For the final round of School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books, Katharine Paterson had to decide between three books:
The Lost Conspiracy
The Frog Scientist
Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary
In my earlier post, I categorized the choice between The Lost Conspiracy and Marching for Freedom as fun versus education. With The Frog Scientist later thrown into the mix, that seemed to remain the case.
Look at Paterson describing the books: she "truly enjoyed" The Lost Conspiracy. The Frog Scientist? Inspires commentary about how "It is also a dramatic reason why wonderful informational books are vital to our children’s education."
So what did Paterson pick? Marching for Freedom! And why? "It stirred my soul in a way few books have."
And this is why you have to love Paterson. In selecting the winner, she steps beyond the entertainment/education model of what a book "should" be for younger readers and goes for the book that stirs her soul. And that has nothing to do with fiction versus nonfiction.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy