I have to be honest: part of me didn’t want to share my SLJ BoB picks because I didn’t want to let everyone know just how badly I do with predicting what people will or won’t like.
Here are my picks; or, rather, what I think other people will pick.
Amelia Lost v Anya’s Ghost, judged by Matt Phelan: Phelan has written historical fiction, so my guess is Amelia Lost.
The Cheshire Cheese Cat v Chime, judged by Sy Montgomery. While I adore Chime, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m playing it safe and picking The Cheshire Cheese Cat.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone v Dead End in Norvelt, judged by Sara Zarr. Common sense says realistic fiction author Zarr will pick Dead End in Norvelt. That type of thinking has led to wrong guesses before, so I’m going with Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Drawing From Memory v The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, judged by Barbara O’Connor. For some reason, I have a feeling O’Connor will prefer The Grand Plan to Fix Everything. Why? I have no idea.
Heart and Soul v Inside Out & Back Again, judged by Sarah Weeks. I adore Weeks’s So B. It, and the way it was so particular with words, so that makes me think Weeks will go for the book in verse, Inside Out & Back Again.
Okay for Now v Wonderstruck, judged by Jeff Kinney. I’m going with the shallow thinking that since Kinney is an artist, he’s going to go with Wonderstruck.
Round 2. Where Things Get Tricky Because It Is All Predictions.
I have Marc Aronson judging Amelia Lost v Bootleg, two nonfiction books. ARGH. Based on Aronson’s own books, I’m going with Amelia Lost because of the way it is designed and how the mystery of what happened is presented to the reader.
The Cheshire Cheese Cat v Daughter of Smoke and Bone, judged by E. Lockhart. Even though I haven’t read it yet, my pick here is The Cheshire Cheese Cat.
The Grand Plan to Fix Everything v Inside Out & Back Again, judged by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Here I used the exact opposite reasoning and picked Inside Out & Back Again because I haven’t read The Grand Plan to Fix Everything.
A Monster Calls v Wonderstruck, judged by Chris Lynch. At this point, I stopped second guessing the judges and went with what made me cry. A Monster Calls.
Round 3: Where If I Did A Bad Job Guessing, This Could All Just Be Silly
Amelia Lost v The Cheshire Cheese Cat judged by Maggie Stiefvater. Stiefvater wrote about horses; The Cheshire Cheese Cat has animals, so that’s my pick.
Inside Out & Back Again v A Monster Calls, judged by Ron Koertge. Crying wins: A Monster Calls.
Round 4: The Big Kahuna Round.
Jonathan Stroud is going to pick between The Cheshire Cheese Cat and A Monster Calls. Somehow my convulted thinking has me including a book I’ve never read. But wait! A book comes back from the grave! And that book will be Chime, and Stroud will pick it, so Chime wins!!!
Or, it doesn’t. We won’t know until we know. What are your predictions, guesses, hopes?