We are particularly excited to hear about those who have or are considering using the Battle with students. Say Texas librarian Donna Steel Cook who gets her whole high school involved. Read more in “Texas High School Celebrates Battle of the Books“.
“March Madness” has taken on a secondary meaning in rural Pollok, TX, where 423 high school students have been closely watching, rooting for, and predicting the winners of a unique elimination contest this month—not basketball, but books. Under the direction of Donna Steel Cook,district library director and high school teacher-librarian, Pollok’s Central High School has incorporated School Library Journal ‘s fifth annual Battle of the Kids’ Books (BOB) into an engaging program to support reading.
And Librarian’s Quest who considered that:
As the weeks have passed so too has the School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books. Even though the end is getting closer it still might be fun to do this with students after it’s over to see how they vote as opposed to the judges’ decisions. School Library Journal has provided a page of downloadable graphics to use in designing your own brackets. Each match appears as a PDF file.
If there are others out there, please let us know!
As to other things, please don’t miss our Battle Pinterest board filled with lots of cool stuff.
There’s Liz B on Bomb v Code Name Verity, Endangered v Stars, Sky v Glooms, Seraphina v Star, Round 3, Match 1, …
First of all, just to note that we are thrilled to see how many followers are working to read as many contenders as possible and often posting reviews of them. What is especially gratifying is to see the surprise some express about how much they enjoyed a contender they would not have read otherwise.
Now back to this week’s links and such. As always, please let us know of anything we missed in the comments and we will add them in here.
The Provo Library Children’s Book Review is creating completely AWESOME displays. Here are a couple of them.
Leila at bookshelves of doom thinks that:
More entertaining than SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books… …is Roger Sutton in the Peanut Gallery.
Speaking of which, Judge of Judges Sutton on Gidwitz v. Billingsley begins:
Let us first note that both Adam Gidwitz (Jepp, Who Defied the Stars v. Starry River of the Sky) and Franny Billingsley (Liar & Spyv. Splendors and Glooms) break the mold by discussing their winning books first.
Check-out what he thinks about Murdoch v. Lu and who won his First Round.
Lisa at Read for Keeps noted that:
…but there’s also a serious trend of water playing a huge role in the plot. The Titanic sinking, the drowning inSplendors and Glooms, the Resistance canoeing down a river in CNV, the river in Three Times Lucky, the Moonbirdcoastlines…I could go on. Am I missing something? Are books usually so water-heavy, or is there something special about this year’s lot?
Miss Tiff …
Just before the Battle began, a few more BoB Followers gave us their predictions.
Jen at Read for Keeps offered hers complete with a charming sketch:
Armed with my mug o’ tea (naught but the finest Alishan high mountain tea leaves, of course), I attempt to divine the course of the 2013 SLJ Battle of the Kids’ Books. Behold my bracket:
Lisa also at Read for Keeps also chimed in:
School Library Journal’s BoB is one of my favorite events of the year. The mad scramble to read all 16 contenders, the howls of misery and delight (remember last year when a certain book lost via a coin toss?), and, of course, a spectacular opportunity to demonstrate my lack of divination powers.
The Brain Lair considered:
But, today starts my favorite Battle, the one School Library Journal (SLJ) puts on each year! The 16-book list is handed out after the ALA Youth Media Awards. Starting mid- to late March, an author will judge two books and decide which moves to the second round. This goes on each weekday until we get to the Big Kahuna. The book Kahuna judges the final two books plus a book that rises from the dead! Each year, SLJ adds a new twist to the contest. This year – students writing as books! Check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. Such a great idea! I must figure out a way to incorporate it!
Sondy did her predictions too:
It’s that …
Brandy’s got some thoughts,wishes, and guesses.
Battle of the Books begins on Tuesday!!!! My anticipation level at this point is pretty high. I get ridiculously excited about this every year. Usually I have one book that I love and want to see win, and one that I want to see go down quick. That is not the case this year. While I do have a favorite, I also have several other books I love in the battle. And I didn’t loathe any of them. I sort of don’t know what to do with that.
