Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

Battle of the (Kids’) Books


While I read a number of periodicals that review children’s and young adults’ books, the two that I rely upon the most are The Horn Book and School Library Journal. Roger Sutton, the editor in chief of The Horn Book, is one of the first judges in “The Battle of the (Kids’) Books that is on the School Library Journal blog which can be found at School Library Journal’s website. A bracket is set up that pairs off sixteen of last year’s best books, and noted authors and specialists in children’s literature discuss the merits of the books as they go head-to-head.

The first pairing, Round One/Match One is Octavian Nothing, Vol. II by M.T. Anderson and Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls. Sutton describes the virtues and weaknesses of each book eloquently. Middle School readers will by enticed to try these just by reading his summaries. Round One/Match Two pits The Graveyard Book (2009 Newbery Award winner) by Neil Gaiman against The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West by Sid Fleischman. Jon Scieszka, named the first “National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature” by the Librarian of Congress, judged that round. Check out the website to see which books survive the battle! You will definitely discover some great reading along the way…

(While you’re over at the School Library Journal website, be sure to check out the article on great stories to share with children. These are read-aloud classics!)

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