My prediction: “March Book One v P.S. Be Eleven, Judge Joseph Bruchac. Having not read either one, I’ll go with P.S. Be Eleven.”
The actual match: Hokey Pokey vs P.S. Be Eleven judged by Joseph Bruchac
And once again — I began half-right. What did Bruchac pick? P.S. Be Eleven! See, sometimes for brackets it doesn’t matter if you’re only half-right, as long as you have the half that advances right.
First, let me say that I liked Bruchac’s way of writing about the books: both at the same time, in the same paragraphs, entwining his reasoning. There are things he likes about both books.
So, what’s the deciding factor? Especially when there are no real rules?
For Hokey Pokey, Bruchac concludes: “you know.” Ha! I love this. And concludes that he doubts many kids will read it, no matter what its strengths.
As for P.S. Be Eleven, Bruchac concludes that both “teachers and kids” will love it.
Teachers and kids. With one throwaway line, such a shift in looking at the books. A focus on the child-reader as well as the judge’s own reading preferences? We’ve seen that. But, “teachers.” Because yes, teachers matter. Classroom libraries, books that are read aloud to the classroom, assignments, all the ways that a teacher introduces a book to students.