SLJsBoB: Getting Ready for Round Two!

The first round of School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books has finished up. I predicted exactly half of the matches correctly in both the first half and the second half.

However, up to Match 6, even though I only predicted half of the matches correctly, the one I did predict correctly was the one I’d picked to move on in Round Two, so at first it didn’t look like my picks in Round Two would change.

But a couple things have happened to change that.

First, I finished reading Endangered. Even though it plays havoc with your emotions as much as The Fault in Our Stars, it feels less manipulative as it does that. Not that I thought The Fault in Our Stars manipulated my emotions. But Endangered even less so, even though it’s every bit as weighty a book. Does that make sense?

I still want Code Name Verity to win the top bracket. But I’m reversing my pick for Endangered vs. The Fault in Our Stars. Now that I’ve read Endangered, I want it to win.

Admittedly, I still think The Fault in Our Stars or Code Name Verity, whichever one is knocked out, will win the Undead Poll. So I expect to see both of those in the Big Kahuna Round anyway. If they both get knocked out? I shudder to even think of that possibility!

But the second problem to my Second Round picks is that I hoped The One and Only Ivan would win the entire bottom bracket. This is clearly no longer going to happen.

I did, however, hope that one of Starry River of the Sky or Liar & Spy would get knocked out, despite my predictions, so I wouldn’t have to choose between the two. Well, I’m a little sorry my wish was granted.

But it does make my decision easier. No dithering here! It turns out that in every Round Two Match, there is one book I predicted correctly, and one book I didn’t. Except for Endangered (see above), I always want the book I predicted correctly in the Round One to win Round Two.

That means I want Starry River of the Sky to beat Splendors and Glooms. No question about it.

And Seraphina over No Crystal Stair. Easy-peasy choice, despite whatever judge Paul Griffin may say about it.

Round Three? If it goes as I wish, the top half is still all about Code Name Verity. In the bottom half? Well, can I cop out and say whichever of the Round Two matches I get right?

But if by some amazing miracle I guess both right, Starry River of the Sky vs. Seraphina? Well, I think Starry River is the more expertly crafted book, so I’ll go with it. But that’s one where I wouldn’t be as sad, because I did love Seraphina.

If I get the Second Round Bottom Half both wrong, I’d choose Splendors and Glooms over No Crystal Stair.

And I still want Code Name Verity to win it all!

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