And here’s our final round of predictions for Battle of the Kids’ Books! With the end so near, we went ahead and predicted the brackets up through the Big Kahuna Round, where Bartimaeus himself (or rather, his scribe Jonathan Stroud) will rule over all:
Match 1 (March 29, Judge Maggie Stiefvater)
Between Shades of Gray vs Chime
Lisa: I was 2/4 on the last round, so my powers of divination are rather limited. For this match, I predict another win for Chime, though personally I’m still rooting for Between Shades of Gray.
Jen: Unfortunately, I have to agree with Lisa on this one. Even though I’d rather see Gray advance, it seems like self-loathing, angsty Briony has cast a spell on all the judges.
Match 2 (March 30, Judge Ron Koertge)
Drawing from Memory vs Life: an Exploded Diagram
Lisa: The judges have been so enamored with the writing in Life, I can’t see it losing here. But I’d love to be proven wrong…Drawing from Memory was the perfect reading experience at just the right length. Peet’s book could have used some of that precision and brevity.
Jen: I do like Life, but I enjoyed Drawing from Memory more. In his memories, motivations, and influences, Say has pared down his childhood with elegant brevity (and a picture is worth a thousand words), whereas Life is too sprawling in its focus for me to care as much. So, yay for Say!
Big Kahuna Round
April 2, Judge Jonathan Stroud
Lisa: Chime vs Drawing from Memory vs Okay for Now back from the Undead (I’m counting on the Mock Newbery Curse working in the Schmidt’s favor)
I have my fingers crossed for Doug Swieteck, though Drawing from Memory would be my second choice. And, at the risk of jinxing it, I’ll predict a medal for Okay for Now. After all, Bartimaeus and Doug are kindred spirits when it comes to sarcasm and dry wit.
Jen: Realistically, I can see Okay for Now to return as the Undead, (but as I have bet nothing, I lose nothing despite my wild predictions,) wouldn’t it be much more fitting if Dead End in Norvelt secured that honor? Assuming the latter, in a three way contest between Chime, Drawing from Memory, and Dead End in Norvelt, here’s how it will go down:
Overwhelmed by a fresh wave of selective amnesia and self-loathing, Briony gets bogged down in Swampsea. Jack, of Norvelt, will initially be jealous of young Say’s drive, independence, and his flat/art studio, but as crisp as Say’s memory is, his honest account is no match for Miss Volker’s hilariously embellished ones. Norvelt for the win!