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Battle of the Books

The Winner of the 2015 Undead Poll

It was amazing watching this year’s Undead Polling. Every contender had their champions which makes us happy. And then, throughout the voting period, three were neck and neck — Brown Girl DreamingEl Deafo, and We Were Liars. Following close after them were The Crossover and The Family Romanov, with all the other titles earning a healthy numbers of votes.

By the time the poll closed the contender with the most votes was ….El Deafo! And since she is already a finalist, the next contender with the most votes and this year’s Undead Contender is….

Are you kidding me?! I guess, if not because We Were Liars was one of the favorites, it was because people expected Brown Girl Dreaming to make it through. I think I’m still in denial that Brown Girl got eliminated and wasn’t resurrected, because this is unbelievable. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go mourn the loss of Brown Girl Dreaming as I stand over its shed blood.

— Kid Commentator NS


I’m not that surprised at We Were Liar’s win – I knew it was popular – but, boy, I wish Brown Girl Dreaming had come through with just a few more votes. Of course, a better outcome would have been for Magoon to pick Brown Girl, and El Deafo to rise from the dead! At least we have a YA book left, but it’s the wrong one – Grasshopper Jungle or Owen would have been amazing. Anyways, I’d also be perfectly fine with three MG books in the Finals (Port Chicago, Brown Girl, and Deafo.)

— Kid Commentator RGN


  1. YAY!!! That wasn’t my guess, but it was my hope.

  2. …although, I might have voted for The Crossover if I’d had ANY IDEA it would be knocked out so early on. 😛

  3. Eric Carpenter says

    So so so happy to see the fantastic result of the undead poll this morning! Couldn’t have gone to a more deserving book. One which gets stronger and stronger with every reading. I sure hope Ms. Vanderpool also sees WE WERE LIARS strengths!

  4. We couldn’t have asked for three more different books in the final this year! I do wonder which one Clare will pick….

  5. Fabulous Finals! A graphic memoir, a narrative non-fiction, and a flat-out stunning fiction book. These books represent the best of cutting-edge publishing and reading that we have today. Our March Madness “governing body” should be vigorously patting itself on the back for a beautiful tournament.

  6. I second Kid Commentator NS’s, “Are you kidding me?”

    I think a lot of people who voted for “Liars” must not have read BGD.

  7. I read We Were Liars after the buzz about it got so loud that I couldn’t hear anything until I read it. It did not disappoint. When I saw it in the brackets for the BOB, I knew that was the book that I would select to come back from the dead. So I am jumping up and down while I sit here writing.

  8. I’m conflicted because I really loved Brown Girl Dreaming and hoped the it would be back. Then again, I loved We Were Liars so I’m happy about that. Each of these were so well-written and so easy to love.

  9. Jonathan Hunt Jonathan Hunt says

    I think lots of people figured that THE CROSSOVER and BROWN GIRL DREAMING would command more of the votes than they did, and voted elsewhere. Perhaps people got a bit complacent with the double Newbery/CSK wins for both books.

    • That’s exactly what I think happened. I think that there was a pretty even distribution of We Were Liars fans and Brown Girl Dreaming fans, but I think that people assumed that Brown Girl Dreaming was assured a place, that it would either make it through the competition or would win the Undead poll without them voting for it. Gah! It’s maddening.

  10. Battle Commander Battle Commander says

    Or, simply because many people truly love We Were Liars, as evident by a few comments here.

  11. I for one read both We Were Liars and Brown Girl Dreaming. My decision to choose one over the other for my final vote was based on a lot of things – I felt We Were Liars needed more support because it was not as universally well-liked, I feel it is the most carefully constructed book of the battle and deserves a second chance, and… it just made a bigger impression on me. It stayed with me longer. I thought about it more.

    Personal taste is a baffling thing. I have to keep reminding myself of this. BGD is a beautiful, poignant work of art, but it did not drag me inside it. Other people feel differently about both books. I don’t think any one of us agrees with every single outcome of this battle!

  12. Up until today, I’d been very disappointed in this year’s voting because all my favorites were taken out of the running early pretty on (usually at least one hangs in there a while, but not this year). Today’s Undead Poll results restored my faith in the Battle of the Books somewhat. I’m not too hopeful my #1 will win, as it’s not as universally popular as the others, but at least it got a second chance. That makes me happy.

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