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Battle of the Books


Welcome, welcome, welcome.  On March 15th, two weeks from today, the 2010 Battle begins.  Don’t know about all of you spectators, but we cannot wait!  While you have known about our contenders and judges for a week (thank you Ms. Fuse for your delightful announcement), we’ve been sitting on all of it for a whole lot longer. What a relief to be able to finally talk about it!

Now, I hope you noticed our beautiful new home.  Isn’t it to die for?  We are very grateful to the folks at SLJ who made this all possible.  Many people have been enormously helpful, but there are three in particular we want to honor.  First of all, the Battle would not exist if Brian Kenney, Editor in Chief, hadn’t decide to run with it after Monica pitched it to him last January.  His support has been invaluable.  As for the witty look of the Battle, it is all due to the remarkable Mark Tuchman, Creative Director, who is responsible for the clever graphics (some of which he has done while caring for newborn twins and their not-much-older brother).  And then there is our great champion, Rick Margolis, Executive Editor, who took this on last year with a wing and a prayer.  It was Rick who decided the judges should all be writers, the best of this world. He’s been behind the scenes for two years now putting out fires, fixing things, finding things, attracting people, and helping in ways you can’t even imagine. There is no way this would have happened without him. Thank you, all of you at SLJ, for believing in the Battle and helping to make it so spectacular.

Okay, so let’s take a look around.  See those buttons up there?  Ya got your brackets, your judges,  a bio of yours truly, and another of our one and only Commentator. Then way up in the right hand corner, check this out–we’ve an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) this year!

So, you might well wonder, what is going to happen over the next two weeks while we wait for the Battle to commence?

This week we are planning:

Some stirring-up posts by our commentator, Jonathan Hunt (who proved over at the Heavy Medal blog this year that controversy is his middle name) starting tomorrow.

The Opening of the Undead Poll on Wednesday.  This is where you will be able to vote for one competitor to come back for the final Big Kahuna round.

The Friday Peanut Gallery.  (This is our weekly roundup post of all commentary we can find about the Battle.   We are planning to begin this Friday and so sure hope we have something for it — that is up to you, spectators. So come on — go post your brackets, your speculations, whatever you like!  And then let us know and we’ll be sure to feature you in our weekly  post.)

Next week we’ve got some more fun stuff including:

Last Year’s Winner’s Victory Tour

The Opening Ceremony

The week after that, beginning Monday, March 15th is the actual Battle.  This year there will be matches every week day.  Here’s the schedule.

That’s it for today. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Jonathan’s first provocative post and then the day after for the opening of the Undead Poll.


  1. Looking great BoB! Love the flash new site. Can’t wait!

  2. Hooray! This is going to be good…

  3. I had such a great time last year! I am so looking forward to this.

  4. Looking at the brackets, I think my favorite match-up is Outer Suburbia vs. When You Reach Me. Good luck on that one, Mr. Lester! This should be lots of fun!

  5. The one I’m most excited for is Charles and Emma/Claudette Colvin. That one’s not going to be easy.

  6. Great organization, brackets, judges, and art (the latter I assume is from Laurie Keller of Scrambled States of America fame…). Looking forward to this fun book evaluation event. Thanks for putting it together!

  7. Battle Commander says:

    Thanks, everyone! (Nick, the wonderful art is all by Mark Tuchman, creative director at School Library Journal.)

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