SLJ’s Battle of the Kids Books 2011

With yesterday’s announcements it is easy to think that we are now done with 2010 books and on to those of 2011.  But not so fast.  This year’s Battle of the Kids Books (more commonly known as the BoB) is revving up! The contenders were finalized in December, the judges are all in place, a new blog in the works, and an official announcement is forthcoming any day now. Just as there were surprises galore at yesterday’s Youth Media Awards press conference, count on a few when the BoB’s 2011 list of contenders is unveiled.  While waiting (and it won’t be long now, I promise!) do check out last year’s blog for more on how it all works.  For example, from the BoB FAQ, here’s how we come up with the list:

Each year Monica, Roxanne, and Jonathan start emailing each other in the fall with numerous versions of the list of contenders.  The first year, even before we made up our long list, we spent a lot of time considering criteria.  For example, how would a picture book fare against a YA novel?  Recognizing that there had to be some form of unity among the books on the roster we decided that the “fairest” thing was to select titles for a similar audience (middle grade, middle school, and high school readers). Once that was settled we spent many weeks working on a very long list that was winnowed down to the final 16 contenders in early December.

As to which titles finally are included each year – we won’t bore you with the details of the dozens of emails and negotiations between the three of us.  Suffice it to say that we look both objectively and subjectively, considering fan favorites, awards, stars, and our own critical views, keeping in mind that no matter which two books are paired together no single title can be an obvious winner.

Of course, as is inevitable when such a list is made, blood is shed; each of the three of us has had to leave behind favorites on this particular battlefield, but we always end up pleased with the range and diversity of the final list.


Filed under Battle of the (Kids') Books

13 responses to “SLJ’s Battle of the Kids Books 2011

  1. Huzzah! Can’t wait.


  2. DaNae Leu

    Yippee. I hope I’ve most of them, because I will never catch up. That is why you should drop hints early in December. Maybe a “good choice” in the comments on GoodREads when someone reads a contender. And by someone I mean me.


  3. fairrosa

    DaNae, actually, we will be announcing it quite soon and the matches won’t be happening until at least a couple of months from now. So — we hope you and many others will have ample time to catch up! Once the list is announced, we hope that many libraries and bookstores will make copies available for their patrons/customers!


  4. Kristin McIlhagga

    Yay!!! I read along last year, and am looking forward to reading titles ahead of time this year. Considering how interesting yesterday’s awards announcements were, I’ll be fascinated to see what you come up with for lists and also pairings. Can’t wait!


  5. Sam Bloom

    Yeah! Can’t wait!


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  7. Madeleine Keller

    WE would like to receive emails and updates.


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  9. Ah, can’t wait for the official announcement for the start of the Battle of the Kids Books. I’m eager to get a look at the brackets, and make my predictions from there!


  10. I hope, I hope the list comes up soon!

    I’m going into internet outer darkness in a few days. It would be helpful if the list was posted before I fall off the grid, so I can use this prime reading time to catch up.


  11. Yay! I am hoping the list will be posted soon enough for me to catch up and get most of the titles read! I’m hoping that my work on reading the Heavy Medal shortlist will bear fruit! But I do want to move on to 2011 books, so I hope you will post before I get too excited about new titles!

    Of course, I already know which one I want to win: A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS! :) I’m hoping that since Jonathan spoke up for it so strongly on Heavy Medal, and Megan Whalen Turner was a judge last year, it will be included.

    However, I’m afraid what I want to win may be jinxed…


  12. I don’t know yet when the list will be unveiled, but I do know everyone involved is eager for it to be soon. Just need to polish off a few behind the scene details still.


  13. I can hardly wait! I keep checking and checking! I’m going to figure out a way to get my students involved in this too!


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