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Battle of the Books

Judges and Their Brackets Now Live!

The judges are here!

The brackets are here (and will be made prettier later today — we just wanted to get them up for you quickly)!


  1. Looking at that bracket, I’m loving the chance A TALE DARK AND GRIMM has. It could not have been assigned to a more fitting author in R.L. Stine!

    And then in the next round, it could be right up Pete Hautman’s alley too! Could the Grimm make the final four?!?!

    GO GRIMM!!!

    P.S. I hope I didn’t jinx things!!!

  2. Fantastic roster of judges! I’m looking forward to the Battle now even more than I was before!

    Oh, and I read HEREVILLE on the weekend, and now I agree that will be one of the most difficult to judge. HEREVILLE or KEEPER? Both were wonderful and distinctive and delightful. Too bad they both can’t go to the second round.

    Definitely time for me to write a blog post with my predictions. Last year, I predicted that judges would pick the titles most like their own. Maybe this year I should try the opposite? Though I really think Adam Rex will pick RING OF SOLOMON… but maybe he’ll surprise me…

  3. Ohhh, what a lovely line-up. I’m tickeled that Peck will be covering the Big Kahunna. I get to hear Giff talk live the week before she judges. She will only be oovering one of my favorites, but I may resort to bribery.

    Now we need to know when Eric will be putting up his poll, so I can tank early and often.

  4. Now that the judges are up (and they are fantastic!) I will add them to the form and post a link to this year’s Bracket Challenge. Last year we had 52 participants and I’m hoping for even more this year. Same rules as last year, more details to come as well as the contest link.

  5. WOW. I am seriously excited about this line-up of judges! I honestly don’t care what they pick, I just can’t wait to see what they have to SAY about it!

  6. We know the books, we know the judges, can you predict the winners?

    The bracket contest is now live (and will be until March 11) keep reading the contenders and once your done, fill out the form below.

    Rules and more info at:

  7. I only got three judges right! Boo! But, so many of my favorite authors!! This contest is going to rock!!!!!

  8. Battle Commander says

    Our readers ROCK already! Thank you for all the enthusiastic comments. And get people to vote for the Undead. There will be surprises, we guarantee it! So, don’t miss any chance to lobby and support your favorite title!

  9. I kept reading down your list of judges and cleverly repeating, “Wow!” What an amazing list of cool people! Can’t wait to see their picks and read their thoughts.

  10. I realize that all are chatting about the books, the judges and the excitement of the battle about to begin; which I agree is very cool but I have a technical question. How can I get a clear image of the bracket so it can be printed or placed as an image in Microsoft Publisher?
    Thanks. Can hardly wait for this to start!

  11. Battle Commander says

    We’ve added a link to a spiffy PDF version of the brackets for you to download and display.

  12. Wow. I got, like, only 2 judges right. Still feel like a winner, though–great roster!

  13. Most definitely Countdown. Filled with wit and real live experience, “Duck and Cover” has never been more exciting. A Conspiracy Of Kings, is most definitely one of my favorites but without reading the previous books in the series, it would not make sense. I trust that Dana Reinhardt will be more than able to see that for herself.

  14. Personally, I think that Karen Hesse will pick One Crazy Summer, because it is much more like her books, as she does not write fantasy as far as I am concerned. But the Ring Of Solomon most definitely can take Sugar Changed The World, but the pair are nothing alike. Nonfiction, Fantasy.They will never see eye to eye. Not sure which one Adam Rex will pick, him being more of a picture book author, and one of illustrations, but I’m betting on the Ring Of Solomon.

