The second match of round two is Splendors and Glooms vs No Crystal Stair, Judged by James Patterson.
My prediction was “Splendors and Glooms v The One and Only Ivan, Judge James Patterson. Neither seems like Patterson’s books, but I’m going to go with The One and Only Ivan. Call it intuition.” Well, pretty poor intuition because while I had Glooms advancing, Ivan did not so it’s impossible to win this go-round.
Not only did my intuition fail, but I wouldn’t have guessed that Patterson’s decision ended up resting on “message,” and that the message is Books and Book People Matter.
This puts me in a bit of a position, in that on the one hand, I dislike “but this book has such a great message” but I adore anyone who is Team Book AND who understands the critical role that librarians and booksellers play in reading culture.
Here, in Patterson’s words: “Is it too late for us to redefine who we’re calling heroes in this country? Can’t the booksellers, the librarians, be king? While kids read NO CRYSTAL STAIR, flipping through the mixed media, jumping through the different people’s voices, they’re getting a great message, one of the most important messages we have to offer as authors and librarians and teachers and gatekeepers: it’s cool to love books, to come together and share your ideas and passions. Books can be powerful enough to upset the norm, to actually change the way our world thinks. We’ve got to keep hammering this point home, because it’s true, but too many people out there seem to have forgotten it. We’ve got to face the facts. Bookstores in this country are dying. Libraries are being pulled out from under us. The chances of a kid in this country coming in contact with a book he or she will love are getting pretty slim. Isn’t that scary? So what are we doing about it? Let’s start with making some noise about this no-more-books, no-more-bookstores problem.”
Yes, it’s a pretty long quote but I wanted all of it here.
And, I haven’t read No Crystal Stair yet, but Patterson’s words have inspired me to move it closer to the top of the TBR pile.