It’s time for the Battle of the Kids’ Books competition! This annual contest, sponsored by School Library Journal, features 16 of the best children’s and young adult books published during the past year. This year, the contest includes picture books for the first time. The judges, chosen by SLJ, are some of the most well-known authors in the field. Round One begins on March 13, with the winner announced on March 31. For more information, including links to the competition bracket, click here.
The Katz Library conducts its own Battle of the Kids’ Books, where students are the judges. If you’re interested in participating, stop by the MD Reading Room during Readers’ Forum (Fridays during D or E periods). For more information on HM’s Battle of the Kids’ Books – or any other MD reading program – please contact Ms. Ricker.
Here’s a look at this year’s contenders:
When her university professor father is sent by the Gestapo to a concentration camp, seven-year-old Anna travels the Polish countryside with the mysterious Swallow Man during World War II.
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
Chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square.
Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Aspiring to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school's track team, gifted runner Ghost finds his goal challenged by a tragic past with a violent father.
Luna, whose magical abilities are emerging, was raised in the forest by a witch, a swamp monster, and a dragon, but when a young man from the Protectorate is determined to kill the witch, Luna must use her magic to protect her family.
On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, fourteen-year-old Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.
Makoons by Louise Erdrich
Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome. (Sequel to Chickadee)
March. Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
A first-hand graphic novel account of the author's lifelong struggle for civil and human rights continues to cover his involvement in the Freedom Vote and Mississippi Freedom Summer campaigns, and the Selma to Montgomery march.
Rescuing a mystic healer who is being violently pursued by a rogue monk in thirteenth-century Provensa, scrappy matchmaker Botille is challenged to protect the entire village against the monks' crusade to burn heretics.
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner and Gareth Hinds
Documents the true story of the legendary samurai who was raised in the household of the enemies who killed his father before being sent to live in a monastery where, against the odds, he learned and perfected his fighting skills.
Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet
Presents an account of E.B. White's life and career through personal letters, photographs, family ephemera, and original artwork, while offering glimpses into the origins of his iconic works.
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there is something extraordinary in store for both of them.
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder. But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name . . . a name that is sure to light up the sky.
Wet Cement by Bob Raczka
Who says words need to be concrete? This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways. Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write!
When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad
Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. . . . The seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.
When her grandmother is kidnapped, Pinmei, accompanied by her friend Yishan, embarks on a search for the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night, which she intends to give the cruel Tiger Emperor in exchange for her grandmother.
(All book descriptions provided by the publisher)