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Battle of the Books

Omissions and Alternatives Jonathan Hunt Style

I thought there would be more discussion about books that missed our shortlist so let me list several obvious omissions.

ALMOST ASTRONAUTS won the Sibert Medal, was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor book, and a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction.  It received three starred reviews and made one best of the year list.

GOING BOVINE won the Printz Award.  It received two starred reviews and made two best of the year lists.

THE GREAT AND ONLY BARNUM was a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction finalist.  It received two starred reviews and made two best of the year lists.

JUMPED was a National Book Award finalist.  It received two starred reviews and made one best of the year list.

THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST was a Printz Honor book.  It received one starred review and made one best of the year list.

THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG was a Newbery Honor book.  It received one starred review.

PUNKZILLA was a Printz Honor book.  It received one starred review and made one best of the year list.

TALES OF THE MADMAN UNDERGROUND was a Printz Honor book.  It received two starred reviews.

WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON was a Newbery Honor book and won the Josette Frank Award.  It received three starred reviews.

WRITTEN IN BONE was a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction.  It received three starred reviews and made three best of the year lists.

WINTERGIRLS received five starred reviews and made four best of the year lists.

So which of them, if any, do you think deserved a spot in the Sweet Sixteen—and which book(s) would you replace?

Also . . . It’s fun to play around with the bracketing possibilities.  What if we had matched the top of the list with the bottom of the list?  It might look like this . . .

CHARLES AND EMMA vs. WHEN YOU REACH ME

CLAUDETTE COLVIN vs. TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA

THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE vs. SWEETHEARTS OF RHYTHM

FIRE vs. THE STORM IN THE BARN

THE FROG SCIENTIST vs. A SEASON OF GIFTS

THE LAST OLYMPIAN vs. PEACE, LOCOMOTION

LIPS TOUCH vs. MARCHING FOR FREEDOM

THE LOST CONSPIRACY vs. MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD

It really changes everything, doesn’t it?

Comments

  1. Miss Piggy says:

    Replace PEACE LOCOMOTION with WHERE MOUNTAIN MEETS the MOON or FROG SCIENTIST with WINTERGIRLS

  2. It’s not really kosher, as this is a Battle of the *Kids’* Books, but it’s an interesting thought experiment throw in one of the Alex award winners. Maybe STITCHES or SOULLESS.

    Stretching eligibility in a different way (December 26, 2008 pub date… so in terms of when people read it it’s more of a 2009 book, but technically it’s not) I’d throw in EON: DRAGONEYE REBORN with all its great gender and class issues.

  3. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Oh, I forgot perhaps the biggest omission of all–CATCHING FIRE. How much does it bother you?

  4. I was surprised not to see Wintergirls make the cut.

  5. I was surprised that Catching Fire didn’t get in, especially since the Hunger Games won last year’s battle. (Okay, and a little disappointed that I won’t get to see CATCHING FIRE vs. Fire.) Still, I really like this year’s list. Another opportunity for me to guilt myself into finally reading some of the ones I haven’t yet.

  6. Agreed — Peace, Locomotion was good, but not nearly as spectacular as When the Mountain Meets the Moon. I’m all for replacing that one.

  7. I agree with Jacob. But I also thought that CF was a little weak in some parts (though I love the story to death!)and that these books here are all at least a little stronger.

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