Skip to main content

SLJ BoB: Round One Reactions: Part One

I know I said I was going to wait until the end of Round One and only do one reaction post combined with my Round Two hopes and predictions this year. But then I realized that would be the longest post ever and that  there's a reason I always do two Round One posts. This works better for me.

It is a good thing that BoB usually aligns perfectly with my kids' three week Spring break. That way I don't have to feel guilty about checking it first thing in the morning rather than starting school.

Battle One Winner:
I was counting on Kenneth Oppel to make this decision. I get why people love Wonder and want to get it into the hands of kids. I have done my share of pushing that book-with mixed results. Bomb is an extraordinary work of narrative non-fiction, riveting and informative. As Oppel said in his decision: Intercutting multiple plot lines, Sheinkin tells of the story of the making of the atomic bomb with all the urgency and pacing of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie...Best of all, Sheinkin’s book is filled with all those small details that are the lifeblood of the best stories — and the details that novelists kill for when creating fiction! 

Battle Two Winner:
I was a little bit scared of checking the results for this one. I was going to be beyond displeased if it went the other way. I can't say I was impressed with Engle's written judgement despite my relief that she chose this book. That's because I felt like this was a contest between true excellence and good-but-not-special. I do like how Engle pointed out she was able to find humor, mercy, and poetry in Code Name Verity despite the horror and tragedy.  Best of all, there are traces of poetry.  In one notable dream scene, the statement, “I just want to go on flying and flying in the moonlight” made me smile gratefully, especially since the dream moon is green.  On page 28, the description of a pilot’s aerial view of Scotland is a passage so breathtaking that I felt as if perhaps I actually had received a volume of poetry after all.  And on page 252, I found my favorite line in the entire book:  “Must be lovely flying in peacetime.”

Battle Three Winner:
Kathi Appelt set the bar for decision writing high with her wonderful comparison of Endangered and Three Times Lucky. I love how she found the things they had in common and chose the book she thought did those things better. In many ways, both books are a celebration of the impressive tenacity of children.  Mo and Sophie make us think of the human spirit as a treasure. But at the end of the day, it’s Sophie who does this best.  At least for this reader.  In her overwhelming devotion to Otto, we see the enduring possible, even in the face of overwhelming cruelty. I predicted she would pick Three Times Lucky but was very happy to be wrong as I wanted to see Endangered move on.

Battle Four Winner:
This is really not at all shocking. I think it almost unfair to have this book in any competition of this sort and I like how Deb Caletti sort of pointed that out. I was surprised to find that she had never read his work, but not surprised that it had the effect it seems to have on everyone but me.
And then, something happened.  I care about books too much to tell you what, but it’s enough to say that right around page one hundred, things got serious.  Things got real.  Really real.  It was as if I was walking along on the ocean floor, tra la la, and then the floor fell away.  I had to set the book down and catch my breath.  I was a little afraid to pick it up again.  It was night.  I was in bed.  I said to my husband, “Well, he did it.”
“What?” Husband said.
“He made a Nerdfighter out of me.”

Round One continues on Monday with the battle between Jepp, Who Defied the Stars and Starry River of the Sky. My picks and predictions for the rest of Round One are here.


April said…
The Fault In Our Stars didn't make me a nerd fighter either. I am just a nerd peruser.
Brandy said…
Lol. I like it. We should start our own group of semi-but-not-really-fans. That will be our names.
April said…
Haha. Yes! We watched John Green on Craig Ferguson last night and Jeff asked, "So, is he like one of your favorite authors?" And I said. "No. I am more of a fan of him than his writing." That describes my sentiments well.

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein


On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.