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School Library Journal Battle of the Books

It’s that time of year . . . .

School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books!

For those of you unfamiliar with SLJ BoB; sixteen books are picked. Similar to a sports tournament, they are put into brackets so that one book goes against another. An assigned judge reads the two books and selects a winner. Those winners face off, again one on one, and so on and so on, until the final two and a winner is selected. The fun is twofold: not only what book you think will win, but, once the judges are revealed, trying to guess what book the judge will favor.

The 2012 Contenders, from the SLJ BoB website (links also from the SLJ BoB website). As you can see below, I’ve read many of them. It is more fun to follow if you’ve read the books.

 The specific brackets can be viewed here with a downloadable version available here. The judges are still being announced at the SLJ BoB website. Keep on eye on the website, because there are also posts rounding up reactions or explaining the process for selecting these titles.

I’m holding off making any predictions until I find out all the judges and what they’re reading!

AMELIA LOST by Candace Fleming. A nominee for YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

ANYA’S GHOST by Vera Brosgol

BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys. My review.

BOOTLEG by Karen Blumenthal. A finalist for YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright

CHIME by Franny Billingsley. My review.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. My review.




HEART AND SOUL by Kadir Nelson. A nominee for YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai. My review.


A MONSTER CALLS  by Patrick Ness. My review.

OKAY FOR NOW by Gary Schmidt. My review.

WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick

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. Nicole Steeves says:

    Omigosh. I’m so excited for this. I learned about The Hunger Games from a video done for this the year it was a contender. What exciting book will it be this year?!?

  2. I am thrilled that Uma Krishnaswami’s absolutely marvelous book, THE GRAND PLAN TO FIX EVERYTHING is on the 2012 Battle of the Books list! The catchy title alone is wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to have a plan to fix everything? And the story does not disappoint. It certainly didn’t me, at any rate! The setting for the story, exotic India, is, of course, also wonderful, and an inside look at the film industry fascinating. This is a remarkable, and I have to add fun book. Also have to say that I’m happy to have learned a sequel is on its say in another exotic setting, this one much closer to home!

  3. Barbara, I love the attention these books get. I wonder how far it will advance?

  4. I love the fact that the pairings are so arbitrary – ABC order FTW! They should totally do that with the Oscars: pit Cate Blanchett against Catherine Zeta-Jones or George Clooney vs. Geoffrey Rush.

  5. :paula, the first pairings are my favorite because of just how random they are!