01 April 2010

And then there were two: BoB reaches the final stage

The books have been read, the hands have been wrung, and the brackets have been tossed out in disgust. After more than a month of page-turning drama, the School Library Journal Battle of the Kids Book has reached its final stage. There will be the mix-it-up fun of the Undead contender, to be announced on Friday, then all eyes will be on National Ambassador for Young Persons Literature Katherine Patterson, and her final verdict on Monday.

I made a quick reconnaissance of the stacks at work and managed to snag our copies of both finalists. This was a blessing and a pain; a blessing for me, because I felt lucky to get them both in one go. But it hurt, too--why were such awesome books still on the shelves? Someone's not doing their job......Oops. Wait. That's me.

After last year's BoB I gave in and read the winning book, The Hunger Games. I say, "gave in" because the initial premise of the book was off-putting. A reality tv show, and all those dead kids--what could possibly appeal? Of course, I was an idiot. I read the book, was wowed, and gave it as a birthday present to two friends, and recommended it to my mom. My mom put it forward to her book group, which, it is fair to say, is not in the book's core age bracket. But great literature is great literature, and they are reading Catching Fire as their next selection.

My point being--all these new recruits to Suzanne Collins' dystopian epic because of Battle of the Books. As the 2010 edition draws to a close, I look forward to the opportunity to pass on the results with the same enthusiasm as last year. I often pass on recommendations with enthusiasm (hey, it's my job!) But when it comes about because of a bit of fun--and BoB is as much about fun as recognition--then all the better.

2 April 2010

P.S. Bring out your dead! The Undead winner is revealed!

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