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Battle of the Books

Round 2, Match 4: The Lie Tree vs The Sun Is Also A Star

    JUDGE – SARA FARIZAN The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Abrams The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Random House I was hesitant to take on this task because I’m a bit uncomfortable about pitting books against each other. Sure, it’s all in good fun, but the only winner here really is me for […]

Round 2, Match 3: Some Writer! vs When The Sea Turned to Silver

JUDGE – CYNTHIA KADOHATA Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet Houghton Mifflin Harcourt When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin Little Brown   On the surface, Some Writer! and When the Sea Turned to Silver are utterly different books, one nonfiction and filled with details from author E.B. White’s real life, and one a fantastical […]

Round 2, Match 2: Ghost vs March, Book Three

JUDGE – ELIOT SCHREFER Ghost By Jason Reynolds Simon & Schuster March, Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell Top Shelf Productions     The beauty of reading books is that they don’t have to duke it out afterwards. I can read me some Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter Night on Saturday and […]

Round 2 Match 1: Freedom in Congo Square vs When Green Becomes Tomatoes

JUDGE – JAVAKA STEPTOE Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Little Bee When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano illustrated by Julie Morstad Macmillan I like to think of these two books as pieces of music: One is like a work song, the other a classical concerto. In this way they are […]

Round 2, Match 4: Nimona vs Symphony for the City of the Dead

“I was fortunate to have two great books to read and select from. I thoroughly enjoyed both.” Which does Judge Mariko Tamaki choose?

Round 2, Match 3: The Marvels vs The Nest

Which of the two page-turner books about boys on internal and external quests, with beautiful language and strong reader appeal will move on to the semi-finals?

Round 2, Match 2: I Crawl Through It vs Gone Crazy in Alabama

In the second match of Round 2, High school theater of the absurd goes against the final installment of the sibling saga set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 60s America.

Round 2, Match 1: Challenger Deep vs Echo

Judge Donnelley has to make a choice between two stories that drive her “out to the borderlands – a lawless patch of literary scrub – and boot me out of the car with no GPS, no tattered road atlas, not even a cheap plastic compass.”

Round 2, Match 4: This One Summer vs West of the Moon

One of the joys of first person narratives is being able to share, for a moment, the intimacy of another person’s perspective. It isn’t just the knowledge of their private lives or secrets that brings that richness–plenty of third-person narratives have those. It is that by filtering every aspect of the story through the narrator’s thoughts and feelings, we find ourselves, in a fundamental way, behind their eyes.

Round 2, Match 3: The Madman of Piney Woods vs The Port Chicago 50

Every year, as the Battle Commander gears up for the School Library Journal Battle of the Books, I think I’m going to read all these books. It’s only sixteen and I have three months. For the past two years my own books have been contenders, which makes me a sort of honorary participant anyway (though only as a lurker, too self-conscious to comment except to congratulate the winners), plus that means I really only have fifteen books to read.