The LibrariYAn appreciated our posts of the past week:
The start of School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids Books is just days away. Before we get into the grueling face-offs, BoB is giving each book a chance to introduce itself. And in the most adorable way possible: with introductory blurbs written by student readers, in the voice of the book. Holy wow!
I loved these books before. And now they have personalities. Written by witty teens and pre-teens. Who is their English teacher? Give that (wo)man or those (wo)men a raise. Pronto. Seriously. It’s a pretty serious writing task to personify a book. And these are the bees knees.
The Card Catalog’s ruminations:
There are two months each year when I get overly obsessive about children’s literature (I know, my siblings and roommates would say “Only TWO?? Just who do you think you’re fooling?”). The ALA Media Awards …
So glad to see that folks are busy reading our contenders. As of February 9th Holly Mueller had read about half of the contenders. Bet she’s farther along now! Leila over at Bookshelves of Doom‘s read four as of a few days ago.
Then there is Book Nut whose book pile here has her fretting:
My TBR pile was actually under control. And then the SLJ BoB crew announced their lineup and my pile exploded.
As for Katie over at Book Love, she’s catching up and thinking about the final three.
When I first saw the 2013 Contenders, I was dismayed to learn that I had only read ONE out of SIXTEEN. That is shameful, book lovers. But then I just hurried up and requested the rest from my lovely local library, and now I’ve got four down (with twelve to go… yikes!).
Mrs. F-B thinks that:
It’s gonna be a tough year, folks! Several that I loved are on the list. Now I NEED to finish Bomb right away and Titanic. I’m enjoying it much more this second time around. Glad my arm was twisted to try it again.
And here’s loyal BoB follower Liz Burns who will be posting about the daily battles and more. Yay!
I find it a lot of fun, both because of the randomness in which the books go up against each other, and also because of what the judges select and how they come to a determination of which book “wins”.
These days it seems much of the reaction is happening …
These Peanut Gallery posts are where we highlight responses to the latest BoB activity. And so here are some celebrating the announcement of the 2013 Contenders and the Brackets. If we missed yours, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them in here.
First of all, if you didn’t see it, be sure to check out SLJ’s “Our Battle of the Kids’ Books Back!.” On the day ALA’s Youth Media Award’s were announced The LibrarYAn, in a post, had this to say:
This morning the brackets for the SLJ Battle of the Kids’ Books were revealed. And something tells me that yesterday’s Youth Media Awards announcements figured into these match-ups.
(A brief interjection from the Battle Commander: Ha and no! We did this way back in early December when the contenders list went to SLJ. And none of us, not even Newbery Committee Member Roxanne, is prescient enough to have known how the awards would play out.)
In “So Much for a Career in Divinations” Jen reflects on previous battles and gears up for this year’s. CBC pinned us on Pinterest. Random Musings of a Bibliophile has a few thoughts about this year’s list of contenders. And there were loads of tweets. (FYI: the hashtag is #sljbob.) Here are a few of them: NewsCLN SLJ Battle of the Books brackets are UP! I’m reading, I’m reading … rebeccazdunn SLJ‘s Battle of the Kids’ Books 2013 Brackets Revealed! The match-ups this …
Posts of the Week
The Book Nut’s Weekly Roundup #2, and Quarterfinal Roundup. Emily Brown weighs in and makes an interesting suggestion:
So I’m enjoying the Battle of the Kids Books, but in comparing it to the Morning News Tournament of Books, I do find it lacking in the commentary department. The judges give you their experience of the book, so I’d like the commentators to connect the decisions to trends and issues in the field of kidlit … instead of just saying whether they agree or disagree.
