OK, so it didn't turn out to be the fight to the death that I had hoped, but it was another lively and at times impassioned debate. Over the course of about 3.5 hours, approximately 50 NJ YA librarians whittled down the list books worthy of being named on the 2010 GSTBA Grades 9-12 ballot from an overwhelming 100 to a manageable 20. Words were had over Terry Pratchett's and Cassandra Clare's writing ability. A debate raged over whether Wicked Lovely was trash or teen fantasy treasure. There was even a fake "That's it; I'm leaving!" - and many of the librarians needed to leave early, so in the end there were really only about 20 left standing...er, sitting.
After all the reading I'd done to prepare over the past week and half since I became an official "reader,"* I was pleased to see all but one of my favorites (Hinds' Beowulf) make it onto the ballot. The final list will be announced at the NJLA conference at the end of April.
*Special thanks and a big shout out to Reader #13 who abandoned her reading responsibilities, thus making space for me!