The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge HarperCollins The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner Houghton Mifflin Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge Viking Judged by Katherine Paterson
If you have been following the Battle, you know what a pickle I found myself in. As I told one of the Battle Commanders when I learned the titles of the three finalists, “This is not a choice between apples and oranges, it’s a choice between apples, orangutans, and orchids.” The good news is I was given three fine and worthy books. The bad news is that I had to eliminate two of them.
I read The Lost Conspiracy first. It was by far the fattest and would take the longest to read, and besides, it was fiction, and I love fiction. Even though I usually prefer realism to fantasy, I was fully taken in by the strange island world of Gullstruck that Frances Hardinge created and the twists and turns of plot that left me gasping for breath. Hardly any character, with the exception of little Hathin, was what he or she seemed to be initially. I’ve gotten pretty good over the years guessing what was going to happen in a book, but I couldn’t guess this time, which is why I initially thought, nothing can beat this.
And then I read, the Undead winner, Pamela Turner’s, The Frog Scientist. I was enchanted. Here is a non-fiction book for younger readers that teaches the methods of …