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Battle of the Books

March 11th Peanut Gallery

It is the eve of the Battle and all is quiet, more or less.  Here’s what we’ve come across over the past week related to our contest.  As always, let us know in the comments if we’ve missed yours and we’ll either add it in to this post or save it for next week’s edition. […]

A Walk Down Memory Lane: The 2011 Opening Ceremony

Author Elizabeth Partridge’s exemplary use of archival materials for last year’s winner Marching for Freedom inspired the Battle Commander (both halves of her) to spend some enjoyable hours poking around in the BoB’s vast attic of old stuff (the official BoB term for primary sources) to find a selection for use in this year’s Opening […]


Last year there was a curious relationship between the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Battle of the Kids’ Books. Charles and Emma, The Lost Conspiracy, Marching for Freedom, and Tales From Outer Suburbia were all finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize last year. They also happened to be the four semifinalists […]

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)!

Vote, Vote, Vote! Says Jonathan

Roger asked why we run the Undead Poll before anything even gets eliminated.  It’s a very good question and the very simple answer is that we want to give our Big Kahuna judge enough time to read three books for the final decision, and since all but two of them are going to be eliminated […]

Power to the People…Meaning, You: The Undead Poll is Now Open!

Here is YOUR chance to have a say in the BoB.  You see, every contender has the chance to come back to participate in the Big Kahuna round. How you may ask is this possible? Well, after being eliminated books make their way to the BoB Land of the Dead.  And you, yes you, have […]

Commentator Jonathan Has Some Questions

If you followed the Heavy Medal blog, you’ll already know which two books are my favorites here—A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS and SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD—and since they are in separate halves of the bracket it’s entirely possible for them to meet in the finals! But I hate the fact that SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD and […]

Guess the Judges! (And Win a Prize.)

We know that you have been wondering who the 2011 BoB Judges are. We can tell you that, all fifteen of them have arrived at the judges booth!  And some of them even have started reading the books! There are nine women and six men. Seven of them are Newbery winners or honor recipients in […]

Commentator Jonathan Hunt Considers this Year’s Contenders

The most interesting thing to me about this year’s crop of Battle of the Kids’ Books contenders is how there is virtually no overlap with ALA’s Youth Media Awards.  ONE CRAZY SUMMER is the most obvious exception: with a Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, not to mention a National Book Award nomination […]

The 2011 Battle of the Kids’ Books Contenders

As announced today, one by one, on twitter, here are this year’s contenders: AS EASY AS FALLING OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH by Lynn Rae Perkins THE CARDTURNER by Louis Sachar A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS by Megan Whalen Turner COUNTDOWN by Deborah Wiles THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND […]