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

Round One: Trash v 2WG

MatchTrash by Andy Mulligan v Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

Judge: Mitali Perkins

Perkins approached this by examining the elements of the two books. I have to laugh at this, because it is so familiar! I don’t have a “list” that I use for reviews, but when I’ve been on a committee I do use lists to keep the focus off me and on the book.

Perkins looked at five elements: characters (well, technically, that she loved the characters); setting; language; plot; and theme. Two of these were a tie, one went to one book, two went to another. In selecting one book over another, Perkins was matter-of-fact: “Clever turns of phrase, funny and moving dialog, rich vocabulary, and scrupulous avoidance of cliché gave Will Grayson, Will Grayson an edge over the more sparely told Trash. I wondered if this was partly due to the older target audience Levithan and Green had in mind, but nonetheless, the language point went to Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” I can easily imagine, in a group, arguing about whether “sparely told” does mean a book shouldn’t get the language point.

Thanks to Perkins, I am officially fifty/fifty at this point; but, alas, since my two Big Kahuna picks were already knocked out my ballot isn’t going to be a winner. Still, some of my round two and round three choices are still in contention!

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. I’m so happy that Trash is gettting some recognition. I thought it was a really good book that got seriously overlooked. Go Trash!

  2. Amy, one of my favorite things about SLJ Bob is it gives books like TRASH recognition.


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