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Battle of the Books

Round 2, Match 4: The Lie Tree vs The Sun Is Also A Star


    JUDGE – SARA FARIZAN The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Abrams The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Random House I was hesitant to take on this task because I’m a bit uncomfortable about pitting books against each other. Sure, it’s all in good fun, but the only winner here really is me for […]

Round 2, Match 3: Some Writer! vs When The Sea Turned to Silver


JUDGE – CYNTHIA KADOHATA Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet Houghton Mifflin Harcourt When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin Little Brown   On the surface, Some Writer! and When the Sea Turned to Silver are utterly different books, one nonfiction and filled with details from author E.B. White’s real life, and one a fantastical […]

Round 2, Match 2: Ghost vs March, Book Three


JUDGE – ELIOT SCHREFER Ghost By Jason Reynolds Simon & Schuster March, Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell Top Shelf Productions     The beauty of reading books is that they don’t have to duke it out afterwards. I can read me some Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter Night on Saturday and […]

Round 2 Match 1: Freedom in Congo Square vs When Green Becomes Tomatoes


JUDGE – JAVAKA STEPTOE Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Little Bee When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano illustrated by Julie Morstad Macmillan I like to think of these two books as pieces of music: One is like a work song, the other a classical concerto. In this way they are […]

Round 1, Match 8: The Passion of Dolssa vs The Sun Is Also a Star


  JUDGE – BRENDAN KIELY The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry Penguin The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Random House What a difficult task! Of all the books to have paired together, here are two uniformly critically acclaimed, wildly successful and popular books, both Printz Honor finalists, one a National Book Award […]

Round 1, Match 7: Anna and the Swallow Man vs The Lie Tree


JUDGE – NOVA REN SUMA  Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit Random House The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Abrams After I finished the two books up in this round, I was left excited by the depths of imagination both of these authors created on the page. I’ll tell you what I look for as […]

Round 1, Match 6: Wet Cement vs When the Sea Turned to Silver


  JUDGE – JANE YOLEN Wet Cement by Bob Raczka Macmillan When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin Little Brown Bob Raczka’s concrete poetry collection Wet Cement begins with a pun (concrete/cement, get it?) and ends with a copyright notice that is itself a concrete piece, though not an actual poem. The spreads are constantly and […]

Round 1, Match 5: Samurai Rising vs Some Writer!


JUDGE – TANYA LEE STONE Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner illustrated by Gareth Hinds Charlesbridge Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet Houghton Mifflin Harcourt   When I was 8, my Dad built me an L-shaped reading nook, which hung about three feet below a corner of our family-room ceiling. It was accessible only by ladder rungs narrow enough for […]

Round 1, Match 4: Makoons vs March, Book Three


JUDGE – VARIAN JOHNSON Makoons by Louise Erdrich HarperCollins March, Book III by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell Top Shelf On the surface, this looks to be a match-up between David and Goliath. Spartans vs. Xerxes. The Rock against Kevin Hart. On one side we have Makoons, a short, quiet historical novel about an […]

Round 1, Match 3: Ghost vs The Girl Who Drank the Moon


JUDGE – JAMES DASHNER Ghost by Jason Reynolds Simon & Schuster The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill Algonquian I want you to know that I say the following with all the love I can muster in my heart: School Library Journal is an evil, devious, monstrous entity. When they asked me to participate […]