Tag Archives: Battle of the Kids’ Books

SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books

23 Mar

unnamed.gifWhere do I even begin? This somehow got past me this year, so we’re in the think of round 1 matches right now.  A little background behind this fun event – The School Library’s Battle of the Kids’ Books is a competition among 16 of the very best titles published in children’s literature of the year.  For more FAQs check the SLJ website. The books are then judged by some of the biggest names in kid lit. Don’t believe me? Check out the judges this year:

  • Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Lulu Delacre
  • James Dashner
  • Varian Johnson
  • Tanya Lee Stone
  • Jane Yolen
  • Nova Ren Suma
  • Brendan Kiely
  • Javaka Steptoe
  • Eliot Schrefer
  • Cynthia Kadohata
  • Sara Farizan
  • Ellen Oh
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • Kwame Alexander

And the titles they’ll be judging:

  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • Freedom Over Me
  • Thunder Boy Jr.
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes
  • Ghost
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon
  • Makoons
  • March: Book Three
  • Samurai Rising
  • Some Writer!
  • Wet Cement
  • When the Sea Turned to Silver
  • Anna and the Swallow Man
  • The Lie Tree
  • The Passion of Dolssa
  • The Sun is Also a Star

Each day a battle is judged and a book is declared the winner of that round. The hardest part, for me, would be that the judges are judging some amazing books against each other. For example, how do you compare Ghost by Jason Reynolds with The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Two books that were written beautifully and completely differently, where do you begin? But the judges, do just that, they judge. So, each day there’s a judge’s post with their reason behind their decision.

We’re moving into the second round today, so have no fear if you missed round one like I did! It’s fun to see authors in this different light as they try and judge two amazing books against each other… follow along for the ride!



Winner of the 2015 BoB!

1 Apr

stevesheinkinI don’t have any clever April Fool’s joke for today, but excitingly the winner of the School Library Journal’s 2015 Battle of the Kids’ Books was announced today!  Drumroll please….. the winner is The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin.  And of course, I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet!  So it’s getting pushed to the top of my reading list for this weekend!

I’m excited that an informational text (nonfiction) book won this year!  The change is informational text has been drastic in the past ten years or so.  When I was growing up, informational text were usually very dry, text-heavy, thick books, but now they seem so much more exciting, inviting and accessible for kids, often telling stories that you never hear in history class.

I’ m also surprised it won because it was up against El Deafo by Cece Bell a graphic novel about a young girl and her life with a disability and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, a YA suspense novel that hits you with an ending you never saw coming.  I would definitely consider this a great battle between three very different books and I can’t wait for a chance to read The Port Chicago 50.

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