What started with 64 wonderful books has now been narrowed down to just two. Smile survived a battering from Calvin and Hobbes, and Escaping the Giant Wave won on the second vote — the first was a tie! — against The PS Brothers. There have been a lot of surprises (for me) in this whole thing, but it’s a good reminder that not everyone loves the same books for the same reasons. The PS Brothers held on for so long because the kids had heard it this year as a read-aloud, and I think read-aloud books take on a special place in the hearts of the listeners. Peg Kehret’s body of work, including Escaping the Giant Wave, is also loved by most third through fifth graders at the school, so I think she had an added boost. Raina Telgemeier’s books, Smile and Sisters, along with Calvin and Hobbes, dominated their brackets, mirroring the great growth in graphic novels for younger readers in the past few years.
We’ll vote on the final two to determine a winner later today, and I’ll also have the kids fill out a survey to see if they have ideas for what I could do next time with it. The big winners in this whole thing? Reading! Books! Fun!
The final two:
Escaping the Giant Wave (Peg Kehret) vs. Smile (Raina Telgemeier)