Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's Baaaack!: The SLJ Battle of the Kids' Books

Ah March, the days are getting longer, the weather is slowly (very slowly) warming, and spring is in the air. March also brings the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) and the SLJ Battles of the Kids' Books (aka March Mayhem)!

From the BOKB blog: "School Library Journal's Battle of the (Kids') Books is a competition between 16 of the very best books for young people published in 2009, judged by some of the biggest names in children's books."

Last week, whilst I was overwhelmed with my personal life and didn't get around to blogging, they announced the contenders and judges. In alphabetical order, the books are:

Fire by Kristin Cashore
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan
Sweethearts of Rhythm by Marilyn Nelson
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

What an amazingly diverse field with strong representation from the tween market! This is going to be an intense competition, and I don't even know who I'm rooting for just yet. I'm proud to note that I have purchased all of these books for my middle school library collection and I've read all but just a few, a failing which I shall quickly remedy this week.

Oh yeah, and the judges aren't too shabby either! Talk about a diverse crew of authors, running the gambit from science fiction to realistic fiction to novels in verse to graphic novels, and also culturally diverse!

M. T. Anderson
Christopher Paul Curtis
Nancy Farmer
Candace Fleming
Helen Frost
Shannon Hale
Angela Johnson
Cynthia Kadohata
Julius Lester
Jim Murphy
Walter Dean Myers
Katherine Paterson
Gary Schmidt
Anita Silvey
Megan Whalen Turner

I am PUMPED for this competition to get underway! Brackets will be posted tomorrow, March 1st, on the fancy-dancy NEW website (which doesn't yet exist for public view), the same day the real excitement begins!

Oh, and I've got a preliminary favorite: Fire by Kristin Cashore. But really, with a competition featuring so many awesome books, I can hardly be upset no matter who wins!

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