Thursday, March 20, 2014

Battle of the Kids Books

So, when I talk about Battle of the Kids Books to other people I tend to get a little...overly excited.  I can hear my voice getting louder and I can feel my whole body speeding up.  Some might say I'm fanatical.  But isn't that my job?  Shouldn't I LOVE to read new books?  And really, shouldn't you???

Here we are already in round two of my favorite book battle and I haven't mentioned it here yet! The Battle of the Kids Books or BOB is the yearly fight between this year's best books published for all ages of kids. That's what makes it interesting, all ages, all genres.  I love book covers so I can't resist showing you all the covers even if that makes this post too long.  Also, I've linked to the judges websites so that you can try to guess which book they'll vote for by what they've written.  That doesn't really work though (because sometimes they do crazy things like toss a coin!) so just use it as a way to learn about new authors.  So, here's what we have coming up in round two...
The Animal Book  by Steve Jenkins 

vs Boxers & Saints by Gene Yang

 judged by Tonya Bolden

I love The Animal Book and I love Steve Jenkins.  You should read all of his books, they're so interesting and well done, the torn paper illustrations are amazing!  Boxers and Saints is a graphic novel.  I don't like graphic novels but I'm always impressed with the ones chosen for BOB.  This one was too rough for me.  So I hope The Animal Book will win and Tonya Bolden writes non fiction probably won't.

M2: 3/24 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

vs Far Far Away by Tom McNeal 

judged by Rae Carson

Eleanor and Park was my very favorite book last year.  I tried to make as many people (over the age of...12) read it.  I convinced a few.  It's the writing that's so lovely, the characters that are so vulnerable, the plot that has parts that took my breath away and made my heart hurt.  Far Far Away is the only book in this set I'm not done with yet.  Mostly because I'm scared.  I'm afraid because Mr. Grimm tells me I should be and I believe him.  I love the characters so far though and the writing is just great.  I'll finish before these two battle and I'll probably be sad no matter what the outcome.  

M3: 3/25 Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli 

vs P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia 

 judged by Joseph Bruchac
 Hokey Pokey is the perfect book for those who "get" the other world quality of childhood.  I'm not sure that's children just yet.  I know my uncle Jon and my friend Angus would love this book for it's bike descriptions alone.  I'm not sure what kid is going to really "get" all this book is about.  The same can be said for P.S. Be Eleven, really.  I loved the girls though, these sisters who each had their own distinctly them personality and life.  The story is great and I hope there are more to make it a series.

M4: 3/26 The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata  

  vs True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp  by Kathi Appelt 

judged by Katherine Marsh

I liked The Thing About Luck just fine.  I wasn't bothered at all by all the farm talk as some people were but I didn't LOVE it.  There was something missing from the main character for me that I wanted.  Some kind of extra depth that I needed to be completely pulled in. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp was fantastic.  The racoons and their mission to protect the swamp, the car they lived in and how it all came together with the boy and his mother and their pies, oh sugar pies!  Can you tell I can't remember characters' names at all after I've read a book?

Okay, go read one of these or all of them and follow along!  It's great fun!

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