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Battle of the Books

Round 1, Match 8: The Passion of Dolssa vs The Sun Is Also a Star

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  JUDGE – BRENDAN KIELY The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry Penguin The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Random House What a difficult task! Of all the books to have paired together, here are two uniformly critically acclaimed, wildly successful and popular books, both Printz Honor finalists, one a National Book Award […]

Round 1, Match 7: Anna and the Swallow Man vs The Lie Tree

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JUDGE – NOVA REN SUMA  Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit Random House The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Abrams After I finished the two books up in this round, I was left excited by the depths of imagination both of these authors created on the page. I’ll tell you what I look for as […]

Round 1, Match 6: Wet Cement vs When the Sea Turned to Silver

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  JUDGE – JANE YOLEN Wet Cement by Bob Raczka Macmillan When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin Little Brown Bob Raczka’s concrete poetry collection Wet Cement begins with a pun (concrete/cement, get it?) and ends with a copyright notice that is itself a concrete piece, though not an actual poem. The spreads are constantly and […]

Round 1, Match 5: Samurai Rising vs Some Writer!

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JUDGE – TANYA LEE STONE Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner illustrated by Gareth Hinds Charlesbridge Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet Houghton Mifflin Harcourt   When I was 8, my Dad built me an L-shaped reading nook, which hung about three feet below a corner of our family-room ceiling. It was accessible only by ladder rungs narrow enough for […]

Round 1, Match 4: Makoons vs March, Book Three

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JUDGE – VARIAN JOHNSON Makoons by Louise Erdrich HarperCollins March, Book III by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell Top Shelf On the surface, this looks to be a match-up between David and Goliath. Spartans vs. Xerxes. The Rock against Kevin Hart. On one side we have Makoons, a short, quiet historical novel about an […]

Round 1, Match 3: Ghost vs The Girl Who Drank the Moon

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JUDGE – JAMES DASHNER Ghost by Jason Reynolds Simon & Schuster The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill Algonquian I want you to know that I say the following with all the love I can muster in my heart: School Library Journal is an evil, devious, monstrous entity. When they asked me to participate […]

Round 1, Match 2: Thunder Boy Jr. vs When Green Becomes Tomatoes

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JUDGE – LULU DELACRE THUNDER BOY, JR. by Sherman Alexis illustrated by Yuyi Morales Little, Brown WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano illustrated by Julie Morstad Macmillan It’s been ten days now. Ten days that the two titles have been battling each other in my head. The first time I placed the two books next to each other, […]

Round 1, Match 1: Freedom in Congo Square vs. Freedom Over Me

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JUDGE – DUNCAN TONATIUH Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Little Bee Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan Simon & Schuster I took several writing workshops in college. A student would share a story they wrote with the rest of the class and we all critiqued it. One of my professors […]

Round 1, Match 8: Symphony for the City of the Dead vs X: A Novel

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Two expertly penned works based on significant historical figures in the mid-20th century face each other in this last match of the first round of the 2016 Battle of the Kids’ Books. Judge Pamela S. Turner gives insightful comments and clear reasons why she picked one over the other to advance to the next round.

Round 1, Match 7: Nimona vs Rhythm Ride

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A graphic novel SciFi/Fantasy about a girl monster and shapeshifter faces off with a creatively composed nonfiction chronicling Motown’s history and its significance in American history.