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Battle of the Books

Winner of the 2012 Undead Poll and Kid Commentator Picks!

After two consecutive years of blowouts, this year was much more competitive. That’s not to say OKAY FOR NOW didn’t jump out to a healthy lead and maintain it throughout, but that healthy lead was often a single digit number.  CHIME and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trailed early, then CHIME pulled away for a […]

Round 3, Match 2: Drawing from Memory vs Life: An Exploded Diagram

  Drawing from Memory by Allen Say Scholastic Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet Candlewick Judged by Ron Koertge Pen vs. Brush I drop two books on the table in the Turf Club. No big surprise. Bobby and I are always bringing things to read. We’re at the races four days a week, but we’re not […]

Round 3, Match 1: Between Shades of Gray vs. Chime

  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Philomel/Penguin Chime by Franny Billingsley Dial/Penguin Judged by Maggie Stiefvater When I first agreed to be a judge for this, I thought it would be straightforward, but just in case, I immediately read up on previous battles. Strangely, many of the judges said things like “this was […]

Round 2, Match 4: Life: An Exploded Diagram vs Wonderstruck

  Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet Candlewick Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick Scholastic Judged by Chris Lynch School Library Journal, being the efficient operation that it is, had all four of the books from the previous round in this bracket sent to me before I got started. All four were still in play, and they […]

Round 2, Match 3: Drawing from Memory vs Inside Out and Back Again

  Drawing from Memory by Allen Say Scholastic Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai HarperCollins Judged by Jewell Parker Rhodes Memory & Resilience: Inside Out & Back Again and Drawing from Memory Oh, my! What a terrific, imaginative battle! Both books completely captivated me—evoking foreign landscapes, traumatic wars, immigration, and the extraordinary resilience of […]

Round 2, Match 2: Chime vs Daughter of Smoke and Bone

  Chime by Franny Billingsley Dial Books Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Little, Brown Judged by E. Lockhart There is a romantic fantasy common to both adult and YA fiction in which a man who is impossibly beautiful, wildly powerful, possibly evil, and deeply damaged is tamed by the love of a good […]

This Week’s Peanut Gallery

Many passionate posts and tweets in response to this week’s upsets! As always, let us know in the comments about any we missed and we’ll either add them in here or in next week’s Peanut Gallery. Posts of the Week  Paula’s Bracket Predictions and a bonus one for Life to boot. The Card Catalog has […]

Round 2, Match 1: Amelia Lost vs Between Shades of Gray

    Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming Schwartz & Wade/Random House Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Philomel/Penguin Judged by Marc Aronson Last year Sugar Changed the World, which I co-wrote with my wife, Marina Budhos, was entered into this battle, and Adam Rex struggled to evaluate it against Jonathan Stroud’s compelling Ring of […]

Round 1, Match 8: Okay for Now vs Wonderstruck

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt Clarion/HMH Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick Scholastic Judged by Jeff Kinney Oh, the delicious irony. A guy who draws stick-figure cartoons gets to judge which book is better on its literary merits… the one written by the Caldecott-winning author or the one written by the two-time Newbery Honor winner. Perhaps the […]

Round 1, Match 7: Life: An Exploded Diagram vs A Monster Calls

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet Candlewick A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Candlewick Judged by Lauren Myracle Oh, Lordy. When I was approached about being a judge for this year’s Battle of the Kids’ Books, I said “Sure! Sounds fun!” And the reading part—hell yeah, tons of fun. Although I cried while I read […]