April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015 Contenders Announced

TheContenders_revWhat better way to celebrate Mock Newbery season than by announcing the 16 candidates in School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books (BOB)? The first match of the virtual book elimination tournament doesn’t start until March 9, but these contenders are raring to go.

A list of some of the best works published for children and teens was revealed via BOB’s official blog on Wednesday, January 14, by the event’s Battle Commanders: teacher Monica Edinger and school librarian Roxanne Feldman, both from the Dalton School in New York City, and school librarian Jonathan Hunt of San Diego County. Now in its seventh year, the winner-takes-all contest is the brainchild of Edinger and Feldman, and it continues to pit stellar kids’ and teens’ books from the previous year against one another in a March Madness-style format.

Some of this year’s hopefuls include National Book Award-winner Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming (Penguin), master storyteller Gregory Maguire’s Egg and Spoon (Candlewick), and the graphic novel memoir, El Deafo (Abrams), by Cece Bell. A roster of acclaimed and bestselling authors will have to deliberate between two books (often of different genres, formats, audiences) to decide which title will compete in the next round. These rock star judges will be announced starting on February 4—one a day until February 25.

Leading up to the first tête-à-tête, the BOB blog will host several opportunities in which students, educators, and children’s literature aficionados can participate, including a Mock BOB and the Undead Poll. For the latter, fans will have the chance to save a favorite title—the eliminated book with the most votes will rise to compete in the final round—zombie style. The poll will open on February 25 and close on March 8, right before the first match.

If your school or library is actively participating in SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books this year, we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more BOB-related news, giveaways, and fun via the blog, Twitter (#sljbob and @SLJsBOB), and on Pinterest.


Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.



  1. This will be our third year to run a March Madness Battle of the Books. Thanks for the great titles! We will start promoting the event this next week.

    • Planning on it! Love this idea, but have not participated before. How many books do you buy of each in order to promote?

      • Shelley Diaz Shelley Diaz says:

        Hi Amy,

        That’s wonderful! I think that’s totally up to you, your school’s budget, and collection. Please keep me posted.
        Shelley Diaz
        Senior Editor
        sdiaz [at] mediasourceinc [dot] com

  2. Can international schools take part in it?