Clever children’s author Jon Scieszka’s role as Children’s Book Ambassador for School Library Journal is surely noticeable in a new program that kicks off today: SLJ’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books!
Scieszka is one of a panel of 15 authors who will preside over the event. He apparently immediately made his influence quickly felt by knocking the Newbery winner of this year, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, out of the running.
” The online contest kicks off today with the first of four elimination rounds, pitting 16 of last year’s best books for young people against one another in a winner-takes-all showdown (think college basketball’s March Madness). The winner, which will be selected by Lois Lowry, the author of the Newbery Medal–winning The Giver, will be announced on Wednesday, May 6.
“SLJ’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books is the brainchild of three educators: Monica Edinger and Roxanne Feldman of the Dalton School in New York City and Jonathan Hunt, an elementary school librarian in Modesto, CA. The competition was inspired by the Morning News’ Tournament of Books, an annual competition featuring the previous year’s best novels for adults.”
I highly suggest subscribing to SLJ’s entertaining tournament blog here! As for me, I’m going to scramble there now to learn what prompted Sciescka to deal The Graveyard Book that fatal blow. (OK, I peeked — Scieszka likes Gaiman’s work but is a bit tired of gothic-tinged fantasy, and prefers perennial favorite Sid Fleischman’s The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West. Fleischman seems to have become a biography fan following his well-received bio of Harry Houdini.)