Monday, March 30, 2009

Erdrich's PORCUPINE YEAR in SLJ's "Battle of the (Kids') Books"

School Library Journal launched their first annual "Battle of the (Kids') Books" today. Among the contenders for "the Baddest Book of Them All" is Louise Erdrich's The Porcupine Year. The judges selected sixteen books they deem "the very best" published in 2008.

I'm not at all sure how this will work. Take a look at the bracket. Porcupine Year is matched up with The Hunger Games.

NOTE: Hunger Games is not about King Arthur as previously said here. That was an error on my part, pointed out in a comment (below). Hunger Games is "a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death" according to the Publisher's Weekly review.

According to info at SLJ, the pairings are random. Forgive my lack of sports knowledge. Is that how the Sweet Sixteen is done? Random?

So... in that bracket, it looks like author Ellen Wittlinger will choose between Porcupine Year and The Hunger Games. Reading through the blogosphere, there's a lot of cheering going on for this Battle of the (Kids') Books competition. There is some resistance, too. One blogger writes that the same books are getting more attention, that there are other books that could benefit from attention.

I'm glad Louise's book is included. It is definitely a terrific read. If you want a signed copy, order one from her store, Birchbark Books.


Anonymous said...

To clarify--the Sweet Sixteen is what's left from the original field of 64 teams. Those teams are chosen and while there are rules, it's sometimes seems as if it's not totally objective. Every year there are complaints from those teams that don't make the bracket.

Anonymous said...

What book should it go up against? How would you have set up "the bracket"?

Debbie Reese said...

Anonymous at 8:15PM,

My questions about the bracket were not meant to suggest that I don't like the pairings. Given the wide range of the books, I can't imagine a set of rules that would judiciously pit one against another.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify:
Hunger Games is a dystopian novel where teens compete game show style for their lives. Here Lies Arthur (another book in the BoB) is a new telling of the legend of Arthur.

Rob said...

FYI, the NCAA brackets are seeded. The 1st-ranked team plays the 64th-ranked team...the 2nd-ranked team plays the 63rd-ranked team...and so on.