Battle of the Books First Week Report

The first week of School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books has finished up, and the first half of the first round matches. I predicted these matches. How’d I do?

My success rate is only 50%. However, I am not discouraged! Because the two books I want to win the second round were the two I got right. So my hopes for the second round still stand.

What’s more, I only this week got started reading Endangered, the one book in the battle I hadn’t yet read. So I’m kind of glad it’s still around, and think I can safely say I’ll be finished before it competes again.

Once again this year, I made a display with little book covers, and I’m moving the book covers in the brackets based on who wins. (Sorry, it’s at the library. I should have taken a picture!) Losers go to the bottom, until one comes back from the dead. Today I wore my SLJ BoB t-shirt from 2010, when they gave t-shirts to anyone who blogged about the Battle.

I’ve enjoyed the judges so far. I forgive them for using The Format (see the first commenter at a Read Roger post), because they’ve had good things to say in the body of the decision.

Personally, I don’t fault the judges for praising both books in each match. They’re excellent books, okay? I appreciate that they took some time; they pointed out things about the books I hadn’t necessarily noticed. If you haven’t read the books, you’re going to find many reasons for doing so. If you have read them, you get to see them through another author’s eyes.

I do hope someone will mix it up a little and not talk about the losing book first, though.

I’m probably happiest with Margarita Engle, simply because she praised my favorite book, Code Name Verity, and quoted beautiful lines and reminded me of why I love it so much.

Speaking of judging books, (clever transition there?) today I saw that it’s really official: My name is on the ballot for next year’s Newbery Committee! Squee!

Now, mind you, there are 16 names on the ballot for only 8 positions. And voting opens next week and continues for more than a month, so I’m going to be tense about it for quite awhile. Sometime soon, I will make a post about why voting for me is a good idea and why I am a great choice for the job. For now, I’ll just beg: Any ALSC members out there, make my dream come true! Vote for me! Vote for me!

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