The waiting is over! Find out which book is the winner of the 2015 Battle of the Kid’s Books …
I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly eclectic reader so I wasn’t particularly intimidated by the diversity in the three titles I received for this last round of SLJ’s Battle of the Books. I was intimidated, however, and still am, by having to select one to win. Any fan of graphic novels, historical non-fiction, and contemporary YA would absolutely love their favorite genre in this group.
It was amazing watching this year’s Undead Polling. Every contender had their champions which makes us happy. And then, throughout the voting period, three were neck and neck — Brown Girl Dreaming, El Deafo, and We Were Liars. Following close after them were The Crossover and The Family Romanov, with all the other titles earning a healthy numbers of votes.
Chalk and cheese. Apples and Oranges. I know I’m not the only judge to wonder how on Earth to put two novels into direct competition with each other and pronounce one to be the winner. (I also tremble at the notion of judging another writer’s work, but, that’s the deal, so I’ll get over my nervous English hand-wringing and get on with it).
So…yeah. No pressure. “Just choose your favorite of the two Newbery Honor books, Sophie.”
Don’t get me wrong—I was thrilled to learn that I’d be judging El Deafo by Cece Bell and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson….right up until they reminded me that I was going to have to choose a winner. *sob*
One of the joys of first person narratives is being able to share, for a moment, the intimacy of another person’s perspective. It isn’t just the knowledge of their private lives or secrets that brings that richness–plenty of third-person narratives have those. It is that by filtering every aspect of the story through the narrator’s thoughts and feelings, we find ourselves, in a fundamental way, behind their eyes.
Every year, as the Battle Commander gears up for the School Library Journal Battle of the Books, I think I’m going to read all these books. It’s only sixteen and I have three months. For the past two years my own books have been contenders, which makes me a sort of honorary participant anyway (though only as a lurker, too self-conscious to comment except to congratulate the winners), plus that means I really only have fifteen books to read.
JUDGE – CAT WINTERS El Deafo by Cece Bell Abrams The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos FSG/Macmillan On the surface, there are two notable differences between the books in my assigned bracket: Cece Bell’s El Deafo is a graphic novel featuring people who look like rabbits, whereas Jack Gantos’s The Key That […]