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August 10, 2016


Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

Kidlit March Madness

A few weeks ago, talk in the office turned to sports. Not all of us are sports fans, but there are a few die-hard basketball fans who were thrilled that the NCAA March Madness games were around the corner. We talked some more and realized that it might be fun to pit some children’s books head to head. If a volume of Harry Potter went up against a John Green novel, which would come out on top? What about Divergent and The Hunger Games? A little more conversation and we decided to try our own KidLit March Madness Tournament.

We reviewed a couple ways to set it up. Should we use bestsellers? A nominations list? Or our own personal bookshelves? We finally decided to use books from awards lists. After selecting some of our favorite books from the Caldecott, Newbery, Pura Belpré, Coretta Scott King, and Printz lists, we realized most books were falling into four categories: animal stories, fantasy and imagination, humor and funny tales, and realistic fiction.

During the month of March, we’ll share one head-to-head matchup every day on Facebook. Whichever book garners the most votes will move on to the next round. From March 1 through March 31, we’ll decide who will win this year’s crown and KidLit March Madness.

Feel free to take a peek at the four divisions and make some early predictions. Which ones do you think will land in the Final Four? Do you think we’ll have a YA novel up against a picture book in the final?



  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  • Dr. De Soto by William Steig
  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater



  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimginary Friend by Dan Santat
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman



  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by John Scieszka and Lane Smith
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
  • Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
  • Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
  • Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
  • Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann



  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M. T. Anderson
  • Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going


Visit our Facebook page daily to vote and help us choose the winner of Kidlit March Madness!

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2 Responses

  1. Erin Hooper

    Do you have a way for kids to vote each week without needing a facebook? Last year, there was a way they could sign in and vote each week.

    • Heather

      Thanks for your question, Erin! Teachers and parents are welcome to post votes for their classes and children on Facebook. We’ve seen families contributing together (“Three votes from the Smith house!”) and we add those to tally as separate votes! You’re also welcome to post votes in the comments here– either day by day or as a total tally as we reach each round!

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March 1, 2015