17 March 2011

School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids Books: the first week

Technically, not quite the first week, since it is only Thursday. But after the first two days, where I really did not have a vested interest, yesterday and today saw books that I actually read take to the arena. And they both lost! Booo! Tomorrow is the only round where I have read both contenders, a scenario that I am rectifying for Round Two. Let me go on record with a vote for One Crazy Summer.

I think this year's judges are feeling the pressure of measuring up to the stellar critiques of the previous two competitions. Because let's be honest--the BoBs are just as much about the judging as the judged. This is an opportunity to look into the minds of esteemed writers and see what they have to say about writing which is not their own. Not to mention, it is an opportunity for them to lay down a fine piece of writing themselves.  After only four days there has been one judgment handed down via a one-act play in which the books eventually decided the winner between themselves (super-original to say the least,) a wrestling match between an inner librarian and an inner writer, and an awful lot of hand wringing about having to make a decision at all. It might be crude of me, but I'm kind of hoping that one of these Matches the judge writes, "How the heck did Book A ever end up in this competition?! No comparison--Book B by a mile!" I don't suppose that's realistic (the judges may very well know each other,) but I feel that way sometimes, and reading some of the comments, many members of the audience certainly do not feel the need for delicate and equal-opportunity responses.

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