Liz B on Chime v Smoke, Drawing v Again, Diagram v Wonderstruck, Gray v Chime, Memory v Life, and Timothy Rising from the Dead. Bookshelves of doom is “YESSSSSSSSSS!” for her champion. Brandy’s thoughts on the final four and the finalists. Reads for Keeps’ Round 3 Inklings. Sondy’s chanting Go, Zombie, Go! A Spectator’s Commentary, Week 3. And here’s one …SLJBotB Commentary….Better Late Than Never!
Tweets of the Week
elockhart This is my round! Some of you WON’T LIKE the opener. RT @SLJsBoB: Chime vs Daughter of Smoke & Bone http://bit.ly/GTvgYL #sljbob12 rockinlibrarian @elockhart @SLJsBoB Well we’re peculiar in the same way, then. I haven’t read both books, but I at least agree with you on romance. brandymuses This was a good one to wake up to. RT @SLJsBoB: Round 2, Match 2: Chime vs Daughter of Smoke and Bone KateCoombs13 @brandymuses @SLJsBoB I liked both books, but I’m with you on this one. What amazing writing! (I say, trying not to be spoilerish.) elizabethfama Good question hidden in @SLJsBoB‘s comments today: Does Briony being a witch make …
Many passionate posts and tweets in response to this week’s upsets! As always, let us know in the comments about any we missed and we’ll either add them in here or in next week’s Peanut Gallery.
Posts of the Week
Paula’s Bracket Predictions and a bonus one for Life to boot. The Card Catalog has been following along wonderfully; check out: The Battle is About to Begin, And So It Begins, Poor E. Lockhart, Global Nods, and Thrills and Rages. Mr. H’s predictions are here and then there is his One Round in the Bag. Book Nut’s first week round-up is here. Attention is given at the Huffington Post (both on the children’s book page and their March Madness page). Booksnstories notes that BoB flows on and BoB-WRONG! Sondy’s thoughts as we headed into Week Two and the rest of the Battle. Sonoma County Library notes that it is Time to Battle It Out Again! Liz B’s thoughts on Memory v Fix, Soul v Inside, Life v Monster, Now v Wonderstruck, and Amelia v Shades. Nicole’s got the second week of her spectator’s commentary. And here’s Brandy with her Round One Wrap Up and Round Two Picks.
Tweets of the Week
@YABookLove Never thought I would say this… but Monday morning can’t come fast enough. Why? Bc @SLJsBoB will be back! @elockhart I am up. I have already made lemon-raspberry bread and read the latest #sljbob12 battle. Ridiculously perky. Should crash by 10 am. @Mizzou a March Madness we can still cheer for. @sarahsulliv But on a brighter note, I’m still rocking a PERFECT …
Blog Posts of the Week (As always, let us know in the comments about any we missed and we’ll either add them in here or in next week’s Peanut Gallery)
Katie’s witty ‘Twas the Night Before BoB: Predictions. Liz B’s got her picks here as well as posts on Lost v Ghost, Between v Bootleg, Cheshire v Chime, and Bone v Norvelt. Kathy did her own judging: Amelia vs Anya and Sepetys vs Blumenthal. Judge Barbara O’Connor was very psyched as we got underway! Susan Lempke has an understandable pet peeve about us. Proof that BoB gets people reading in Katie’s review of Amelia Lost where she acknowledges that “I probably never would have [read it], except it’s the very first contender in the very first round of SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books. And I know that the BOB doesn’t do bad books.” Brandy’s Round One Thoughts and her reactions at the end of the first week. Book Nut’s a fan (and we hope she does do wrap-ups as we’ll then link them here). Friend of BoB Sondy has some thoughts about Week One and picks for Week Two. Reads for Keeps’ Lisa Song offered Opinions, not Predictions and Foiled by a Coin Toss! Roger Sutton briefly weighs in on the coin toss as well. BooksnStories on BoB-KBWT, BoB Whatever, and a few random notes as well. The LA Times mentioned us. SLJ featured a behind-the-scenes look at the Everdeen Sisters making of the “official” BoB Trailer. Reading. Writing. Publishing. A Blog has a Spectator’s Commentary. …
These Peanut Gallery posts are where we highlight responses to the latest BoB activity. And so here are some recent ones related to this year’s contest that we came across. If we missed yours, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them in here.