  15. The Dreamer can take the Good The Bad And The Barbie for sure, it is emotionally intense, but the Barbie is a classic favorite, and not being one of the fans of the book, I am sorry to say that within minutes it can be eliminated and then brought back from the dead. R.L Stine will pick the Grimm, as Mr. H said, as I am reading it I feel it is one of his books! It is definitely a fun book. I like it. But then again, just because R.L Stine writes horror stories (and hard core horror) may not mean he won’t pick They Called Themselves K.K.K as it is about terrorists, and I highly would like to read it as it seems like a very intriguing historical fiction book. But I could be wrong. Well, thats for R.L Stine to judge. I have my own opinions. As for As Easy As Falling Off The Face Of The Earth vs. The Cardturner, I think its going to be interesting. AEAFOTFOTE (as easy as falling off the face of the earth) was not one of my favorite books, I am going to say that. As for The Cardturner, I have sadly only read about it, but based on what I read, the two are VERY similar in many ways. They are each others “recommendations” on Amazon. But, based on about 15 summaries and reviews on The Cardturner, I can tell you that it seems like a fine book, but maybe not MY type of book. So, I am going to call a neutral there on my part, and let Francisco X. Stork decide this one.

  16. Woo and hoo! I got 5 judges right, so that’s pretty neat and I’m feeling rather puffed out in the chest as a result. Huzzah! I am so excited about the lineup. like Rockinlibrarian said, regardless of the winners, it’s going to be interesting to see what this amazing group of authors has to say about the books. May we commence preparations to RRRUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMBLE?

  17. Karen Hesse, lover of poetry, could very easily pick one of the foundational poems of western civilization as the winner, especially considering that this version is not only faithful to the original text, but visually compelling as well. That said, my vote is most definitely on One Crazy Summer to win (with regrets that any book has to go up against Rita this year).

  18. Sam Bloom says

    c18gi, you’ve made some interesting points, but in terms of Conspiracy of Kings and whether it stands alone, I disagree with you. It was the first of the series I had ever read, and I thought it was amazingly good. I too loved Countdown, but I’ll be rooting for Kings. I think OCS vs The Odyssey is such an interesting match-up, and I agree with Ed that Hesse could go with Homer on this one.

    But to me, the most intriguing first round battle is between Hereville and Keeper. These two books really have a lot in common, and they are both so amazingly well done. I try to imagine what Susan Patron will do, but as we’ve learned in the past (kind of like last year, when Julius Lester wouldn’t even give WYRM the time of day) this is way harder to predict than that other bracket we fill out in March!

  19. I am not seeing that Hereville Keeper similarities at all! Keeper is going to bring Mirka and her sword down people – recognize!
    The Dreamer matched up with Barbie will be a good contest for sure. I’m reading The Odyssey right now and still need to read Ring and Sugar. I started my first round one post with Cardturner vs Easy and will continue Friday with my matchups reasons.

    Right now I’m rooting heavy for Cardturner but we shall see…

  20. Hereville v. Keeper is my heartbreak pairing too. I’d like to think that Mirka and Keeper, not to mention Lucky, could be friends.

  21. Sam Bloom,
    You had some very true points as well, perhaps some much more accurate then mine, and while I do agree with you, I think that Conspiracy Of Kings is a cherished novel, but Countdown is a new face that shows much promise. So on this one, I am afraid I have to side with Ms. Wiles, (forgive me Megan Whalen Turner) because as much as I enjoy her witty, tricky writing Deborah Wiles just has something about her that grabs me. Truly.

  22. Sam Bloom says

    The Brain Lair, whaaaaaat?! Keeper and Hereville both have the magical realism/mythology combo going for them, they both have female protagonists trying to do the impossible (Keeper’s “plan,” Mirka with… well, with her quest for the sword), they both have unique family situations… you want me to keep going with the similarities here?! =) Anyway, it’s all good because I, like you, am rooting for Keeper in this one. But overall I’m still 100% on Team Sophos.

  23. Sam,
    Yeah, I get what you are saying but they read so differently and affected me on entirely different levels. While I enjoyed Mirka, especially the insights into Jewish culture, I didn’t make any connections with her. Maybe the graphic novel format didn’t work with this subject, I don’t know. I’m a HUGE GN fan and work to get them into student’s hands but… this one did not work for me!

  24. Ok, I just have to read 3 more books…


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