My students read a lot this past year. Part of this is our course requirement to read at least one choice read a month. Part of this is because there were a lot of good books released, and my students and I ate ’em up! And then, of course, we read them. Or maybe it’s the other way ’round. Anyway, we read a lot, and we enjoyed what we read.
So at the end of the year, the 86 of us each chose our favorite book published in 2011. 7 of the 30 books nominated received more than one vote, and those became our Top Seven for our playoffs. The seeding:
7. Sign Language by Amy Ackley (2 votes)
6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2 votes)
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (5 votes)
4. Alex Rider: Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz (6 votes)
3. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (6 votes)
2. Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (7 votes)
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth (12 votes)
That created the following bracket:
We gave speeches. We gave impassioned cries and pleas. And then, we voted. The first round, only three matches, had 2 upsets: one small, and one pretty big. And, though I lost the tally sheets (and by lost, I mean threw away, forgetting that I still needed them to do this post), I do recall that the one matchup that was not an upset was the closest vote (I think it was something like a 3-vote victory).
Many were quite upset about Inheritance‘s loss, but that’s the way it goes. The cover of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children swayed many who had read neither title. I mean, check it out!
Did I see that right? Did Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children take out 2 of the top YA/MG fantasies of 2011? Could it possibly take out our number one seed as well?
The final round was tense. We gave our last reasons to vote for our choices. They probably petitioned each other in the hallway. As far as I know, no threats were issued, but I can’t be certain. And then, when all the words were spoken, we voted. And we had a winner.
But before we get to that, I must say, we also talked about what to call these awards. The “Wyzlic Awards” seemed too. . .lame. Two suggestions quickly rose to the top of our list: The St. Francis Middle School Book Awards — shortened to The Frannies — and the Wyzbery Award (I think some of my students are following the Nerdy Book Club and the #nerdbery challenge. . .)
So, in our first annual Frannies, we are giving one award: the Wyzbery Award for Best Book of 2011. This year’s winner. . .
Divergent! Congratulations to Veronica Roth!
Thank you to all the students for your speeches and your voting. We’re already off to a great start reading some excellent books published in 2012. I can’t wait for next year’s Frannies!