Writing for the Very Young: An Emotional Déjà Vu

charlotte zolotow

by Charlotte Zolotow The more I try to analyze children’s books — or the fusion of feelings and events that goes into writing for children — the more I realize what a mystery children’s thoughts are and what a mystery the whole process of writing for children is. Part of it is the imagery and […]

The winner!

apples

The winner of our first, and most likely last, Judging the BoB Judges (if this features DOES come back we need a snappier name) contest is Martine Leavitt. For her enthusiasm, her no-dithering policy, and her frankness about her own reading tastes: “[Endangered] has a happy ending, too. Was it too happy? Not for me. […]

Perkins v. Patterson v. Cottrell Boyce

Bam

Our third round is a three way, comprising BoB’s two-semifinal rounds (Lynne Rae Perkins judging Bomb and The Fault in Our Stars; James Patterson doing the same for No Crystal Stair and Splendors and Glooms)  and the Big Kahuna round (Frank Cottrell Boyce judging The Fault in Our Stars, No Crystal Stair and the resurrected […]

Napoli v. Leavitt

TELEGRAM

We’re onto the second round of the BoB, with Donna Jo Napoli choosing between Code Name Verity and Bomb, and Martine Leavitt adjudicating Endangered v. The Fault in Our Stars. Napoli has already been called out for including spoilers to Code Name Verity (while, hilariously, saying “I won’t spoil it for you”) but I don’t […]

Murdoch v. Lu and First Round Win

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I like the way Marie Lu (Seraphina v. Moonbird) and Catherine Gilbert Murdock (No Crystal Stair v. The One and Only Ivan) each find much in common between their contenders. (Especially Lu’s observation about the relationship between birds and dragons.) But where you might think that qualities in common might facilitate comparison, neither of these […]

Gidwitz v. Billingsley

enuf

Let us first note that both Adam Gidwitz (Jepp, Who Defied the Stars v. Starry River of the Sky) and Franny Billingsley (Liar & Spy v. Splendors and Glooms) break the mold by discussing their winning books first. Billingsley more so than Gidwitz, who devotes some 1200 words to the agony of choice and the […]

Appelt v. Caletti

Cake

Very different approaches here from Kathi Appelt (Three Times Lucky v. Endangered) and Deb Caletti (Temple Grandin v. The Fault in Our Stars). Appelt’s voice is very . . . considered, placing her contenders in literary context and braiding her observations on one book with her thoughts about the other and bringing them into contention […]

Oppel v. Engel

applesandoranges

In our first bracket of BoB judges, Kenneth Oppel selects Bomb over Wonder, and Margarita Engle chooses Code Name Verity over Titanic. The fact that I agree with both of these decisions counts for nothing in my little meta-battle; what we are evaluating here is the ability of each judge to come to a clear […]

First BoB bracket complete

Margarita Engle has completed her bit for the BoB, which means the showdown between her and Kenneth Oppel will commence here soon. But make sure you read their decisions first as God forbid I be accused of spoilering on top of everything else. One question though: has anyone ever analyzed the order in which the […]

Rural juror

Girls!Girls!

The Morning News started its tournament of books yesterday with a match between Louise Erdrich’s The Round House and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I thought the critic, Edan Lepucki, did a great job of assessing each book’s strengths and shortcomings and coming up with a winner. Today, the match between Adam Johnson’s […]