01 April 2011

SLJ's Battle of the Kids Books--place your bets now!

After weeks of guessing, and then watching favorites fall, the School Library Journal Battle of the Kids Books has its finalists. Kathi Appelt's Keeper, which has enjoyed a charmed journey through the rounds,  goes against the heavily favored Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud. Megan Whalen Turner's Conspiracy of Kings, back for a second chance as the Undead selection, is a fan favorite and could still run away with it all.

Is anyone else pleased to see two series books in the mix? Traditionally shunned at award time, (although, considering that The Hunger Games was the very first BoB champion in 2009, there is already precedent in this competition,) the inclusion of two series titles in this year's final is tres exciting and gratifying for fans of series fiction. I suppose RoS is technically a stand-alone with a connection to an established series, but that is a technicality I can over look for the purposes of my argument. Which is--two series books have made it to the end!

In an attempt to avoid a trifecta of failure (not having read any of the finalists for the third year running) I am currently reading Ring of Solomon. So when Richard Peck announces his winner in the Big Kahuna on Monday, I will at least have one horse in the mix.

My methodology is not very scientific, (since it is based entirely on my choosing to read one title over another,) but it stands: I'm betting on Bartimaeus.

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