Frank Cottrell Boyce's reasons for choosing No Crystal Stair over it had me shaking my head in confusion. I vehemently disagree with a couple things Boyce had to say: I don't think the treatment of torture in Code Name Verity was flip and I felt Julie's torment powerfully. I also laughed when he said the death in The Fault in Our Stars was a "nasty surprise". No it wasn't. I knew exactly what was going to happen in that book the moment I read the synopsis. I do think No Crystal Stair is a deserving book and I'm happy to see it get more recognition.
The best part of this year's Battle was the kid commentators. They came through with well written and intelligent critiques when the majority of this year's judges failed at this. I think we need to have the kids judge this from now on. They are who the books are for after all.
A close second to the kids was the wonderful graphic designs. I looked forward to seeing the depictions of the books battling more than the judges decisions.
As always the work Monica, Roxanne, Jonathan, and all the staff at SLJ put into this is very much appreciated. Looking forward to next year!