January 20, 2016

Let the Battle of the Kids’ Books Begin!

Written by Deborah B. Ford

BOBEach year our sister publication, School Library Journal, selects 16 books for their annual Battle of the Kids’ Books (fondly known as BOB) competition. Different from other “awards,” they actively seek to balance the list with books that are diverse in the following fields: racial and ethnic, genre, audience and publisher. By the same token, they work to recruit a slate of similarly diverse judges. Today is the big announcement. Last year’s winner was Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin. Below is the list of this year’s book selections. The Battle begins March 7. Stay tuned to SLJ Battle of the Books Blog and JLG for the details.


High School BobPurchase our Battle of the Kids’ Books packages that include all the competing, highly-reviewed books at a fantastic price—some at nearly 50% off what you would pay elsewhere! Click here for the order form.



Middle School BOBPlus: Get a FREE SLJ Battle of the Kids’ Books brackets poster with each package purchased!





HOOSE, Phillip. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club. 192p. Farrar Straus Giroux. 2015. ISBN 9780374300227. JLG Category: C : Advanced Readers (Grades 6-9).

SHUSTERMAN, Neal. Challenger Deep. illus. by Brendan Shusterman. 320p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2015. ISBN 9780061134111.

BROWN, Don. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. 96p. Houghton Mifflin. 2015. ISBN 9780544157774. JLG Category: GH : Graphic Novels High (Grades 9 & Up).

RYAN, Pam Muñoz. Echo. 592p. Scholastic. 2015. ISBN 9780439874021. JLG Level: C+ : Advanced Readers (Grades 6–9).

WILLIAMS-GARCIA, Rita. Gone Crazy in Alabama. 304p. HarperCollins/Amistad. 2015. ISBN 9780062215888. JLG Category:  B+ : Upper Elementary & Junior High (Grades 5-7).

STEAD, Rebecca. Goodbye Stranger. 304p. Wendy Lamb. 2015. ISBN 9780375990984. JLG Category: C : Advanced Readers (Grades 6-9).

SCHLITZ, Laura Amy. The Hired Girl. 400p. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763678180. JLG Category: C+ : Advanced Readers (Grades 6-9).

KING, A. S. I Crawl Through It. 336p. Little Brown. 2015. ISBN 9780316334099. JLG Category: YM : Mature Young Adults (Grades 11 & Up).

SELZNICK, Brian. The Marvels. illus. by author. 672p. Scholastic. 2015. ISBN 9780545448680. JLG Category: GM : Graphic Novels Middle (Grades 5-8).

SHEINKIN, Steve. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. 384p. Roaring Brook. 2015. ISBN 9781596439528. JLG Category: HH : History – High (Grades 10 & Up).

NELSON, Marilyn. My Seneca Village. 98p. Namelos. 2015. ISBN 9781608981960.

OPPEL, Kenneth. The Nest. illus. by Jon Klassen. 256p. Simon & Schuster. 2015. ISBN 9781481432320. JLG Category: B : Upper Elementary & Junior High (Grades 5-8).

STEVENSON, Noelle. Nimona. illus. by author. 272p. HarperTeen. 2015. ISBN 9780062278234. JLG Category: GH : Graphic Novels High (Grades 9 & Up).

PINKNEY, Andrea Davis. Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound. 176p. Roaring Brook. 2015. ISBN 9781596439733. JLG Category: NM+ : Nonfiction Middle + (Grades 5-8).

ANDERSON, M.T. Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. 464p. Candlewick. 2015. ISBN 9780763668181. JLG Category: HH : History – High (Grades 10 & Up).

SHABAZZ, Ilyasah and Kekla Magoon. X: A Novel. 384p. Candlewick. 2015. ISBN 9780763669676. JLG Category: HH : History – High (Grades 10 & Up).

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Deborah B. Ford

Deborah B. Ford

Deborah B. Ford, JLG’s Director of Library Outreach, is an award-winning library media specialist and international speaker with almost thirty years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools. Traveling across North America, she does workshops, library coaching, and professional development for school and public libraries. Deborah is the author of JLG's Booktalks to Go @ SLJ. She also maintains an award-winning coordinating online resource at Contact her at Follow her on Twitter @jlgdeborahford.

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