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Battle of the Books

Round 1, Match 7: Life: An Exploded Diagram vs A Monster Calls

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet Candlewick A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Candlewick Judged by Lauren Myracle Oh, Lordy. When I was approached about being a judge for this year’s Battle of the Kids’ Books, I said “Sure! Sounds fun!” And the reading part—hell yeah, tons of fun. Although I cried while I read […]

Round 1, Match 6: Heart and Soul vs Inside Out and Back Again

  Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson Balzer & Bray Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai HarperCollins Judged by Sarah Weeks   I like to think of myself as a nice person. True, I sometimes fantasize about throwing rotten fruit at the children from the Montessori school across the street who use my neighbor’s […]

Round 1, Match 5: Drawing from Memory vs The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

  Drawing from Memory by Allen Say Scholastic The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami Atheneum/S&S Judged by Barbara O’Connor   First up: The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami. This book tricked me. I looked at the cover. I read the title (which for some reason I have a hard […]

Round 1, Match 4: Daughter of Smoke and Bone vs Dead End in Norvelt

  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Little, Brown Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos FSG/Macmillan Judged by Sara Zarr   When I found out the titles I’d be judging for the Battle, I tried to guess which I’d wind up choosing—Laini Taylor’s highly-acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, or Newbery winner […]

Round 1, Match 3: The Cheshire Cheese Cat vs. Chime

  The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright Peachtree Chime by Franny Billingsley Dial Books Judged by Sy Montgomery   The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright. Drawings by Barry Moser Aficionados of Dickens will be delighted. But not all children are fans […]

Round 1, Match 2: Between Shades of Gray vs. Bootleg

    Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Philomel/Penguin Bootleg by Karen Blumenthall Flash Point/Macmillan Judged by Gayle Forman   When I hear the word “historical” in the vicinity of the word “book,” especially when we are talking about a young-person’s book, I tend to react like your average 12-year-old reluctant reader: eye-rolling, yawning, […]

Round 1, Match 1: Amelia Lost vs. Anya’s Ghost

Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming Random House Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol First Second Judged by Matt Phelan Going strictly alphabetical is a pretty good idea for BoB and creates interesting contests. As luck would have it, I have more than a passing interest in both comics and around-the-world adventurers (with a particular fondness for […]

Round 1, Match 8: Trash vs. Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Trash by Andy Mulligan David Fickling/Random House Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan Dutton/Penguin Judged by Mitali Perkins I was assigned novels featuring two unforgettable trios of guys: Raphael, Gardo, and Rat in Trash, and Tiny, Will, and Will in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I loved all six of these boys. […]

Round 1, Match 7: A Tale Dark and Grimm vs. They Called Themselves the K.K.K.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz Dutton/Penguin They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Houghton Mifflin Judged by R.L. Stine A TALE DARK & GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz When I was in elementary school, I was already fascinated by the worlds of fantasy and magic and horror. I read every book […]

Round 1, Match 6: The Ring of Solomon vs. Sugar Changed the World

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud Hyperion Books Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Judged by Adam Rex I’ve been asked to decide which book is better–The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud, or Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos. That is, I’ve […]