Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SLJ's Battle of the Kids' Books Contest Leader Board and (partial) Round Two Preview

So eight matches completed and lots of surprises. Compared to last year’s, the judges’ decisions tended to match the majority of contestants’ guesses more often this year. Here's a look at the point totals for all the contestants. Remember first round matches were worth one point each. Round 2 matches are worth two points, so it's still anyone's game.

Leader Board

1. Paige Y. - 7

2. grrlpup - 6

2. desirous of everything - 6

2. delzey - 6

2. The Brain Lair - 6

6. jpetroroy - 5

6. Nancy W - 5

6. Hannah - 5

6. Alys - 5

6. nico - 5

6. Amanda - 5

6. AL - 5

6. Cecilia - 5

6. Mr. H - 5

6. Ceane Willis - 5

6. bsx - 5

6. LibraryLady - 5

6. Bigfoot - 5

19. goddessothestax - 4

19. mmmarci - 4

19. steven - 4

19. rewrite - 4

19. Villis - 4

19. R___ G____ - 4

19. c18gi - 4

19. maggie - 4

19. Mark Flowers - 4

19. katz library - 4

19. Sam Bloom - 4

19. Erin B - 4

19. Chris - 4

19. Rachel - 4

33. Erin FB - 3

33. alybee - 3

33. DaNae Leu - 3

33. Julia - 3

33. rgn - 3

33. Sondy - 3

33. Becky White - 3

33. Jen B. - 3

33. Doret - 3

42. Travis "Scope Notes" Jonker -2

42. eml59b - 2

42. Kevin D - 2

42. AmyC - 2

46. maryclareog - 1

46. CharsWeb - 1

As you can see Paige is currently in the lead with 7 points. Her one miss was One Crazy Summer, a mistake she and 44 others made when choosing the most decorated book of 2010 over The Odyssey.

The distribution of points looks to be fairly “bell curvy” which is nice. With round increasing in value each round everyone still has a chance. (Last year’s eventual champion only had 4 points after round one so hang in there.

Round Two Preview (part 1)

Match 1 Laura Amy Schlitz judging The Cardturner vs. Countdown

Tomorrow morning marks the beginning of round two with Judge Laura Amy Schlitz deciding between The Cardturner and Countdown. I love both of these books and would be happy to see either move on to the semifinal round. Fifteen contestants thought Countdown would move on from this round and eleven predicted it would be The Cardturner which would prove triumphant. I can't wait to see what goes into Schlitz's decision tomorrow. Will the documentary qualities of Countdown hinder or help its chances? What about Sachar's fantastical resolution to The Cardturner? Will his fellow Newbery Medal recipient find it off putting or enchanting? Does Judge Schlitz play bridge? Is there a secret Newbery Medal winners' club with its own handshake and secret rites which might oblige Schilitz to go with The Cardturner?

Match 2 Naomi Shihab Nye judging The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie vs. Keeper

I am not familiar with Judge Nye's work (please recommend a good starting point!) but according to goodreads, she is both a novelist and a poet. If one was trying to predict the winner of this matchup based on expectations and similarities to the judges own work one would undoubtedly presume that Judge Nye will side with the lyrical prose offered by Applet in Keeper. Twenty-one of the bracket challenge participants thought so as well as they advanced Keeper in their brackets. Five others, however, thought that Nye might go with team nonfiction and pick Stone's The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie. Stranger things have happened. Since Barbie won its last matchup I've been thinking more about the book. Does anyone else have a problem with Stone's use of the accounts quoted and summarized in the book which were apparently emailed to her by the subjects themselves? How acceptable/widespread is this practice when researching contemporary phenomenon? From the descriptions of the subjects provided by Stone, it seemed to me that most subjects were from very similar social situations and/or lines of work. I'm not surprised that a lot of librarians responded to Stone's call for submissions but does this type of open call really reach all the possible social strata which may have been affected by Barbie in one way or another? The other obvious problem with this type of research is how trustworthy the information Stone received this way might be. I am very intersested to hear if anyone else had issues with this while reading Barbie.

I will try to preview the final to matches on round two this weekend. Expect another leader board update at the completion of round two.


C. Cackley said...

My favorite novel by Nye is Habibi, her book about a Palestinian-American teen who moves to Jerusalem with her family. When I was in high school, I also really enjoyed her poetry collections This Same Sky, What Have You Lost? and Salting the Ocean.

Paige Y. said...

I also really liked Habibi. It has a great first line (Something like "The day Liliana Abbud (sp?) tasted her first kiss, her father announced they were moving")

Wow, in the lead with 7 correct. Unfortunately, I picked One Crazy Summer to go all the way and I missed the first battle of the second round, so I'll fall off the leaderboard pretty quickly. But it was fun while it lasted.