True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp vs. What the Heart Knows judged by Shelia Turnage
Activist raccoons living in a car? Wild feral hogs?A magic radio? Sugar pies? There is a lot going on in this book. Sonny Boy Coup wants rid of the Sugar Man Swamp, including the Sugar Pie Cafe, ran by Chap Brayburn and his mother. He wants to build an alligator wresting theme park there. In addition to this, a gang of wild feral hogs that destroy everything in its path is making its way toward the swamp. The solution is simple. All raccoons Bingo and J'miah (the true blue scouts) have to do is wake up the Sugar Man. The problem is no one has seen him for more than 40 years. I love all of Appelt's books. The only downside I see here is that with a plot this complex, the reader can easily get confused.
Oh, I adore this book! And I didn't really expect to love it as much I did. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to purchase my own copy. So many of these poems related to experiences I have had. My strong connection with the poems as an adult made me wonder if adolescents (this book is recommended for ages 12-17) can really appreciate what Sidman presents here.
As much as I enjoyed The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, I have to go with What the Heart Knows because of my emotional response to it. It has been a triumphant week for middle grade and this battle's judge, Shelia Turnage, is a middle grade author, so I kind of expect to be wrong on this one.
Don't forget to visit http://blogs.slj.com/battleofthebooks/ for the results!