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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Nerds Heart YA

Nerds Heart YA is a blogger organized book tournament to showcase underrepresented young adult books — that is, books that did not get as much online attention as others. For 2010 (it’s second year), the tournament further highlights diversity. Thirty two books published in 2009 go against each other one-on-one, with the winner for each level moving on until there is only one left. The judges are all young adult book bloggers.

From the  Nerds Heart YA blog: the original thirty two books; the bracket showing judgesresults of the first round of decisions; the recently completed second round of decisions. I was one of the consultants who helped narrow down the list of possible books to only thirty two.

I enjoy tournaments like this because I think it’s all done for fun. Every year, in book blogs, a lot of books get the buzz, and often it is well deserved. Just as often there are books we read and love and blog about and look around and wonder… really? No one else read this or blogged about it? Nerds Heart YA is one way to bring more attention to those great books.

Book tournaments do something that some people hate but I find fascinating; comparing two unlike books. Sometimes, it does work out that two similar books are up against each other but just as often, it’s not the case. In those situations, how do you pick a winner? I also enjoy learning more about the judge (here, bloggers) making the decision. Why do they prefer one to another?

By using book bloggers as judges,  Nerds Heart YA provides an opportunity to discover more young adult book bloggers. So for people who are wondering, “what young adult book bloggers should I be reading,” this is a great place to start. Also, because these are all 2009 titles, the books are ones you may have read so you can discover which book bloggers have tastes similar to your own.

With the tournament half way through, now is the perfect time to check out some great books and try to predict what book will win!

About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is


  1. Thank you for helping the tournament out! It’s been such a great experience and fabulous books have been showcased through all of the brackets. It’s a wonderful “event”.

  2. I thought Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia and The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon were both great. I love this idea!

  3. It’s been fun following the brackets & I cannot wait to see what the final two books are!