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Battle of the Books

Fantasy BoB 2015 and the Undead Guessing Game

On this spring Saturday, we bring you two final Sideline Activities, a Farewell, and a couple of Forecasts:

Sideline Activities:

1. As in the Fantasy Sport Games, our young commentators have conjured up their own dream teams and banked on the win of certain players throughout the Battle.  We asked them to give us their ideal picks for all the Matches and their final pick for the win!

2. With all the 14 eliminated titles now determined, you may all place a final guess of the Undead in the Comment area below.  One person per title.  A lucky winner of all who guess the correct Undead title will be randomly selected by one of our Kid Commentators on Monday, March 30th. The Undead Guessing Game closes 11:59PM, EST. on Sunday March 29th.

Farewell:

This is the last year that RGN will be our Kid Commentator.  We cannot thank him enough for being diligent, good-natured, thoughtful and thought-provoking — all just because he enjoys reading and understands the power of books!

Forecasts:

1. Despair not! RGN will return in 2017 in a different capacity and continue to follow BoB and write about the books and choices.

2. The Command Center team plans to expand the Fantasy BoB Game for young readers 12 to 18 nation/world wide to join the fun.  Young readers, you will shadow next year’s Battle and vote for your own Match and Final Winners.  Guidelines for participation are being drawn up and will be posted on a special BoB Bulletin both here on the site and at the SLJ main site. Stay tuned.  Teachers, librarians, parents: please spread the word for BoB 2016!  The more young readers participating, the merrier!

Kid Commentator NS’s Fantasy BoB 2015 Picks:

Round 1

Match 1: Brown Girl Dreaming vs Children of the King
Match 2: The Crossover vs Egg and Spoon
Match 3: El Deafo vs The Family Romanov
Match 4: Grasshopper Jungle vs The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza
Match 5: The Madman of Piney Woods vs Poisoned Apples
Match 6: The Port Chicago 50 vs The Story of Owen
Match 7: This One Summer vs A Volcano Beneath the Snow
Match 8: We Were Liars vs West of the Moon:

Round 2

Match 1: Brown Girl Dreaming vs Egg and Spoon
Match 2: El Deafo vs Grasshopper Jungle
Match 3: Poisoned Apples vs The Story of Owen
Match 4: This One Summer vs West of the Moon

Round 3

Match 1: Brown Girl Dreaming vs El Deafo (Agh! I see the struggle the judges have now, and mine doesn’t even matter!)
Match 2: The Story of Owen vs This One Summer (It’s just the more powerful book for me)

UNDEAD POLL: NS’s Pick: El Deafo (Hands down. If I had chosen El Deafo over Brown Girl Dreaming in the previous round, the winner would be Brown Girl Dreaming.)

Final Round: The Closing Match

Brown Girl Dreaming vs This One Summer vs El Deafo

NS’s Statement:

Although it’s hard to determine, I think these three books are the most powerful and eye-opening titles in the battle. It’s so difficult to pit books against each other that are all winners in their own right, and that is exactly what the judges this year have done. If anything, the books demand to be cherished and read over and over again. The writing (and drawing) in these three books are exquisite, and their lessons are timeless.

The Fantasy BoB 2015 WINNER according to NS:

Brown Girl Dreaming

* And since BoB Follower Cecilia Cackley said that “if there isn’t a flag on the moon with @JackieWoodson’s face, someone needs to get on that immediately — the BoB resident artist Mark Tuchman created this for all of us:

— Kid Commentator NS

Kid Commentator RGN’s Fantasy BoB 2015 Picks:

Round 1

Match 1: Brown Girl Dreaming vs Children of the King
Match 2: The Crossover vs Egg & Spoon
Match 3: El Deafo vs The Family Romanov(can’t lose first round)
Match 4: Grasshopper Jungle vs The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza(a closer one, for me)
Match 5: The Madman of Piney Woods vs Poisoned Apples
Match 6: The Port Chicago 50 vs The Story of Owen(very hard, but in the end it has to be)
Match 7: This One Summer vs A Volcano Beneath the Snow
Match 8: West of the Moon vs We Were Liars

Round 2

Match 1: Brown Girl Dreaming vs The Crossover
Match 2: El Deafo vs Grasshopper Jungle(these four could all be in the finals)
Match 3: The Madman of Piney Woods vs The Story of Owen
Match 4: A Volcano Beneath the Snow vs West of the Moon

Round 3

Match 1: Brown Girl Dreaming vs El Deafo(so hard)
Match 2: The Story of Owen vs West of the Moon

UNDEAD POLL: RGN’s Pick: The Port Chicago 50 (not what I voted for: I switched Owen and Port Chicago)

Final Round: The Closing Match

Brown Girl Dreaming vs The Port Chicago 50 vs The Story of Owen

RGN’s Statement:

After much consideration, I believe that these three are the strongest books in the best Battle of all in which I’ve participated. El Deafo and Grasshopper Jungle would be in the top 5, except for brackets. Dark horses include The Story of Owen and The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza. Sadly, the Battle of the Kids’ Books also reflects battles of strength and power as well as love. By (agnostic/atheistic) God I wish it could be pure love, but I must resign myself to joy. Love comes imperfectly, and in many forms, as I think we see in these 16 wonderful books. For now, acquiescing to joy may well be necessary. Take the joy along with the grief, carry it.

Tell our stories.

The Fantasy BoB 2015 WINNER according to RGN:

The Story of Owen

— Kid Commentator RGN

Comments

  1. I’m guessing The Family Romanov for the undead, but really have no idea.

  2. bah, I’m no good at this. I’m kind of taken aback by the intensity of love for several titles I found uncompelling. I feel pretty sure my own top undead picks won’t be revived, and I have no sense WHATSOEVER of any crowd favorite apart from El Deafo, which is out of the Undead Vote – voting strategy makes it even more unfathomable!

  3. Joseph Miller says:

    My guess for undead is Brown Girl Dreaming.

  4. Samantha Tai says:

    I’ll guess The Story of Owen because it’s probably my favorite book from the battle.

  5. Ok. I’ll go with This One Summer.

  6. I’m hoping for Brown Girl Dreaming, but my actual
    guess is We Were Liars.

  7. ARGH…I would say Brown Girl Dreaming, but I have a feeling everyone expected it to make it to the final round without the help of zombie magic…so I’ll say We Were Liars. The flag graphic is awesome!!

  8. I’m going with Story of Owen. It is far-and-away the pick at my high school in our tournament. Participation in our tournament has reached 143 students and teachers–a new record. We have one student who has a streak of six in-a-row predictions with only one more match to go. Go, Amber! We have had a blast this year with these good books, interesting decisions, and the tournament framework SLJ has given us.

    • Battle Commander Battle Commander says:

      Donna, we are so excited that you and your community find BoB a stimulating and worthwhile event to follow. We will contact you — and any other librarians and teachers who are interested, in setting up an official shadowing site which will encourage more young readers to read and think about these books!

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