It’s nearly time for School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books! Sixteen books vie for the honor of a virtual gold medal. The SLJ list is always an interesting mix of young adult and children’s books, fiction and nonfiction, and the brackets make it challenging to judge (many of the judges devote considerable space in their posts to wringing their hands over the difficulty of choosing between, say, Bomb and The Fault in Our Stars) and impossible to predict.
The first round of the battle matches books alphabetically, which means that The Animal Book is up against All the Truth That’s In Me for the first battle. Now I haven’t read All the Truth That’s in Me, but based on the blurbs, I am pretty sure that no two books could be more different. Good luck, Vaunda Nelson!
I think judge Malinda Lo has the toughest assignment with two of the best books on the list: Cynthia Kadohata’s The Thing about Luck and Elizabeth Wein’s Rose Under Fire.
I still have several books to read before the Battle begins on March 10, but I do plan to have them all finished by then.
I am also working on the 2014 YALSA Hub Reading Challenge. For this challenge, you commit to reading 25 of the titles on their list of eligible books (from many of the ALA Youth Media Awards and different ALA book lists) by June 22. Titles you’ve read previously don’t count, and even though there are a lot of eligible titles on the list, I still struggled to come up with 25 books I wanted to read this year. Several of the diversity or “niche” awards aren’t included on the list of eligible books, and I wish I knew why. There must be a reason! I’ve emailed The Hub to ask.
I do love that this list includes so many graphic novels and a fair bit of nonfiction. I will be reading as many of those titles as possible. I also love that it includes audiobooks, though I have to say that my local libraries never purchase any of the Odyssey or Amazing Audiobooks titles. Really makes me want an Audible subscription!
There are even a few books that overlap between the SLJ Battle of the Books list and The Hub Reading Challenge!