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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 BoB judges present their books?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. I haven’t done an official tally, but I’d be willing to bet that a full 80% or better of BoB judges present the book that they don’t pick first. It disappoints me, because it seems to give away the winner before I’ve gotten through the second paragraph. It seems that there is a very regular format:
    I. Say that these books were both wonderful and it’s SO hard to compare.
    II. Talk about the loser and how it was wonderful, but didn’t quiiiiite work for you.
    III. Talk about the winner and how it was so wonderful. Bonus points if you talk about how it’s not normally the kind of thing you go for.
    IV. Conclusion, restating that both books have merit, but the edge goes to the second book discussed. Bonus points for using some weird and vaguely offensive method of deciding (coin toss).

    I was actually hoping that you would blog about this, since Kenneth Oppel’s decision followed the old formula so exactly. I agree with his decision, but the writing felt same-old-same-old to me.

  2. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    I agree that Oppel followed the formula but felt that the criticism he had of Wonder went beyond the “didn’t quiiiiite work” general rule, instead being polite but devastating about where that book goes wrong.

  3. It is true that this tends to be the format used by the majority of judges though every now and then someone does it differently. (Sometimes VERY differently — say the judge who wrote his decision as a play. Can’t recall just now who it was.)

  4. It was Barry Lyga: But I bet he would have lost your bracket, Roger, as he gives it to Barbie by a blonde hair.

  5. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    But Monica, he would have gotten points for delivery! (And his competition, Susan Patron, made the same kind of non-decision decision as Lyga did, so they were equal there.)

  6. My spouse and i can’t remember the last time My spouse and i enjoyed a peice as much as zygor. You may have gone above my expectations with this topic u are in agreement with your points. You’ve done well on this. i denna artikel

  7. Aha! A coin toss in today’s ruling! (That means we drink everything, right?)

    I’ve been impressed this season with how few of the judges are following the formula. It’s refreshing!

  8. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it.

    I’ve got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

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