20 April 2009

Battle of the Kids Books Round 2

A new week, a new round of battles in SLJ's entertaining and enlightening literary smack-down. After reading another outstanding commentary, I can see that I will have to break down and read this match's winner eventually. Especially considering my delight in long, book-stop sized books--and I don't mean poorly edited fantasies which could probably weigh in at 200-250 pages if given a proper look-over before they hit the press. I mean leisurely books, written with underutilized words like "vexed" and plenty of space for ideas to develop and characters to muse. I think of Anthony Trollope, who of course was not a children's writer, but who gave his books plenty of room to breathe. To me, a tome is the intellectual equivalent of a soak in a bubble bath, giving a tired over accelerated brain the chance to slow down, unwind, and enjoy a massage, which you can't do when operating in a world of tweets and scroll bars on the bottom of a TV screen. Judge Tim Wynne-Jones put it quite well when he writes, "And yes, it’s a marathon to read, by today’s standards, but that’s why it’s a book, rather than, let’s say a video game or a tweet. Books are what we turn to for the heavy lifting!"

Time to get in shape.

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