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Battle of the Books

Pre-Battle Thoughts from Battle Commander Jonathan

Well, well, well, ELEANOR & PARK wins the mock BOB, and I don’t think anyone is surprised.  It’s already snagged the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and a Printz Honor–and it happens to be the most popular YA book of the year if you check out the bestseller lists and social media reviews.  Is it a foregone conclusion that it will win the Undead Poll?  And does it even need to be resurrected?  Perhaps it will beat all other contenders and make it to the Big Kahuna Round without any help.  We’ll just have to wait until the end of the month to be absolutely sure.

I’d like to take a minute to divulge that I have a slightly different BOB role this year.  Since our kid commentators did such a great job last year, we have decided to let them own the spotlight this year by themselves.  You won’t be reading my snarky comments (but I will be thinking them nevertheless).  I’ve moved behind the scenes to facilitate that end of things, and I have to say that I think our judges may have outdone themselves in terms of the candor, insight, and, yes, occasional snarkiness.  I think you’ll be quite pleased with them.



  1. I’m so excited for the battle to start! Also a little bummed, because I still have 2 books left to read, and the library does not have them yet. Oh well, I’ll just have to catch them after the battle is over.

  2. Yay! I’m still planning to post my hopes for the first round… but one thing and another, I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve read them all — except I’ve only skimmed The Animal Book. I’m a huge Steve Jenkins fan, but somehow I can’t bring myself to read that whole big book. And a lot of the images I’ve seen before…. Anyway, I definitely have opinions, and it’s going to be fun sharing them. I almost find myself hoping Eleanor & Park loses to Doll Bones right away — because Eleanor & Park has such a good chance at the Undead Poll! (Though I hate to even say that, I loved E&P so much.)

  3. (for the actual battle) I’m still pulling for True Blue Scouts, but I wouldn’t cry too hard if Eleanor & Park won. E&P is, after all, a fantastic book!

  4. Our March Madness Round One ended yesterday with the close of school for Spring Break. 67 brackets were completed and turned in for Round One. But the coolest thing is 29 kids have read one of the titles! When we come back from Spring Break, I will let the kids know whose predictions where right in which contests. The deal with reading the books is that whoever reads one (and one is all they are allowed due to the scarcity of copies) will enjoy a pizza lunch in the library at the end of the tournament. The reading deal will continue through the tournament as we learn which books advance. Since any of them can come back from the dead, they all stay in play!

  5. I have just now finished my last book and I can honestly say that there wasn’t a single book that I didn’t like. There are a couple that I cannot imagine every handing to a student and thinking it would be enjoyed, but as an adult reader I liked them. I do have my favorites that I will be cheering on (hopefully to victory).

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