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Battle of the Books

2017 Judge: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen author photo_ Photo Credit Jason Stemple

Jane Yolen is often called the Hans Christian Andersen of America (though she will only admit to being the Hans Jewish Andersen of the States) has written over 360 books. She loves, loves, loves to read, though sometimes writing gets in the way. However, she has read every single Jane Yolen book, which also takes […]

Want the Latest Brackets?

Battle Commander (with words)

Just go to Shelley Diaz’s excellent article, “Download SLJ’s 2017 Battle of the Kids’ Books Brackets” for all the details. Enjoy!

2017 Judge: Duncan Tonatiuh

Tonatiuh, Duncan 2

Duncan Tonatiuh is the author-illustrator of The Princess and the Warrior, Funny Bones, Separate Is Never Equal, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, Diego Rivera: His World and Ours and Dear Primo. He is the illustrator of Esquivel! and Salsa. His books have received multiple accolades, among them the Pura Belpré Medal, the Sibert Medal, The […]

2017 Judge: Sabaa Tahir

sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s eighteen-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash, and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all […]

2017 Judge: Nova Ren Suma

novarensuma-color

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Walls Around Us and other novels. She loves unreliable narrators and ghost stories, so if you see her in person, tell her a good, spine-tingling ghost story to keep her from sleeping through the night. Nova lives in a tiny apartment […]

2017 Judge: Tanya Lee Stone

Tanya Lee Stone_ credit - Ambient Photography

Tanya Lee Stone was a happy participant in SLJ’s Battle of the Books back in 2011 when her The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie succumbed in Round 2 to Kathi Appelt’s Keeper. It wasn’t a total loss, though, as judge Naomi Shihab Nye referred to her as “the intrepid Tanya Lee Stone,” thus softening […]

2017 Judge: Javaka Steptoe

Javaka Steptoe(c) Gregg Richards

Javaka Steptoe is an artist, designer, and illustrator.  He has illustrated 11 award-winning books, including CSK Award winner In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall and CSK honor book Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow.  His most recent picture book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, received 5 starred reviews and reflects Javaka’s belief […]

2017 Judge: Eliot Schrefer

EliotAuthorPhoto_credit Priya Patel

Eliot Schrefer is a longtime fan of the Battle of the Books. He’s written many novels for young readers, including two installments of the New York Times-bestselling Spirit Animals series and the “Great Ape Quartet” of young adult books, two of which have been finalists for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. His […]

2017 Judge: Ellen Oh

Ellen Oh Headshot

Ellen Oh is a very busy person. She has 3 kids that demand to be fed on a daily basis and 2 dogs that demand to be walked. When she has free time, she works for a nonprofit company called We Need Diverse Books where she gets to hang with some of the most awesome […]

2017 Judge: Brendan Kiely

BK color photo

Brendan Kiely is The New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. Someone once told him that if he became a writer he could read for a living. He can’t. He has deadlines. They loom. He loves to write, but reading […]