Paula over at Pink Me will be following along and has weighed in on where she stands regarding this year’s contenders. Noticing a clever article comparing UK and US covers for the Tournament of Books (our inspiration) and knowing her interest in this we suggested to Betsy Bird that she might want to take a similar look at our contenders and she obliged. Thanks, Betsy! Liz B has been a loyal follower since the beginning, always doing posts on each battle and she’s got one up now about this year’s contenders. Slightly Addicted to Fiction is following along (and dreaming of an Australian version). Here are a few especially fun tweets we noticed: @Doug Dwieteck @SLJsBoB @ReadingChick So March 22 is a big day. Any idea who TBD is? I’ve got two nice bottles of really cold Coke to share. @Sonderbooks My #fridayreads will be Life: An Exploded Diagram, by Mal Peet, an@SLJsBoB contender. @sarazarr Yes, I am a judge in the @sljournal‘s Battle of the Kids’ Books! And I can say NO MORE than that. http://bit.ly/zelAQS (follow at@SLJsBoB) @brandymuses I review Pie by Sarah Weekshttp://randommusingsofabibliophile.blogspot.com/2012/02/pie.html That I posted this the same day she was announced as an@SLJsBoB judge is coincidental. @lbott @SLJsBoB Looked at list; love contenders, but 2 of my favorites are pitted against each other: Okay …
These Peanut Gallery posts are where we highlight responses to the latest BoB activity. And so here are some celebrating this week’s announcement of the 2012 Contenders. If we missed yours, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them in here.
Our lovely School Library Journal did a bang-up article (with a couple of witty images from our wonderful art director Mark Tuchman) featuring this year’s Battle (and giving away a few, but not all of our judges). And the equally lovely Betsy Bird gave us a shot-out, noting that here is, “… the place where Amelia Lost gets its bloody due (if there’s any justice in this world).” Someone had the brilliant idea of creating a list of the contenders over at goodreads. So now you can vote for your favorites there! Brain Lair is planning to read or reread all the contenders in bracket order, “so I can do a comparison of each and try to guess the winner before the judges do.” Count me as very impressed. Reading is Good for You realizes that some of our contenders are mysteries to her so “..a trip to the library is in my future.” A Random Hodgepodge of Bookishness intends to get all the contenders read before the battle begins and notes, “The best thing about this battle is reading what authors think of these books – their insightful, eloquent, sometimes humorous reviews.” BooksnStories is ready to go while also expressing her thoughts on what didn’t make …
Here’s what we’ve come across this week. Let us know what we’ve missed in the comments.
Here’s Book Nut on Week Two. Mr. H is sad. Sondy’s thoughts on Round Two and Round Two. Josephine Cameron is catching up (and finding new books to read). Gail Gauthier is pleased with Bartimaeus’ progress and has some thoughts about the battle here. Eva tuned in briefly. Liz B keeps is keeping on top of ALL the matches here! Dalton BookBlogger c17rg on how he’d have decided Round 2 Match 4, final predictions, and a response. The Sounis folk are gloating. Here’s another take on the undead winner. Kara Schaff Dean on the final three. educating alice (one half of the Battle Commander) reflects on all the matches to date.
Here’s what we’ve come across this week. As always, if we missed yours, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it in here or in next week’s Peanut Gallery.
