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Global Nods…Battle Round 1, Matches 5 & 6 March 23, 2012

Posted by ccbooks in Uncategorized.
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One of my favorite things about the Battle of the Kid’s Books is that the organizers usually do a pretty good job of picking books that are diverse. My one quibble with the list this year was that there was no book with a Latino protagonist or themes. Oh well, I guess you can’t have something like The Dreamer every year!

These two matches highlight the global picture of the Battle: a memoir by a Japanese illustrator, the story of an Indian-American girl exploring India, an epic look at African-American history and the experiences of a Vietnamese girl as she adjusts to America. So many opportunities for kids to see their lives reflected in fiction and non-fiction.

“I closed the book with the same feeling one has when a movie ends, the lights go up and, holding your empty popcorn box, you turn to your friend and say, “That was good,” before heading out into the squinty-eyed daylight of the real world.”

–Barbara O’Connor

YES. O’Connor perfectly described how I felt upon finishing The Grand Plan to Fix Everything. I enjoyed it, thought it was charming, with a great setting and kooky characters, but I didn’t go rushing out to tell everyone I knew about it. I’m thrilled that O’Connor chose Drawing from Memory to win this round. I very rarely buy children’s non-fiction unless it is for my classroom library, but this is one that I added to my personal collection. It’s that lovely.

“For instance, I happen to like jujubes more than chocolate. This doesn’t mean I don’t like chocolate, it just means that given a choice between the two I would prefer to eat a box of jujubes than a Kit Kat.” –Sarah Weeks

Thank you, Sarah Weeks, for giving us a shorthand for talking about our favorites in this contest (It’s my jujube!). She also picked the book that my students still talk about after reading for our Newbery Club back in the fall. Inside Out and Back Again has come up in comparison to picture books, non-fiction about wars and I fully expect it to come up again when we study poetry soon. I can definitely see that it has stuck with my third graders, even if some of them admitted to liking it at first only because “It’s short.” Heart and Soul never really stuck with me, so I am very pleased with the outcomes of these two matches!

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