Next up in the SLJ Battle of the Books: YA fantasy Graceling moves on, leaving The Underneath behind.
And Tamora Pierce becomes the bravest judge thus far.
No, really. Most judges praise both books; then make their decision.
Pierce flat-out points flaws in The Underneath*: a meandering story line, loss of dramatic tension, a middle-grade book with YA elements. (She does praise the beautiful language.) I'm not saying I agree or disagree with Pierce; I am saluting her, standing on my chair and applauding and cheering, for taking a critical approach to this Battle. I was beginning to feel we'd have too much of a love-fest, and would soon have judges talking about flipping coins.
*What about Rachel Cohn and her statements about Frankie? She calls both books excellent, and phrases almost all of what she says in what she personally likes/doesn't like about Frankie, rather than the book itself; and that the Ship ultimately triumphed because of the artwork.
© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy