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To the battlements!

Batman-Slapping-Robin

Baby sis has begun her annual Battle of the Books, with Duncan Tonatiuh comparing the merits of Freedom in Congo Square and Freedom Over Me. Also, the Horn Book Podcast is back up and running. Last week Sian talked to author and agent Rebecca Podos and today we talk about politics and rock stars.

BoB

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SLJ’s Battle of the Books is underway, and let me just say how glad I am that the judges are being (relatively) tough.

What about BoB?, 2014 edition

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The Battle Commanders have announced the contenders for SLJ’s Battle of the Books, which will itself commence–when? March-ish? It’s a good list, and brave, I think, of the Commanders to make their selections before the ALA awards show up to toss egg in everyone’s faces. While I have no plans to repeat my running commentary […]

The winner!

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]