Judge Rex did some fretting last Sunday night. Book Nut on the first week of the competition. Eric Carpenter has a Leader Board and some ideas about what will happen in Round Two. Liz B’s on a roll with posts on Round One’s Matches 6, 7, and 8 and Match 1 from Round Two. Slightly Addicted to Fiction gives us her thoughts here. Spring Break hasn’t kept one of our Dalton Book Bloggers are following along too. Enthusiastic c19rg has thoughts about this week’s first round decisions here, here, and here, as well as one considering round two here. And here are BoB musing from Random Musings of a Bibliophile. Sondy’s here with hers. Gareth Hinds was very pleased with Judge Hesse. Notes from the Max notes us.
Here’s what we’ve come across this week. As always, if we missed yours, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it in here or in next week’s Peanut Gallery.
Roger Sutton thinks our first judge is a ….well, go see for yourself! Slightly Addicted to Fiction appears addicted to us too. The Brain Lair has her first round picks here. And here are Brandy Painter’s. The Los Angeles Times mentioned us in…um… “The Crazy Proliferation of March Madness Book Contests.“ Miss Julie also includes our Battle in her round-up. Good Books for Kids is “…glad we aren’t judges.“ The Dalton School Book Bloggers have some, er, strong thoughts about this week here, here, here as well as this take on one of next week’s battles. Based on his Bracket Challenge, here are Eric Carpenter’s Round One Previews: Part 1 and Part 2. Linda suggests that “This would be a fun reading activity in your school using the Battle of the Kids’ Books list or your own list.” We agree. Liz Burns on Match 1, Match 2, Match 3, Match 4, and Match 5. Kara Schaff Dean on the story so far and a bit farther. PCL Book Space is pleased with Judge Stork’s decision, reflects on Tuesday’s match. Wednesday‘s, and Thursday‘s. Conspiracy of Kings’ fans are not giving up. Eva on the first three matches. Mr. H was outraged with Barry Lyga’s decision! Mirka and Barry are gracious. Finally, the Everdeen Sisters are back!
It is the eve of the Battle and all is quiet, more or less. Here’s what we’ve come across over the past week related to our contest. As always, let us know in the comments if we’ve missed yours and we’ll either add it in to this post or save it for next week’s edition.
Kate Coombs was inspired by the BoB to do her own awards. Shoshana is contemplating about what may happen next week. Mr. H’s got his ducks—er, picks all in a row. Did he get any right? We aren’t saying. And Sondy’s got her first round picks here. The Children’s Room at the Takoma Park Maryland Library also is considering the upcoming event. Librarians in Central Texas are following along. Over at the Dalton School (where the two halves of the Battle Commander work), students in the Book Blogger Club (grades 5-7) have taken on the first bracket and some have already made their own decisions: c18jy gives her decision on Match 1, c17rg weighs in on Match 2 and c18gi weighs in on all of Round 1. We were delighted when our inspiration, The Tournament of Books’ Morning News, gave us a shout-out on their front page earlier this week.
So to those new to the Battle, every week or so we do a post highlighting the various other posts, commentary, and such we uncover. The first battle is still a way off, but here are some tidbits to keep you occupied until then:
SLJ has highlighted this year’s BoB in here. Big Kahuna Judge Richard Peck is a 1956 graduate of DePauw University and they’ve noticed his role in our competition. Eric Carpenter is running his bracket contest again. Go here to try your luck. Betsy Bird has told us her favorite to win as has Travis. Kara’s weeping tears of joy at our return. Madigan’s thinking the winner is going to be Hereville! Check out her brackets and reasons here. Prescott Library at Wheeler School has a wonderful display that they’ve got photos of on their facebook page and flickr.
If you have a post we’ve overlooked, please mention it in the comments and we’ll add it in here.
Here’s what we’ve come across this week:
Kara Schaff Dean caught up with the Battle here, considers the finalists here and also reflects on how the Battle brings new readers to the contenders. “As the 2010 edition draws to a close, I look forward to the opportunity to pass on the results with the same enthusiasm as last year.” Yes! Caroline Parr did a great piece on us at fredericksburg.com. Laura stayed abreast of the Battle considering color, safety, and self-reflection. Liz calling out “CharMa, CharMa” finished out Round Two here and here and attacked Round Three here and here. Sondy did a second round round-up. Glad RachReads has been enjoying the Battle! Charlotte noted Megan Whalen Turner’s match. As did her fan community. Judge Shannon Hale reflects on her decision and the inner reader. Eric’s Leader Board as of April 1.
