Battle of the Books

School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books quickly approaches!

What is Battle of the Books? It pits sixteen books against each other in a winner-take-all battle. Fiction goes up against nonfiction, fantasy takes on historical fiction, as judges read two books, weigh them carefully, and determine which is the weightier book that deserves to advance to the next round. Two books enter, one book leaves. The winners of that first round advance, and so on, and so on, until there is one winner. Full details are at the BoB FAQ.

Half the fun is seeing the books battle; the other half of the fun is reading the decision by the judges. The judges have not yet been announced, but they are also a terrific group of writers. The brackets have been announced. I personally prefer not to fill out the form and make my guesses until after the judges have been announced.

The schedule: Undead Poll Opens: February 15 (this is the chance to vote to bring back into the final round a book that was voted out early); Judges Revealed: February 22; Undead Poll Closes: March 6; Opening Ceremony: March 8; Round One: March 14 – March 23; Round Two: March 24 – March 29; Round Three: March 30 – March 31; and the Big Kahuna Decision: April 4. Stay tuned for my commentary, like I did in 2010 and 2009.

The sixteen books selected to be this year’s contenders:

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynn Rae Perkins; 

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar;

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner (my review);

Countdown by Deborah Wiles (my review);

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan;

The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie by Tanya Lee Stone;

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch;

Keeper by Kathi Appelt;

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds;

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (my review);

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (my review);

Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos;

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz;

They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (my review);

Trash by Andy Mulligan; and

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

4 thoughts on “Battle of the Books

  1. I’m really looking forward to this year’s Battle, though this is the first year that there’s one book I really really want to win: A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS. (And it sounds like you’re a huge Eugenides fan, too.) This will make me mighty disgruntled if it’s knocked out in the first round, like almost all my favorites were last year. Still, I do have hopes for the Undead Poll. Can the fans on Livejournal/Sounis outvote John Green’s internet fans? Here’s hoping! Or better yet would be if COK isn’t even dead at that point in the contest.

    One thing’s for sure: It’s going to be lots of fun watching it play out.


  2. Michelle, it is a sad reflection on my current reading schedule that I won’t even pretend I’m going to read the whole list. While it is more fun when you know the book, since it’s authors judging — and being very transparent about their reasons — it still is fun even when you don’t know the book.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s