Christopher Paul Curtis is my hero.

Let me begin by saying I adore Richard Peck, almost as much as I adore Christopher Paul Curtis. But Marching for Freedom just beat out Peck's latest book, A Season of Gifts, in today's round of the Battle of the Books. I have to admit.... (sorry Mr. Peck) I'm thrilled!

In case you haven't been following the Battle, we're in Round Two. In Round One, Marching beat out Marcelo in the Real World. I love reading the judge's posts every day -- they are quirky and apologetic (after all, it is authors in the kid's world judging their peers) and give me new ways to look at some of the latest, most interesting, and oft-buzzed books of the last year.

I also raise my boxing-gloved fist in victory each time for non-fiction. We don't often make it this far! Deborah Heiligman and I are hoping we get put up against each other so we can take pictures of ourselves in the ring, ready to duke it out.... but first her book, Charles and Emma, has to win another round, and so does Marching.

Scroll through the posts following the judge's ruling for some interesting comments. What did you think of the honest post by Your Neighborhood Librarian?

"I spend some time scratching my head about how to get great nonfiction like Marching to Freedom into the hands of kids I know will enjoy it. Looking at these two books side by side it occurs to me that maybe format plays a part. Grownup trade nonfiction is published in the same format as novels – Glass Castle slots in next to Kite Runner and people tend to forget which book they’re reading ‘for fun’ and which is the nonfiction.

Maybe the wider flatter shape of books like Marching for Freedom and Truce and everything by Russell Freedman is what signals to kids ‘this is a book for school/work’. I don’t know. All I know is that Season of Gifts will be read til it falls apart on my shelves, and circ on Marching to Freedom will be a fraction of that, and I’ll still be scratching my head."