Thursday, May 07, 2009

SLJ BoB: Judge Lowry, You Do Not Disappoint

Plus? Your decision has firmly placed you in my list of "top five children's authors with whom I'd like to have a drink and talk books and other stuff."

First, you're Team Bear. You're so Team Bear you dated a Bear!

Second, FINALLY, some flat-out honesty. None of this wishy-washy "great books shake up our expectations" or "my teen self would have loved this book so much it would have married it and had it's babies". Instead, we get "maturely, I am basing my decision solely on petulance, vengeance, reverse nepotism, and payola."

Petulance, vengeance, reverse nepotism, payola. That, Dear Readers, is what real life is about.

Third, Judge Lowry names names. Oh, Linda Sue Park, if only things had been different on Jeopardy, this BoB would have been different. It's amazing how everything connects.

So, who won?

Katniss beat up Octavian, took his violin and snapped those strings and tossed it aside. But Octavian understands, I'm sure; he studied the classics, after all, and realizes that Katniss is a modern day Theseus.

Bonus points: for all those who thought, "Oh, The Hunger Games is "just" a popular book" and dismissed it, M.T. Anderson uses his Octavian-smarty-pants language and big words to show it is not just a popular book. It is indeed about "a central and real and deeply troubling question -- to what extent is compassion merely a weakness -- and kindness merely an evolutionary flaw? -- that question is played out quite directly through the action, embodied directly in the plot in scene after scene".

Hm, that reminds me of something else. What is it? Oh, yeah. Finnegan's Wake: drinking song and fun at a party or the entire cycle of life and death, and the resurrection of the whole universe?

I don't know about you, but I've had a ton of fun. All joking aside, the Finnegan's Wake example is accurate for many of us who love books. Sometimes, we just sit back and enjoy the book; but other times, we find all this meaning and depth and substance and OMFG isn't it great to share it with others who have the same passion? Isn't it great to read the responses from others who care about books and literacy and story?

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I loved it. And when I grow up, I want to MT Anderson. The only thing I'd complain about and I'd REALLY complain, is the stupid website. All the conversation about the contest seemed to happen elsewhere, and I think it was because the commenting system was so messed up.

Julie said...

Lowry's explanation of her decision was hilarious, wasn't it, Liz?! This is exactly why I love hanging around with kids book writers.

I would have chosen Anderson's book. But I heard him talk about The Hunger Games last July, long before any Battle of the Books began - he was recommending it to everyone. So his comments are not just gracious and intelligent, but very sincere. He's such a smart guy, and every bit as funny in person as Lowry is.

It's a great time for kids books, isn't it, with such wonderful writers around?

Melissa said...

Yes, yes, and yes. Can I be invited to the dinner with you and Lois Lowry? She seems like a completely awesome person.

(Also, I loved her post, but I thought the comments were hilarious!)

SLJ BoB Battle Commander said...

We were SO frustrated with the commenting problems at the site and have our fingers crossed (all twenty of them) that by next year all will have been fixed.