March 24, 2017

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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 1, Match 8: The Passion of Dolssa vs The Sun Is Also a Star

  JUDGE – BRENDAN KIELY The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry Penguin The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Random House What a difficult task! Of all the books to have paired together, here are two uniformly critically acclaimed, wildly successful and popular books, both Printz Honor finalists, one a National Book Award […]

Round 1, Match 7: Anna and the Swallow Man vs The Lie Tree

JUDGE – NOVA REN SUMA  Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit Random House The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Abrams After I finished the two books up in this round, I was left excited by the depths of imagination both of these authors created on the page. I’ll tell you what I look for as […]

Round 1, Match 6: Wet Cement vs When the Sea Turned to Silver

  JUDGE – JANE YOLEN Wet Cement by Bob Raczka Macmillan When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin Little Brown Bob Raczka’s concrete poetry collection West Cement begins with a pun (concrete/cement, get it?) and ends with a copyright notice that is itself a concrete piece, though not an actual poem. The spreads are constantly and […]

Round 1, Match 5: Samurai Rising vs Some Writer!

JUDGE – TANYA LEE STONE Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner illustrated by Gareth Hinds Charlesbridge Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet Houghton Mifflin Harcourt   When I was 8, my Dad built me an L-shaped reading nook, which hung about three feet below a corner of our family-room ceiling. It was accessible only by ladder rungs narrow enough for […]

Round 1, Match 4: Makoons vs March, Book Three

JUDGE – VARIAN JOHNSON Makoons by Louise Erdrich HarperCollins March, Book III by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell Top Shelf On the surface, this looks to be a match-up between David and Goliath. Spartans vs. Xerxes. The Rock against Kevin Hart. On one side we have Makoons, a short, quiet historical novel about an […]

Round 1, Match 3: Ghost vs The Girl Who Drank the Moon

JUDGE – JAMES DASHNER Ghost by Jason Reynolds Simon & Schuster The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill Algonquian I want you to know that I say the following with all the love I can muster in my heart: School Library Journal is an evil, devious, monstrous entity. When they asked me to participate […]

Round 1, Match 2: Thunder Boy Jr. vs When Green Becomes Tomatoes

JUDGE – LULU DELACRE THUNDER BOY, JR. by Sherman Alexis illustrated by Yuyi Morales Little, Brown WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano illustrated by Julie Morstad Macmillan It’s been ten days now. Ten days that the two titles have been battling each other in my head. The first time I placed the two books next to each other, […]

Round 1, Match 1: Freedom in Congo Square vs. Freedom Over Me

JUDGE – DUNCAN TONATIUH Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Little Bee Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan Simon & Schuster I took several writing workshops in college. A student would share a story they wrote with the rest of the class and we all critiqued it. One of my professors […]

On the Eve of the 2015 Battle Let’s Hear from Some Texas HS Students!

Donna Cook has been running a Mock BoB at her Plano, Texas, for many years. We here at SLJ have been wowed by what she has done and have therefore featured in several articles. There is “Texas High School Celebrates Battle of the Books” from 2013 and “How Do You BOB?: Librarians, Parents Share the Ways They’re […]

The First Ever #SLJBoBCast!

Shelley Diaz (our SLJ connection), Mark Tuchman (who does all the awesome graphics), Monica Edinger (one third of the Battle Commander), Rocco Staino (KidLitTV host), and Kiera Parrott (SLJ’s Review editor and cue card manager) had a blast doing the first ever #BoBCast with Kid Lit TV. Check out predictions, Mark discussing the graphics (and […]

Fantasy Battle of the Kids’ Books & The Guessing Game!

FANTASY BoB REPORT Roxanne & Monica started hosting Fantasy BoB last year at our school, with members of the faculty book club.  This year, 6-8 grade students are added to the mix.  The student judges’ statements will be added to the comment area for each corresponding Match for Round 1 and Round 2. The teachers […]

The Undead Poll is Now Open!

Worried about your favorite contender’s chances in the Battle? Here’s what you can do to help. Vote for YOUR FAVORITE to come back from the dead here! The previously-eliminated contender that receives the most votes will be dug out of the grave to join the two other finalists for the closing round judged by the Closer, Kwame […]

Want to Know the Judges’ Assignments? — Here They Are!

The judges are all announced so now is time to let you know what they are judging. Here you are! What do you think? How do YOUR brackets look? Round One M1 Judge: Duncan Tonatiuh Freedom in Congo Square vs. Freedom Over Me M2 Judge: Lulu Delacre Thunder Boy Jr. vs. When Green Becomes Tomatoes M3 Judge: […]

2017 Judge: Kwame Alexander (The Closer)

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including BOOKED and THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, […]

2017 Judge: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen is often called the Hans Christian Andersen of America (though she will only admit to being the Hans Jewish Andersen of the States) has written over 360 books. She loves, loves, loves to read, though sometimes writing gets in the way. However, she has read every single Jane Yolen book, which also takes […]

Want the Latest Brackets?

Just go to Shelley Diaz’s excellent article, “Download SLJ’s 2017 Battle of the Kids’ Books Brackets” for all the details. Enjoy!

2017 Judge: Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh is the author-illustrator of The Princess and the Warrior, Funny Bones, Separate Is Never Equal, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, Diego Rivera: His World and Ours and Dear Primo. He is the illustrator of Esquivel! and Salsa. His books have received multiple accolades, among them the Pura Belpré Medal, the Sibert Medal, The […]

2017 Judge: Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s eighteen-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash, and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all […]