Are you ready to see Brian Selznick duke it out with Gary Schmidt? Or Kadir Nelson rumble with Thanhha Lai? It’s time for School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books (BOB) again, and there's another impressive lineup of titles and judges that is sure to get your heart pumping as 16 of 2011’s best books for young people are pitted against one another in a competition to determine the biggest, bestest, baddest of them all.
BOB is the brainchild of three educators: Monica Edinger and Roxanne Feldman of the Dalton School in New York City, and Jonathan Hunt, a school librarian in Modesto, CA, and was inspired by the Morning News’s Tournament of Books, a similar competition featuring the previous year’s best novels for adults.
How exactly does it work, you ask? Think of a smackdown of books, where fiction competes against nonfiction, fantasy with historical fiction, and dystopias with romance in a winner-take-all battle. Over the course of three intense weeks, a panel of 15 judges—including Lauren Myracle, Matt Phelan, and Maggie Stiefvater—each read two books, consider them carefully, then decide which deserve to advance to the next round. Match-ups for Round Two will begin on March 23rd and Round Three on March 29th. Jonathan Stroud, last year’s Battle of the Books winner for The Ring of Solomon, is the final judge. He’ll choose the grand prizewinner April 2.
In case you were wondering, the first winner in 2009 was none other than Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins.
Check back each day to see the winner.
The Match-ups for Round One:
Match 3 (March 15, Judge Sy Montgomery)
The Cheshire Cheese Cat vs Chime
Match 4 (March 16, Judge Sara Zarr)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone vs Dead End in Norvelt
Match 5 (March 19, Judge Barbara O'Connor)
Drawing from Memory vs The Grand Plan to Fix Everything
Match 6 (March 20, Judge Sarah Weeks)
Heart and Soul vs Inside Out and Back Again
Match 7 (March 21, Judge Lauren Myracle)
Life: An Exploded Diagram vs A Monster Calls
Match 8 (March 22, Judge Jeff Kinney)
Okay for Now vs Wonderstruck
What books would you pit against each other?