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 […]

To Get a Little More of the Picture: Reviewing Picture Books

Snow White trans. by Randall Jarrell

“It is only in childhood that books have any deep influence on our lives.” — Graham Greene “Any book which is at all important should be reread immediately.” — Schopenhauer The management has suggested that I review picture book reviewing. “Feel free to rant about its sorry state.” I also feel wary, as I did […]

Two things to do tonight

One: Ruta Sepetys will be speaking and signing her novel Between Shades of Gray tonight at Porter Square Books in Cambridge at 7:00PM. Two: I am being interviewed by Emma Walton Hamilton tonight at 7:00PM EDT at the Children’s Book Hub. It’s a membership site, but you can listen for free by following this link. […]