Battle of the Books Second Round Round-Up

Today the second round of School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books finished up! Even better, today I got my t-shirt!

Well, okay, maybe that was only better for me. I won a t-shirt for blogging about the Battle. Pictures to follow. I simply have to wear it to work tomorrow, since my son’s at his Dad’s and can’t take the picture tonight. Now, it turns out that when I sent them my address, I should have requested them to send the smallest size they have. But it’s okay — I can always wear it as a tunic.

I’m happier about the second round of the battle, because it turned out that, after predicting seven out of eight of the first round matches incorrectly, I guessed ALL four of the second round matches correctly.

Do I have a better feel for how the judges are picking? Am I tracking better with these judges because I love their work? Or am I just getting lucky? Well, I’m on a roll, so I’m going to guess who will win the third round, the Final Four. Though I have to admit that I am fervently hoping that either Fire or Marcelo in the Real World will come back from the dead and win it all in the final round.

Interestingly, both matches in the third round feature a nonfiction title versus a fiction title. That will be tough to judge. I think I’ll split my guesses between Team Fiction and Team Nonfiction.

Third Round Predictions:

Match One:
Charles and Emma
The Lost Conspiracy
Judge: Megan Whalen Turner

Hmm. If judges go with the book that is least like what they write, then Megan Whalen Turner would pick Charles and Emma. The Lost Conspiracy is very similar to the fabulous books Megan Whalen Turner writes — Her latest is even called A Conspiracy of Kings! Though Judge Turner’s books are less dark, both are fantasy books with intricate plots and a well-realized fantasy world.

So, Judge Turner may notice flaws in The Lost Conspiracy that weren’t obvious to any but a skilled practitioner like she is. Or maybe, like me, she’ll be turned off by the genocide and focus on revenge in the book.

However, The Lost Conspiracy is such a well-crafted book, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading Charles and Emma, so for the sake of prediction, I’m going to root for The Lost Conspiracy.

Match Two:
Marching for Freedom
Tales from Outer Suburbia
Judge: Walter Dean Myers

Phooey. I’m a huge fan of Tales from Outer Suburbia. But I somehow can’t quite foresee Walter Dean Myers not taking this opportunity to extol Marching for Freedom.

So there you have it. As I did in the first round so abysmally, I’m predicting that the judges will pick the book most like their own. I may be totally wrong.

But the fun part is finding out!

Again, I have to urge everyone to check out the Battle of the Books. The best part is hearing what these brilliant authors have to say about the books they read. Last year, I had hardly read any of the books, but the judges convinced me to do so without delay!


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