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Battle of the Books

BOB vs. Printz

Since our list is always due to School Library Journal by December 1st of the preceding year, we never know how it will match up with the ALSC/YALSA awards announced in late January.  As I mentioned in my last post, we haven’t always included the National Book Award and the Newbery Medal and Honor books, but even when we have, they’ve often had a rough go of it here.

This year, we included the following young adult titles: BOOTLEG, CHIME, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE, LIFE: AN EXPLODED DIAGRAM, and for the younger YAs, A MONSTER CALLS and OKAY FOR NOW.  But we didn’t cast our net wide enough to snag a single Printz book!  We did have serious conversations about several additional young adult books, namely BLINK & CAUTION, THE SCORPIO RACES, THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT, and WHY WE BROKE UP.  So we were almost there, but not quite.

–Commentator Jonathan Hunt




  1. I like that you don’t always have the award winners on the list. I’ll read the award winners, some of the YA titles you chose I wouldn’t read if they weren’t included, Between Shades of Gray and Daughter of Smoke and Bone among them. I actually bought a copy of Life: An Exploded Diagram because our library didn’t have it. Prior to the list being released I hadn’t even heard of it. Yet so many people had positive things to say about it once it was listed I went ahead and got a copy. (It is very near the top of the TBR pile next to the bed). Anyway this is my long way of saying I rather like that you have to turn the titles in so early you can’t snag all the award winners.

  2. Brandy has a good point! If you knew the award winners, you’d quickly fill the 16 slots, and then we’d just have a rehash of the awards. This is nice having other books in the mix and brought to our attention. (Though I do wish Scorpio Races were in there! But how nice Maggie Stiefvater is a judge.)

  3. I like it this way too, it gives me a wider reading net. I do want you to include the Newbery Winner every year. I like that it has to defend it’s crown.

  4. I’ll put in an early plug for Tim W-J to be a judge next year ūüėČ

  5. Battle Commander says

    Tim Wynne-Jones was a judge our very first year. He was a second round judge for The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West vs The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. II The Kingdom on the Waves. We’ve got the 2009 Battle decisions all on one page — scroll down to read Tim’s outstanding decision.

  6. Thank you so much for the link to Tim’s lovely decision. It doesn’t seem like it could have been 3 years ago… You’ve amassed a great group of titles this year (as always) and I can’t wait to find out the results!

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