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Battle of the Books

So How Did the BoB Contenders Do With ALA’s Youth Media Awards?

In case you’re wondering, BOB contenders fared pretty well at the YMAs.  I’m sure some of you think we may have had the inside track on the Newbery with Roxanne being on the committee and all, but I can assure you that was not the case. BOMB . . . This title now becomes the […]


ALL THE FANTASY? There was so much good stuff out there this year.  We steered away from sequels this time around which left BITTERBLUE and DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT out of the mix.  THE DIVINERS and THE RAVEN BOYS were series starters and it was especially difficult to leave them off knowing we were […]

Wondering why we chose what we did?

Here’s the skinny. BOMB . . .  Five starred reviews, three best lists, National Book Award finalist, and YALSA Nonfiction Award finalist.  The most buzzed nonfiction title of the year, BOMB is a thrilling cloak and dagger story that virtually reads like a novel. CODE NAME VERITY . . . Six starred reviews, six best […]

Winner of the 2012 Undead Poll and Kid Commentator Picks!

After two consecutive years of blowouts, this year was much more competitive. That’s not to say OKAY FOR NOW didn’t jump out to a healthy lead and maintain it throughout, but that healthy lead was often a single digit number.  CHIME and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trailed early, then CHIME pulled away for a […]

Introducing… Official Kid Commentators!

A new addition to the 2012 BoB: we have two official Kid Commentators who will follow and comment on the Matches along with our veteran commentator Jonathan Hunt.  We are so pleased to be able to gain some insights directly from the young readers for whom these books are intended. Here’s Official Kid Commentator Number […]

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, […]

Why We Picked What We Did

AMELIA LOST by Candace Fleming . . . Four starred reviews, three best of the year lists.  One of the best nonfiction books of the year and arguably the best book not to pick up some kind of award this past year which makes me want to root for it here all the more. ANYA’S GHOST by Vera Brosgol . . […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]