Julie Larios got in a tad late for last week, but she’s paying attention!
Peter Sieruta thinks that next year “Fuse #8 and the BOB folks should join forces and run competitions to select the top Newbery title of all time.” He suggests some intriguing matches and a lot of the competitors would be Undeads….hmmm….
“If you prefer to limit discussion of basketball in class, you might use School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books bracket” so said the New York Times Learning Network in a post about March Madness (the basketball kind).
Caroline Parr has a terrific piece about the Battle on fredericksburg.com.
Liz B is back with terrific posts on all the matches. See them here, here, here, here, and here.
Joel Singerman is following carefully.
Happily, Laura still has plenty to say here, here, and here.
Here’s Betsy of Fuse#Eight with her recap of week two!
This Grrl Reads is paying attention she weighed in thoughtfully about Round 1 Match 8.
Christina Rodriguez gave us a shout-out.
Jessica Leader pointed out Julius Lester’s decision as an example of the Battle.
Brain Lair’s Round Two Picks.
Sondy considers the first round.
So here’s what we’ve come across this week. Let us know if we’ve overlooked your post and we’ll be sure to add it on. (We will announce the t-shirt winners tomorrow.)
Laura championed Fire fiercely here and here, Her thoughts about that match and others from this week are here, here, and here. Last year’s judge, Roger Sutton wondered about the first match. Woo-hoo! Liz B has posts on Match 1, Match 2, Match 3, Match 4, and Match 5. And Lori Calabrese weighed in too. The Book Lair did her picks. Jen Funk Weber’s got her picks all laid out. YA Book Junkie is enjoying this. Yukari Watanabe wrote that she has been “…broadcasting the Battle in Japanese for Japanese ‘English book lovers (Yousho Fans).’ I did it last year and it became so popular, I had to do it again this year.” Check it out here. Paper Tigers is spreading the word. Eric Carpenter is paying close attention here, here, and here. Wow. One of our loyal commenters, Sondy, gracefully notes that her predictions are not coming to pass. She writes, “I am enjoying, despite my disappointment in the choices so far, that there is no criteria given to the judges.” Marge Loch-Wouters has sage advice. The grand Fuse#8 considered the battle to date and gave her opinion as to what will happen next. And the Everdeen Sisters (aka Summer Ogata and Lauren Downey) are back!
Here’s what we’ve come across this week. Be sure to let us know if we’ve overlooked your post and we’ll be sure to add it on. (And check out our giveaway over on the sidebar. Starting next Friday, fifteen of you who post about the Battle will receive specially designed t-shirts. So start working on those posts!)
Our Undead Poll got the attention of biologist, professor, and blogger PZ Myers who, in his review of The Frog Scientist, mentioned the Battle and urged his readers to vote for their favorites in the poll. Book Nut also pointed out the Undead Poll and recommended, “So, go, and choose wisely my friends.” Karen Macpherson did a nice piece on the Battle in her “In this ‘March Madness,’ literally playing by the book.” Brainlair‘s busy reading contenders; hope you are too! Sonderbook‘s got her first round picks and excellent reasons for them. Bookshelves of Doom recommends you “… not to miss it, even if you’re suffering from Olympic exhaustion.” The New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center has information on which BoB contenders are available through them in Braille and/or audio. Our own SLJ ran an article about the Battle in their Extra Helpings edition, featuring the way Greenwich Country Day librarian Mary Clark highlights the Battle in her library and Eric Carpenter’s previously mentioned bracket contest. Kidsmomo is ready! They note, “If you missed it last year, DO NOT make that mistake again.” Ms. Fuse recommends office …