Long Way Down (honor).

Impressive, no?

Of course, this is a committee, and not just MY decision. What do you all think? Feel free to take a look at the actual spreadsheet and speak your mind in the comments!

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 think we should re-vote for honor books 2-4. Long Way Down is our 1st honor . Then take the other six and everyone can only vote for three: Thick as Thieves; The 57 Bus; Landscape With Invisible Hand; Strange the Dreamer; Midnight at the Electric; and In Other Lands….

    I hate it when the RealCommittee doesn’t fill out their slate because there are so many excellent books out there and by not selecting four Honor books, I think it is a slap on the face of the really good books.

    • I’ll start the re-vote:
      1. Thick As Thieves
      2. Strange the Dreamer
      3. Midnight at the Electric

    • It’s not ever intended as a “slap in the face”, but simply following the recommendations in the Printz procedures. That said, I agree with you that since YALSA’s award rules are looser than many of ALSC’s, I prefer when the RC selects more honor books rather than fewer. But it just depends on what the RC decides, how the votes split, and what books are on the table at the time.

  2. Didn’t we have a similar situation last year, and went with the four-honor-books slate instead of the one-really-remarkable-one slate?

    Anyway, each year and each committee being different…

    I’m with Sarah. There is such a difference in point totals that it makes more sense to have a single honor book than to try to split hairs between the next five. (The next five got 14-23 points, 1 first place vote each, 4-5 votes total. The sixth also got 14 points, but only 2 votes–more intense backing but less consensus.) Trying to add three more honors doesn’t accurately reflect this ballot.

    Of course, that’s this ballot. I’d be open to setting Long Way Down as a definite honor and re-voting for the next three, in the hopes of getting more clarity, if it seems we have the will for it.

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