The Booktube Prize 2019 Finals

If you’ve been following this page for a while, you’ll recall that I’ve been judging the Booktube Prize.  In May, I shared a post about the quarterfinals round which you can read here  and in July I posted about judging the semifinal round, which you can read here. Now that the Booktube Prize winner has been announced, I can finally share how I chose my winner from the six finalists.

When I initially got involved in the quarterfinals round, I came up with a list of six criteria that I would use to measure each of the novels. While I enjoy books for lots of different reasons, I believe that the book that wins a literary prize should meet certain standards and not just be a “good read”. Answering these questions about each of the candidates, I felt, would give me a better estimate of how worthy the book was to be considered prize-worthy.

Silence of The Girls by Pat Barker

On a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Literary – are there references to other works (fiction or non fiction) – 4
  • Social commentary – are there political or historical references – 4
  • Allegorical – did the characters represent something bigger than themselves – 3
  • Readability – was it a page turner? – 4
  • Pacing – did it move along to share info but not dwell on anything?- 3
  • Would I recommend this book to other people as a drop-everything-and-read? – 3

Silence of the Girls Tally 21 / 30

A Ladder To The Sky by John Boyne

On a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Literary – are there references to other works (fiction or non fiction) – 4
  • Social commentary – are there political or historical references – 3
  • Allegorical – did the characters represent something bigger than themselves – 3
  • Readability – was it a page turner? – 4
  • Pacing – did it move along to share info but not dwell on anything? – 4
  • Would I recommend this book to other people as a drop-everything-and-read? – 4

Ladder Tally –  22/30

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

On a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Literary – are there references to other works (fiction or non fiction) – 3
  • Social commentary – are there political or historical references – 4
  • Allegorical – did the characters represent something bigger than themselves – 2
  • Readability – was it a page turner? – 4
  • Pacing – did it move along to share info but not dwell on anything? – 2
  • Would I recommend this book to other people as a drop-everything-and-read? -3

Fruit Tally –  18/30

Happiness by Aminatta Forna

  • Literary – are there references to other works (fiction or non fiction) – 4
  • Social commentary – are there political or historical references – 4
  • Allegorical – did the characters represent something bigger than themselves – 4
  • Readability – was it a page turner? – 2
  • Pacing – did it move along to share info but not dwell on anything? – 2
  • Would I recommend this book to other people as a drop-everything-and-read? – 3

Happiness Tally 19 /30

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

On a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Literary – are there references to other works (fiction or non fiction) – 4
  • Social commentary – are there political or historical references – 3
  • Allegorical – did the characters represent something bigger than themselves – 3
  • Readability – was it a page turner? – 4
  • Pacing – did it move along to share info but not dwell on anything?- 3
  • Would I recommend this book to other people as a drop-everything-and-read? – 3

Place For Us Tally 20 / 30

There There by Tommy Orange

On a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Literary – are there references to other works (fiction or non fiction) – 3
  • Social commentary – are there political or historical references – 5
  • Allegorical – did the characters represent something bigger than themselves – 4
  • Readability – was it a page turner? – 3
  • Pacing – did it move along to share info but not dwell on anything? – 4
  • Would I recommend this book to other people as a drop-everything-and-read? – 4

There There Tally 23 /30

Ranking

  1. There There Tally 23 /30
  2. Ladder Tally –  22/30
  3. Silence of the Girls Tally 21 / 30
  4. Place For Us Tally 20 / 30
  5. Happiness Tally 19 /30
  6. Fruit Tally –  18/30

Click to watch my video where I share what it’s like judging a bookish prize

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s