03/14/2011 12:27 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

SLJ's Battle of the Kids' Books

Today, sixteen acclaimed 2010 books for young readers go head to head in School Library Journal's third annual Battle of the Kids' Books. Inspired by the Morning News Tournament of Books these literary contenders are paired off bracket-style and judged by a distinguished group of writers. R. L. Stine, Richard Peck, Karen Hesse, and Laura Amy Schlitz are just some of the remarkable decision-makers in this year's exciting event. With a match taking place every week day, you can read their smart and thoughtful decisions here.

While seeing which book a particular judge decides to advance is understandably exciting, it is what they have to say about the two they are considering and how they say it that is most enthralling. Understanding the serious play that is involved, each one is considerate and clever, and it is their elegantly penned decisions that are the heart and soul of the Battle.

This year's contenders are:

Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos Keeper by Kathi Appelt They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds Trash by Andy Mulligan As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan The Cardturner by Louis Sachar The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie by Tanya Lee Stone The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner Countdown by Deborah Wiles One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

One of the creators of the event, here's what I had to say in a recent press release:

Each year I'm completely energized by the Battle of the Kids' Books. The judges always outdo themselves in smart, witty, and insightful decisions getting me to look at each contender in new ways. It is just fun to work together to keep the Battle of the Kids' Books entertaining, stimulating, and most of all-- fun.

Sponsored by HarperCollins Children's Books and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, this year's Battle of the Kids' Book is shaping up to be the best one yet.

Also at educating alice.