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Battle of the Books

Announcing — Winner of the 2016 BoB Undead Poll

Battle Commander (gravatar)

Day 1 of the Undead Poll had Goodbye Stranger and Nimona neck and neck with The Hired Girl and Challenger Deep a few paces behind. By Day 2 Echo was sneaking up with Nest making a valiant stab as well.  Goodbye Stranger inched into the lead on Day 3, but barely as Nimona was breathing heavily on her tail. While a far distance behind, Gone Crazy in AlabamaThe Marvels, and The Boys That Challenged Hitler were…er… making a healthy challenge in the rear. Day 4 saw Goodbye Stranger and The Hired Girl matched, stride for stride, barely staying ahead of Nimona.

In the end, it was Nimona who made it out of Hades with a 9 point lead over second place finisher Goodbye Stranger.  A strong voting push on the final day tied Echo and Challenger Deep for third.


Battle Commander (gravatar)



for coming back from the Dead

to make it into the final contest!


  1. Lilly (Kitty) says:

    I am so happy about this! I loved this book. It spoke so deeply to me, and it was simply my type of book. I was expecting Echo to win, but this is even better!

  2. Brilliant! I would’ve been slightly less happy with Goodbye Stranger or Echo, but Challenger Deep would have also been wonderful. Is this the first time that we have TWO art-based books in the FINALS? Just as interestingly, I wonder about the age range of the three books. They COULD all be for middle grade readers, but as we’ve seen through the comments, Gone Crazy may not be a favorite of the kids (anecdotally, of course). At this point, I’m guessing that the fan favorite of all age groups, myself included, is Nimona, which fully deserves it. But it seems to be a drastically different book than The Marvels, less ambitious (it came from a web comic) and more hilarious, but in the end, also very touching. I’d love to reread The Marvels, which I remember loving, but read a long time ago. In terms of ambition, though, while brilliant and touching on exciting new subject matter – not least the fine line between reality and fiction – I’m not sure if it’s decidedly different from other Brian Selznick books. I should also note that both the illustrated books have (visibly) gay/queer characters in them: Blackheart and Goldenloin, Joseph, Blink, and Uncle Albert. It bears mention that the last illustrated book to win the battle, Boxers and Saints, was serious, beautiful, and tragic – and was up against another chronicle of the Gaither sisters, P.S. Be Eleven. On that note, I sort of feel as if the Gaither sisters are overdue to win the whole thing – I mean, they’ve been in this battle three different years!

  3. Wow! Not at all expected, but very cool. I loved Nimona. It was so funny, heartbreaking, complex and brilliant all at once. I’m sad for Goodbye Stranger, though. I voted for it, even though it was not really my favorite in the battle, because I felt it was deeply unfair that after getting no award love, it was pitted against Gone Crazy in the very first round. I just thought it deserved a little more attention. I agree with RGN that the Gaither sisters are due! With regard to love (or lack thereof) for Gone Crazy among its intended audience, I think that might depend a lot on geography and demographics. The trilogy, Gone Crazy included, has many devoted fans at my school.

  4. Diana Haumann says:

    I have to say that I loved ECHO, and was ruling for Pam Muñoz, but then I thought about the great effort put in to Challenger Deep, and the beautiful way that Neal Shusterman made us look at mental illness. I’m disappointed that neither one of those won the battle. Oh well! Nimona enjoy your victory!

  5. Kid Commentator NS says:

    YESSSSSSSS! I am really happy with the Undead winner this year, and I think I’ve established how much I love Nimona. I was really rooting for it when it got out in the third round, and I think it’ll be interesting to see the two books pitted against each other again, this time with a third contender. I’d be lying if I said I’d be happy with anything but Nimona being the Undead, but I will say that I was upset to see Challenger Deep go. I really felt shortchanged when it lost to Echo, so it may have deserved the second chance just as much as Nimona did. Oh well. I agree with RGN; it’s nice to have openly queer characters in TWO of the final books this year. It’s hard to deny the similarities between the two books, with their many many illustrations and their historical contexts, but it’s hard to tie Gone Crazy to either of them. But really, I don’t envy Ann Martin.

  6. Yes! Yes! YES! I’m so very happy that Nimona is back in the running! I hope she goes all the way to become this years Battle of the Books winner (and even if that doesn’t happen, she’s still the winning book for me)

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