Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thoughts on Round 2

Um... it's Thursday already? Guess it's time to weigh in on the Battle of the (Kids') Books. Here are my (brief) thoughts on the winners. Check out Liz's thoughts on the matches because they are much more complete than my own. Plus, she made up a BotKB drinking game. WIN.

Match 1 pitted The Trouble Begins at 8 against Octavian Nothing Vol. 2 with judge Tim Wynne-Jones presiding. Octavian was the winner. No real surprise there. Everyone hearts Octavian. I still have no desire to pick it up.

Judge Wynne-Jones says this about Octavian:

I cannot say that I gobbled up Octavian Nothing, The Kingdom on the Waves. I read the first half intermittently over a three-month period. I could put it down. But the important thing is that I couldn’t leave it down. It demanded to be read (albeit in a respectful tone, without raising its voice).

Match 2 pitted Chains against Tender Morsels with judge Coe Booth presiding. Chains was victorious (yaaay!) and Coe Booth said this:

As a reader. I want to go on a journey with a character. I want to care about him or her. While Tender Morsels is bold and original and thoroughly memorable, I cared about Isabel. And for that reason, my vote has to go to Chains.

Okay, I haven't read Tender Morsels, but I definitely agree with Judge Booth that Chains took me on a journey with a character I cared about. I loved the book and I'm happy to see that it's getting recognition in this contest since I feel like it was so overlooked in this year's awards.

Match 3 pitted The Hunger Games against We Are the Ship, with judge John Green presiding. Ohhh, thank you, John, for choosing my favorite book of 2008 as your winner! I have high hopes that The Hunger Games might go all the way (and I, along with hundreds of others, would be delighted if that happened!). Judge Green said that The Hunger Games was "the most fun I've had reading in years". And I have to agree.

And Match 4 was announced this morning. It pitted Graceling against The Lincolns with judge Nancy Werlin presiding. I would really have liked to see a Katniss/Katsa throwdown, but alas. It is not to be. Still, I can't begrudge The Lincolns its win, especially when Judge Werlin had this to say:

Reading The Lincolns once or twice isn't enough. I want to study it. I want to flip through it randomly. I need to buy extra copies for friends. I read choice bits aloud to my husband, and soon enough he was reading over my shoulder, and then with awe we were poring over Lincoln's handwriting (his very handwriting!) on the Gettsyburg Address – and then, in the next breath, considering exactly why it was that you couldn’t consider this brilliant, but very pragmatic and ambitious man to be a saint. The material was presented clearly, beautifully, fully, and with respect for the reader’s intelligence and understanding. Reading the book was utterly absorbing, cover to cover.

Now we're getting down to the nitty gritty... Which book will be the champion of them all? Time will tell... As for me, I'm headed off to work. What did you think of this week's matches?